Friday, 10 June 2016

The Phone Call from Hell (Part Two)

The screaming was relentless. Over and over, all I could hear was this gut-wrenching scream, a wail of searing pain that was so real it made the most realistic performance from a Hollywood actor seem childish by comparison.

I looked at Robyn. She was facing me, and still talking to whoever she was on the phone with. I moved the phone slightly away from my ear so that I could listen to what she was saying. All I caught was the final bit of her conversation, which was simply “Yes, please hurry. I don’t know what’s going on.”

Robyn hung up the phone then came over to her desk and sat beside me. I went to hand her the phone, but she just waved it away and said very quietly “No, please listen for me”.

The screaming went on for what seemed like an eternity. I tried getting details out of Robyn, but she was very vague and distant, obviously in shock. The most I could get out of her was that this was her boyfriend that I was listening to. That, and she kept saying over and over “Why won’t he give it up, I’ve told him to just give it up”, but when I tried to ask her questions about "it" she just went quiet again.

The screaming went on, and words slowly started to come through the phone to me. I could hear “God, no. ARRRRRRRGH. Please no. Stop. ARRRRRRRRRRGH. ARRRRRRRGH. Please stop.” I didn’t repeat any of this to Robyn, as I thought it might tip her over the edge.

And so, we sat there, just the two of us. Well, the three of us if you include old mate The Screamer. In situations like this, not that I’ve ever experienced another like it before or since, time seems to move very slowly. I thought we sat there alone for about an hour, maybe more. The reality of it was that it was only about 15 minutes.

Lynley was the first to come back from lunch. She looked at the two of us, and knew straight away that something was wrong. I quickly blurted out that I was listening to Robyn’s boyfriend, that he was in pain, and that Robyn was in shock. After that weird “announcement” sank in, she sat down next to Robyn and took her hands in her own to offer comfort. It obviously worked for Robyn, because she started to open up a little. The other call that she made was to Triple-Zero, obviously. I was dumbfounded that I didn’t even think to do that myself, so it was great that at least one of us was thinking straight.

As I said, Robyn was talking to her boyfriend. She said they’d been chatting for ten or fifteen minutes before _this_ happened, whatever _this_ was. Then, again, she said “Why won’t he give it up? He should just give it up.”

Lynley asked her what she meant, but then I heard something else coming from the phone. It was the sound of other voices, but I couldn’t hear them well enough to make out what they were saying.

Because I didn’t hear Robyn’s answer to Lynley, I asked what “it” was. She answered me by saying she wanted her boyfriend to give up his job.

He was a Narcotics Detective in the Australian Federal Police.

(To be continued…)