When the girl was asleep, Danny got up. The shades were pulled all the way up and the room was suffused with the yellow light of a close summer moon. The light was good but Dan was still pretty drunk. He fumbled around until he found his favorite sweatshirt, dark blue turned inside out so the letters on the front felt cold against his chest. He grabbed the phone from the nightstand and felt his way out of the bedroom.
The rest of the apartment was dark, fireflied by the occasional time display on the coffee maker, the VCR, the microwave. Danny grabbed the wall in the living room and turned to rest the back of his head on it; if he could get the floor to stop rippling, he'd be okay. He dialed the phone without looking, pushing the buttons from memory while staring up at the ceiling. Great, he thought, the ceiling's in league with the floor.
He lifted the phone slowly to his ear. I have to get a lighter phone. It rang and rang, and around the fifth ring Danny realized he was humming along with the tone. He let the phone drop down to his neck as he shuffled his feet forward to press his entire back against the wall.
The beep of an answering machine reminded him he was actually on the phone, and he quickly brought the receiver back up to his ear.
"Uhh hey, yeah. Hi Rebecca. It's Dan. Rydell, it's Dan Rydell. It's..." he squinted at the VCR, "It's oh hey it's three thirty in the morning - that explains why you didn't pick up, I guess. So, it's Sunday - and I was thinking about you. Which would be a pretty nice thing of me to call and say if that was all I had to say. Just so you're prepared, you're about to think I'm an asshole. See, there's a girl in my bed right now. I met her a few hours ago, and now she's sleeping because ... well, you're a big girl. I don't have to spell it out for you. I called because I was thinking about you, like I said, and I was thinking about how you seem to think I'm a good guy. I'm not a good guy, Rebecca. I'm not even a fair to middling guy."
Her machine beeped at him, and he pulled the receiver away and glared at it for a second.
"Your thing just beeped me. That seems rude. So anyway, that's it. I'm a bad guy, Rebecca. I wanted you to know, so you could ... you know ... not be walking around thinking I'm a good guy. That's it. I hope you're having a good weekend. Night."
Dan fell asleep on the couch still cradling the phone. The next morning the girl woke him up by straddling his lap and holding a cup of coffee under his nose. The coffee was damn good, but Danny was minorly annoyed that the girl was still there. When he got out of the shower she was gone. As he padded towards his room, the phone rang. He sat down at the foot of his bed.
"Hello?" his ear was still wet and it squelched uncomfortably against the plastic.
"Danny, hi, it's Abby." Her voice was hesitant, soft.
"Abby, I'm surprised to hear your voice. It's Sunday," he paused, "isn't it?"
"Yeah, it is."
"Is everything okay?"
"I was hoping you'd be able to tell me. Dan … you called me last night."
"No I didn't."
"Yes, you did."
"No, I didn't ... I went out last night."
"And then you came home with some girl."
Danny fell silent.
"You thought you called Rebecca."
"I did call Rebecca."
"You called me."
"I called you."
"You sounded pretty drunk."
"I'm starting to think I underestimated my drunkenness myself."
"Do you want to come in this week?"
"You think I should."
"I'm calling you from my home on a Sunday, Danny. I think you should."
"Right. I'll come in tomorrow morning?"
"That'd be fine. Are you okay right now?"
"Yeah. Abby ... hey, I'm really sorry."
"I know, Danny. It's okay. I'll see you tomorrow."
He sat at the foot of his bed for a long time; his hair was dry before he moved to get dressed. When he picked up the phone to put it back on the charger, he noticed that the girl had made the bed. He realized that he couldn't remember her name. He thanked god he'd dialed the wrong number.
© scrunchy 2004