He called in the evening time, sun was still out, just going down behind the hills to the west. Hadn’t talked to her in so long, years. Didn’t quite know what to say. It wasn’t as if he missed her, but, there was something that pulled on his sleeve.
First he got her answering machine, Hello, this is Sherry. Leave your name and number, he hung up quickly. Told himself it just wasn’t meant to be. Poured some bourbon in a glass and polished it off. Then he had another bourbon, and another after that. The moon was shining silver in the pitch black sky. It was well after midnight. The lights in the house were off, only the glare from the television shown. Kept watching old shows, reruns of cop shows and movies of the week. Hoping he could get a glimpse of her. She must’ve done eight or nine movies and shows on television back then. They’d always give her a line or two. He was real proud. His woman was an actress. Was real quick to tell anybody. He’d rather say what she did than what he did; working in a factory all day outside of Pomona. She was doing something with her life, he thought back then. She was doing something.
The old man was never sure why she took off. Some said she moved in with some producer, or, acting coach. Others told him it was bound to happen. Said she was too restless. He could never figure it out. Just came home one day and her stuff was gone. Pictures, clothes, high heel shoes, rings and jewelry he’d bought for her. It was all gone. And, so was she.
So, he decided after midnight he’d give her another call. More bourbon had been drunk and his courage was high. The phone rang several times and eventually a man picked up.
Hello, said a groggy voice.
Hello. Could I speak to Sherry please?
Who is this?
Yeah. I used to be her old man years ago. I just wanted to see what she was up to.
How’d you get this number?
A friend gave it to me. Said she’d ran into Sherry over at some bar in Tarzana one night. Said she looked like she had taken care of herself. That’s what she said.
Donny. Don’t call here ever again. You hear me. Now goodnight.
The phone was hung up violently. Hurt the old man’s ear. He wondered if she was next to him when he called, or, was she out somewhere. She liked to go out. Carried black and white head shots of herself in her purse. Would give them out to total strangers as if she was Jane Fonda or someone famous. She always wanted to be famous.
He turned off the television and sat in total darkness. Stirred an ice cube with his finger. Had to work the next day. Wondered if she had to. Wondered if she was taken care of. Wondered, wondered, wondered. Goodnight Sherry.