A Warning to the Curious

A Warning to the Curious (2019) - a one page story
05/12/2019
A Warning to the Curious (2019)

Sam’s holding a glass of Chablis when the phone rings. Two quick glints as fingers reach down for the handset, golden as light catches first on a moving ring and then pale yellow off the descending glass.
‘Hello,’ a pause and then ‘Hi, Lee,’ and then another pause as Sam listens.
I don’t like Lee. Lee was with Sam before I was and they still talk.
A muted thud as feet touch the carpet and Sam walks towards the kitchen, away from me, and then stands in the doorway, leaning on the wooden frame. As far away as possible without leaving the room, which would be rude. The wine glass stays behind, the liquid still in gentle motion.
‘Speak up,’ Sam says. ‘I can’t hear.’
‘You can’t?’ A pause and then, ‘You’re in the bathroom?’
‘What does he want?’ Sam’s fingers tug and scratch at previously mussed hair. I’d been brushing it earlier, making it look good. Now Lee’s making Sam undo my work.
Sam’s face takes a weird expression, something around the lips. The hint of a smile, or a disapproving pout? What is Lee saying?
‘You’d met him before, surely?’ Sam says. A pause. ‘One dinner? He must have been a charmer.’
Sam sees me looking. A finger to the lips signals that I should not speak.
‘And you’ve never…?’ a pause and then ‘No, I meant never done… that.’ Sam stresses the last word, draws it out, ‘thhhaaattt’.
I wish I could hear Lee’s response.
‘No.’
‘I don’t know if that’s normal.’ What’s normal? What is Lee asking?
‘Are you afraid of him?’
Sam’s lips curve up.
‘You went for brains rather than biceps.’ Sam’s lips curve up further.
‘You wanted to try something new. Well, this is new then.’
‘You don’t want to,’ a pause and then ‘but he’s been… uh-huh.’
Another pause, longer this time, and fingers scratch at hair again. ‘Or tell him… you need to know him a bit better.’
‘Think about it. Don’t let him guilt you into anything. Your decision. Yours.’ Another pause and then a quiet ‘Bye’ and Sam replaces the phone on the table and reaches for the Chablis.
‘What was that about? Is Lee in trouble?’ I ask and even I hear how my voice rises.
‘Sorry, honey. It’s private.’
I wonder what “that” was, and what I might have to do to find out.