“Hello?” I barked, not pleased to be talking and cooking at the same time. However, I was physically unable to let a ringing phone ring, much to my chagrin. More than one salesperson had been on the receiving end of a tongue-lashing by me for interrupting whatever it was I had been doing. Anu Dosh, the finance person—including fundraising—in my theater group, screened her calls without fail, and while I admired her, there was no way I could emulate her. Bobby Lee, our PR person, on the other hand, started questioning the telemarketer the minute he picked up the phone which usually caused the caller to hang up first. Bobby derived great satisfaction from making a caller cry, something that happened with surprising regularity.
“You bitch! What did you do with it!” The voice on the other hand was slurred, and I had trouble deciphering what she was saying. “I knew you took it, you Chink. You were the only one there. Give it back!”
“Kayla? Is that you?” I asked cautiously. “What do you want?”
“You were always jealous because I was fucking Matt, and you wished you could. All you Chinks are sly like that. That’s why you took it, you bitch!”
“Goodbye, Kayla.” I hung up the phone without further ado, turning back to my wrapping. I was glad she didn’t have my cell phone number as that would seriously piss me off. Only a handful of people plus the theater gang had that number, and I preferred to keep it that way. I hated the idea of people being able to reach me 24/7, but as a member of the Fabulous Five, I often needed to be available to the other members at odd hours of the day. The landline rang again, but I managed to ignore it this time.
The dumplings were coming along so nicely, I decided to also make some egg rolls. I had the skins for those as well, and they would make a nice complement to the dumplings. I was planning to fry everything, throw it in the freezer, thaw it in the morning, then heat it up when I got to Julia’s place. While I was making the egg rolls, I fumed over Kayla’s audacity. No doubt she’d discovered that I’d found her hidey-hole and took her stuff, but that was no reason for her to be so mean about it. I was doing her a fucking favor, and all she could do was berate me and call me names. I wasn’t sure I’d be able to stomach working with her on account of her being such an unmitigated bitch—no matter how much I owed Matt. There had to be some other way to repay him, preferably one which included getting naked, and he’d understand my pulling out—wouldn’t he? Speak of the devil, I heard the front door slam.
“Hey, what are you doing?” Matt burst into the kitchen where I was still rolling up the egg rolls. “Aw, snap. You have one of your potlucks tomorrow. It’s so not fair that I have to eat caf food when you get to nosh on homemade goodies.” Matt gave me the puppy dog face meant to soften me up. I knew perfectly well that he had a million of restaurants to go to near the JDC, but I fell for it, anyway.
“I’ll make you some. And I have some extra dumplings, too,” I said with a smile.
“You are the best,” Matt said, his eyes lighting up. “Though I’m kind of hungry right now. Didn’t get enough to eat for dinner.”