I picked up the phone and was greeted by an affable "hi!" It was a female voice. Immediately I noted the tone of her voice. It was in the low range for a woman. There was also an economy of words in the way she spoke, which I interpreted as confidence stemming from a bit of life experience. She sounded mature. She could have been in her early thirties.
Even though that was so long ago, where I was is still a vivid memory in my mind. It was late at night. I had been about to step out of the computer room, but with such a voice on the other end of the line, I felt compelled to sit back down. I could have been in my nightly attire, unless I was still wearing my day clothes. Funny how, even though the scene around me then is clear as day in my mind, what I wore that evening is fuzzy in my memories.
I was a little nervous. We were just chatting but still I was unsure. What it meant, what to say. After all, I had never done this before. Had she? She was bold; I was impressed already. Where was she? What did she look like? Was she in a similar state of dress as me? My mind was racing but I didn't know if asking any of those questions was appropriate.
All I knew was that I enjoyed her voice very much. It was warm and self-assured. As we exchanged words back and forth, she put me at ease. I instinctively knew that she was a people person. She pronounced words clearly, without haste, and with no detectable accent. She sounded smart and friendly, but it was more than that. She was not only talking to me, she was also listening. She engaged in both roles of the conversation seamlessly, whereas I was just trying to sound as cool as her.
I was alone in my quiet apartment, but there was a woman in my ear. And in my mind it was almost as though I could paint the person that she was behind her voice. Not in her looks but in the life she had. Or maybe I was just yearning for more of her presence. Whatever the case, I vaguely imagined that she spoke to lots of people everyday, family, friends, strangers. And that was something she had done all her life. No doubt that is why she was so good at disarming me.
To this day I don't know what I said other than mumble a few words in between the lovely tones of her voice. Somehow that didn't matter. She continued responding as though I was as nice as she was. That was surely preposterous but I was too taken by this faceless audition to have the presence of mind of realizing it. Not that that would have mattered either.
I can't say how long we spoke. How can one measure time when the importance of the moment feels so great? In the continuum that I temporarily inhabited, this woman's words were the only measure of time I understood. And far from me was the thought that my life after this conversation would never be the same again.
She's a woman of the heart, she's so smart that way; she knew what she was doing. She must have felt it, in her heart, that she had to call me. And I'm so glad she did.
That mesmerizing voice belonged in fact to a young woman who was only 20. She was my future wife, the love of my life.