Chapter Twenty-Four

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Twenty Years Earlier

Scott called Jessica the next day.

He left a message.

The first one was simple, and part of a script he had actually taken the time to write out because he hadn’t been sure what to say to her.  So it worked out really well; particularly since the script was more of a short speech anyway – conversation, particularly conversation with pretty girls, was not something that came easy to him, or even at all, really.

Conversation, unlike computer code, had too many variables, too many unwritten, unspoken nuances that were impossible to control and prepare for.

She when he got Jessica’s voicemail message of “This is Jessy. Can’t speak now, so lemme know what you got, sugar,” he consulted his script and mostly stuck to it, except for the fact this his verbal delivery was a little bit stunted and broken; not as slick and smooth as the words he had carefully composed.

“Hi Jessica. This is Scott Desmond. From the party. The Halloween party. I got your number from your friend Charlene. And I just wanted to call to let you know that I had a really great time. Er, thanks.”

That had gone okay. A simple message. But then, as he sat there, he realized that he hadn’t left his phone number, so how could she call him back?

So he dialed the number again. He had to leave his phone number.

It rang three times then went to her voice mail.

“Hi Jessica. It’s Scott again. I, uh, just left you a message. It’s Scott, from the party. Uh, I’m, uh, Grind Dance guy. From this past weekend. So, uh, I got your number from Charlene and she said I should call you. So, I’m, uh, calling you. Hi. The party was pretty cool, wasn’t it? I had fun. I really had a lot of fun. And I liked you. Er, I liked dancing with you. So I’m calling. Okay. Bye.”

Shit! He thought. What the hell was that? I had fun. I liked you. I liked dancing with you. What an idiot. Not only that, but he’d forgotten to leave his phone number. Idiot.

So he called back a third time.

“Hi Jessica. It’s Scott, from the party. The dancing party. Anyways, I just left a couple of messages, but realize that I forgot to leave my phone number so you could call me back. I’d love to hear from you. So please call me back. My number is 867-555-3878. That’s my number. So now you have it. So now you know how to contact me. At my number. Okay. Bye.”

About fifteen minutes later, after spending the entire time staring at the phone and nervously thinking back to the words he had spoken on the last message, Scott called back again.

“Hi Jessica. It’s Scott from the party. I was worried that I left the wrong number. I can’t remember if I said “38” or “83” – I sometimes get those numbers confused. So my number is 867-555-3878. Three. Eight. Seven. Eight. Not Eight, Three. Okay, thanks.”

He let almost half an hour pass before he called again.

“Hi Jessica. It’s Scott. From the party. I left my number, 867-555-3878. I kept thinking, because I still get it wrong, that I might have not told you the correct number. So I thought I’d call again and make sure I did it right this time. I really like you. I had a fun time at the party. Dancing with you was fun. Call me, okay? 867-555-3878.”

When more than an hour had passed and Scott hadn’t heard back from Jessica, he became really nervous.

He had really liked her.

And he must have blown it.

I’m coming off too aloof, he’d thought. Too cool. They had, after all ground into one another, kissed, gazed into each other’s eyes, and pretty much made love, though it was with all their clothes on. But they’d both orgasmed. They’d shared something truly intimate. And here Scott was leaving simple messages telling her to call him.

Sure, he’d said he liked her. But he also said he’d liked dancing. He needed her to know that he really liked her; that he was really into her. That he wanted to see her again.

Scott remembered hearing a song by Billy Joel on the radio called “Tell Her About It” – he didn’t realize, particularly since he’d never been in a relationship, that this was a song meant for a guy who tended to keep his emotions and deeper feelings to himself and was potentially pushing away his girlfriend by not letting her know his feelings, but not opening his heart to her.  Since Scott had never been in a relationship, he didn’t understand those dynamics. So he took the song to mean that a guy could win a girl over by expressing his deepest feelings to her.  As Joel sang, he had to tell her everything he felt and give her every reason to accept that you’re for real. He had to let her know he needed her. He had to let her know how much he cared.

It went even further downhill from there.

“Hi Jessica,” he said to her voice mail box. “It’s Scott. From the party. I’ve left you a few messages and I think I’ve made a stupid mistake. You see, I’m trying really hard to act all cool and confident. But that’s just not me. I’m not a cool guy. I’m pretty quiet and I don’t party much. I don’t party at all, in fact. The Halloween party was my first time.  I’ve never kissed a girl before. You were my first. And, I’ve never made love before, either. You were my first. Not that we had sex. But we did, sort of. It was really hot. But not just hot; I felt something. I felt close to you. I felt like we had something special. And I don’t want to lose that. I don’t want to lose you. I told you that night that you were the most beautiful thing that I have ever seen. And I mean that. You are amazing, gorgeous. I had been admiring you all night. It wasn’t just the dancing, the grinding. I felt we had a thing long before that, when I’d been watching you earlier that night.  You’re a beautiful woman, Jessica . . . Jessybaby . . . that’s what your email address is. Jessybaby. Can I call you that? Can I call you my Jessybaby? Anyways, you’re a beautiful woman, Jessybaby, and I want to make you mine. So please, call me when you get a chance.”

He hung up, feeling good about it. Sure, he had left a series of silly messages. But this time he laid his heart out on the line, told her everything that he’d felt. Billy Joel would have been proud of him.

Billy Joel might have also suggested there was such a thing as coming on too strong too quickly. He might have cautioned Scott about just how easy it is to scare a woman away with coming on way too strong and with obsessive behavior.

But Billy Joel didn’t know Scott.

Scott didn’t have any mentors or any role models who had shared any sort of woman advice with him.

So he left three more extended voice mails like the last one; and he would have left more if he hadn’t heard the robotic voice from her cellphone company announcing that her mailbox was full.

That’s when he turned to email, and composed a more than five hundred word detailed outline of all that he felt for her.

She didn’t email back.

He called again later that day, but her voicemail was still full.

So he followed up with another email twice as long.

And the day after that, he forwarded both messages to her, worried that she hadn’t received either one, because she never emailed back. She never called, either.


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