It’s close to 230am, and the phone rings. I look at it and carry on with checking things off on my paperwork. It stops ringing. Then it starts again. Same name on the caller ID. I can see Richard look up from his papers, like he’s thinking of answering it, so I say, “Don’t answer it. We’re closed. Let it go to voicemail.”
It rings forever.
Finally, it stops ringing. There is a pause and papers get shuffled and marked on. Then the phone starts to ring again. I look and it’s the same name on the caller ID.
“That’s it. I’m answering it,” Richard says.
“Ah, no you don’t! I will tackle you if you even try to answer that phone. We’re closed. They can call tomorrow.”
About a half hour later, Richard’s closing duties are done, and I try to send him home…but he insists on hanging about while I finish my closing tasks, and walking out together. Just in case.
It’s about 230am. Corinne and I are done with just about all of our closing tasks. I’m stapling paperwork packets together and she’s grabbing the trash cans to put them outside the office door for the night cleaners.
The phone rings. I look and it is the same name as the previous night.
“Don’t answer that,” I say. A little more sharply than is warranted. It stops ringing and Corinne gives me a look. “This person called three times last night, about the same time.”
“What did they want?”
“I don’t know…I just didn’t answer it and I told Richard I’d harm him if he did. If this person really wants to talk to us, they need to do it when we’re open…”
The phone rings again. Same name. We watch it ring and ring. It finally stops and I start to turn off the office appliances, while Corinne goes to turn off the projectors. The phone rings again with the same name. Fortunately, it cuts off after two rings.
I check that the doors are locked, and Corinne and I leave together.
I am training the new manager on closing duties that she’s never had to do. We’re having a fun time of it, and things are progressing at a decent pace.
We’re entering missed payroll punches, and the phone rings.
“What the fuck?!”
Maggie looks a little shocked at me. “Sorry. It’s just…don’t answer that.”
“I never answer the phone when we’re closed.”
“Good…just…” we both look, and the caller ID doesn’t register a name. Just that it’s a cell phone. We let it go to voicemail. “There was someone who called us three times Friday night, and I wouldn’t let Richard answer it. And the same person called three times last night and I told Corinne not to answer…I guess we’ll know it’s the same person again if they call two more times.”
“How did you know it was the same person the last two days?”
“There was an actual name on the ID…maybe they’re calling from a different phone to see if we pick up.”
The phone starts to ring again. And we watch it, while it rings and rings. Maggie turns the ringer down all the way, but we can still hear the phone in the outer office, ringing away.
“I guess we’ll know for sure if they call one more time,” I say. We look expectantly at the handset, waiting for the red light to start blinking, and to hear the ringer in the other room. Nothing happens.
Awesome. We finish up our closing tasks and close up the office. We go out to start turning off projectors, and a door alarm goes off. We go to the alarm panel and find out what theatre the alarm is in.
“So, how do you feel about calling the police?” I ask.
“Not so good…”
I grab a broom from behind the concession stand–if someone is breaking in, it won’t be a huge help, but I might be able to give someone a smack with the wooden handle. If I have to. Maggie grabs the dust pan, and I wish she’d picked up anything else. Dustpans are not good for hitting.
Alba, the little hispanic woman in charge of the night cleaners, is sweeping outside the theatre in question. We ask her if anyone had opened a door in that theatre, and she says no. Nobody has gone in there yet.
Maggie and I check the doors for the theatre, and they are both solidly closed. Maggie speculates that maybe there is a malfunction with the door alarm, since our maintenance supervisor had been working on that theatre recently…
We go through the rest of the booths together, shutting off breakers and projectors. We check the front doors again, and clock out. And go to the parking lot together.
“Wow, that’s a big-ass hummer,” Maggie says.
“Yeah it is. And that doesn’t belong to the night cleaners.” The hummer in question is parked right beside my car. I am not pleased.
“Um…do you want me to drive you over to your car?” she asks.
“Yeah…I do, actually.”
We get into Maggie’s van, and she pulls up behind my car. “Oh my gosh…is that hummer running?”
Sure enough, there is warm fog coming out of the hummer’s tailpipe.
“Ah, this just got super creepy…”
Maggie circles away from the parked vehicles. “What do we do?”
“Well, I’m not gonna leave my car here overnight or ask you to drive me home, since I live across town…”
Maggie pulls into the exit, right beside my car. “I’m gonna wait for you to get in and start your car, just in case.”
“Good idea.” I motion with my lunchbox and drink cup. “Can I leave this in your car and I’ll get it back next time we work together?”
“Don’t die, okay?”
“I love not dying…despite things I may have said to the contrary.” Maggie laughs and I think about getting the knife out of my bag, but there isn’t time, and I am getting out of the van and clicking my door open and slamming it shut behind me and backing the hell away from that creepy hummer. I do look though…and I can’t see anyone in it. But there is someone. Has to be. (And, you know…I check my back seat, just to be sure they aren’t somehow there. Too many creepy movies, you know?)
Drive home, feeling on edge.
Wishing I had written down the name from the caller ID.
Wishing it had been light enough to see the license plate number.
And tomorrow night? Welp. If we get creepy, clockwork phone calls when we are CLOSED and all the not crazy people should be SLEEPING, I am 100% calling the police. If we somehow don’t get the phone calls, then great. But there’s no way in heaven I am letting Richard leave early. And if there’s creepy cars in the parking lot, we’re going back in the building and then calling the police.
I’m not having any of this nonsense. And I don’t want any of us to be creeped on. Or get murdered.
Now I have to try and sleep.