Getting close to finishing my fourteenth year of voice lessons, I approached the door of my instructor. It had been a while since I had had a lesson … he and his wife had travelled and he was battling an illness of some kind … so I was looking forward to both singing under his watchful and expert ear and chatting about his health concern(s).
I rang the bell. The inside door was open, and someone came from upstairs, down the stairwell directly in front of the screen door. Seeing the legs come down the steps, I didn’t realize it was his wife until she was nearly on ground level; “Hi,” I said.
“Come in,” she replied; “he’s on an errand and said he’ll be home by 4:00.”
While it was not typical, it had happened that he would appear just as I was ringing his doorbell and waiting … he’d be finishing a walk with his wife, or finishing a bike ride, or pulling his car to the front of the house. This day his car was parked in front, which meant he was either walking or biking. It was again within minutes of 4:00 and I was more than disappointed he was absent. “He has minutes. Do you really think he’ll be back by 4:00?” I thought. I was not just disappointed but a little put out, as well. I said nothing.
“I am in the middle of a project upstairs,” she said, as though having to explicitly excuse herself.
“Oh, no problem; please go,” I said, gesturing for her to make the return trip up the steps.
“Make yourself at home,” and she left. I sat on the couch in the living room, on the other side of the house from the music studio where my lessons occurred.
It was my turn to play in several games of “Words with Friends,” so I pulled out my phone and started playing. One opponent was my wife; “I’m supposed to be singing. I wonder if she’ll wonder why I’m playing this now.” At 4:06 I messaged her, “I am patiently waiting for ( instructor ) … or not.”
At 4:16 I was still alone, my lesson time was more than half over, my patience was exhausted, and I was realizing I was quite steamed. His wife had come back downstairs. I got up, “I’m leaving.”
“That’s too bad.”
? “What’s too bad about that?”
I would not be seeing him particularly soon, as my next scheduled lesson was one day and three weeks hence. “Please tell him I’m sorry I missed him, and I’ll see him next time, mid June, on our new day of Wednesday, as we discussed.” My collar was hot, but jumping on his wife was completely pointless and I didn’t want to do that in any event.
By the time I got home there was a voice mail on my home phone: an apology, from the heart, a lame story about thinking he had until 4:30 and then realizing that’s our quitting time. ( Four-thirty has been our quitting time for approximately forever … well, no, I exaggerate. Since fall of 2002 ). “Call me back if you want.”
I didn’t want; that was more than 48 hours ago and I still don’t want. Remembering those prior, arriving just-in-the-nick-of-time occasions, I wonder, “Is this another ending?” Stay tuned.
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