“Buzz, Buzz, Buzz,” my phone buzzed against my leg, silently indicating an incoming call. I pulled it out to check the Caller Id. It was Miki. I put the phone away and went back to concentrating on the meeting I was in.
“Buzz, Buzz, Buzz,” my phone buzzed again. This time I didn’t pull it out of my pocket to check who it was – it had to be Miki calling again.
“Buzz, Buzz,” text message. I didn’t check it.
Half an hour later and the discussions are over, 10 minutes before my next meeting. I started out of the meeting room and headed for the escalators.
Bzzzz, Bzzzz, Bzzzz, my phone buzzed again. I pulled it out, Miki again. I pressed the Accept icon, and put it to my ear, “Hello sweetie.”
“Where are you? Why didn’t you answer my calls or my text messages?” she asked, emotionally, and quite accusatorily.
“I was in a meeting. What’s up?” I replied.
“Where are you?” she asked again, “Are you sure you’re in Jo’burg?”
Oh shit, I thought to myself, it’s 7’teen; it’s going to be one of those conversations. I took a quick, deep breath to calm myself, and walked over to a quiet area by the internal balcony, overlooking the high atrium. People above and below me were sitting at their desks, or walking around talking. But, I doubt any of them were having the type of conversation I was.
“7’teen, I’m definitely in Jo’burg. I’m standing in the office right now, I’ve just finished a meeting and I’m my way to another meeting. I don’t have much time to talk right now,” I said as calmly as possible, hopefully sounding more patient than I felt.
“Are you sure? Because there’s this bald guy across the road in one of the offices and he looks just like you. He’s even wearing black too.”
I really wasn’t sure how to respond. I decided to play it straight, but quite firmly, “Yep, I’m definitely in Jo’burg, in the office, on the way to another meeting.”
“He really looks like you. Are you sure you’re not spying on me?”
There’s that word: spying. 7’teen is very paranoid.
“He’s even talking on the phone. Zee, go to the window, see if he’s still talking on the phone.” She instructed Zee, dragging him into her delusion.
“Sweetie, I am definitely not across the road. I am not spying on you. No one is spying on you. I am in Jo’burg and I have a meeting that I have to get to. Everything is OK.” I spoke calmly but quite firmly.
“I’m going to have to go now,” I said.
“Ok.” She hung up.
I shook my head as I made my way back to the escalators. The absurdity of the situation boggled my mind. But more than that, the call had been disruptive, emotionally draining. And knowing that 7’teen was still present at home, sharing her delusions with Zee, influencing him, possible even scaring him worried me tremendously.