The White Princess Phone

The white princess phone sat on the bedside table. A birthday gift from Faye’s parents when she turned fifteen. Almost three years of constant use had taken a toll. She couldn’t begin to count the hours spent talking with her sister Blythe; sharing and solving so many of life’s problems. Even the soft, luminous light that came on when the receiver was lifted had worn itself out. Faye found herself starring at the phone, willing it to ring with a call from the infamous Michael Duncan. She had learned this little trick from her father. When you want something to happen, you must think about it happening first. See it in your mind. Faye practiced this exercise every night for four consecutive days before the phone actually rang and Michael Duncan was on the line.

Their first date was set for the following Friday night. Michael explained, “My father’s contracting company worked on the new Hyatt Regency Hotel in San Francisco. This will be a VIP grand-opening celebration for all those who worked on the project.” Michael's voice filled with pride, “I was one of the people who worked on the hotel. Would you like to go to the party with me?” Faye hesitated for what seemed an appropriate amount of time before answering, “That sounds great. What time will you be picking me up?”

“How about 6:30. Cocktails start at 7:00 and dinner to follow.
I think it’s a fairly dressy affair with music and dancing.”

Michael spoke so quickly. Faye paid very close attention in order to understand him. She had never heard anyone talk so fast. If Faye’s music teacher were to describe his speech, he would use the word staccato – quick, clipped, separate notes of enthusiastic sound.

Faye, of course, was impressed but tried to sound casual, “OK, see you at 6:30. Do you know where I live – in Sleepy Hollow?”

“I do. We lived out there for almost three years when I was in grade school.”

“What street did you live on?”

“My parents built a house on the corner of Butterfield Road and Sleepy Hollow Drive. Do you know where I’m talking about?”

Stunned, she answered, “Yes, I do! In fact, it’s almost directly across the street from my house. When did you live there?”

Michael sounded surprised as well, “Let’s see, from the 5th grade until the 8th grade. So, that would be 1963 until 1966.”

Faye interrupted him, “Were you that family with lots of kids? Were you always outside playing basketball and riding bikes?”

Michael laughed, “That was us! Amazing. We lived across the street from each other and never met. How is that possible? Sleepy Hollow was like that.”

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