Tuesday, October 11, 2011


Back in the days before my neuroses.

Brrr-ringg! Brr-ringg!

At the shrilling of my cell phone, my hands begin to shake, palms itching madly. But this is not the typical reaction of a woman in love. My sweating and shaking is more from fear than flirtation.

I’ve been expecting this call, dreading it. I want to answer, but physically, I just can’t. I can do nothing but stare at the phone until it finally beeps, signaling my missed call.

When I log onto my computer hours later, I receive an instant message from him. Safely hidden behind my screen, I’m gutsier than I was earlier. I always am. The computer turns this shy girl into a compelling and confident woman. I wish I could hide behind it in every aspect of my life.

I tried calling earlier. His message carries a hint of his frustration, or maybe I’m just imagining it. I don’t immediately respond.

I should tell him that I’m a neurotic mess. I should tell him that my nerves have gotten the best of me. I should confide that I hate phones, that my social anxieties turn me into a sweaty, blubbering mess. I should reveal that I’ve avoided past relationships because of this anxiety.

And while I’m busy thinking of what I should tell him, my phone rings again.

My pulse quickens. He’s caught me this time, cornered me and removed avoidance from the equation.


His instant message pops up on my computer screen as the phone continues to ring, and despite all of my fears, I gather my courage and answer.  


Our first conversation is awkward. As expected, I sweat a little, but I keep talking anyway...for hours. And when he calls again the next day, I answer without hesitation, knowing that to this guy I’m compelling and confident even offline. 

Author's Note: This memoir post is in response to the Write on Edge Remembered prompt this week:

In “On Writing” Stephen King wrote, “The scariest moment is always just before you start. After that, things can only get better.”

Write a memoir post – first-person and true – inspired by that statement.
Word limit is 300.

I still have a phobia of talking on the phone, but thankfully, my now husband was able to alleviate those fears then long enough to make me fall completely in love with him. Our online relationship evolved to a telephone/long-distance relationship after that fateful phone call. We're celebrating our four-year anniversary on Thursday of this week.

Happy Anniversary to my Once and Future Geek!! I'm glad I answered the phone. :)

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