Groundhog Day again.
It’s all for the best, and it’s saving lives—that’s what I keep reminding myself when I wake up, open my eyes, and stare at the four white walls of my sixth-floor studio apartment for the fortieth day in a row. That’s how long it’s been since I’ve been free to leave my home, except for the one quick run along the River Thames I’m allowed each day and the occasional fraught shopping trip for essential items.
I’ll get out of bed in a minute, open the curtains, and stare out at the desolate landscape of the City of London. I’ll try to find something different to look at on the horizon, but nothing changes these days. I thought the year had started badly when the UK suffered devastating flooding. Now everything has ground to a halt because of a life-threatening virus spreading across the world as swiftly as the Australian wildfires. To be honest, 2020 has been pretty shit so far.
Floods, fire and now pestilence—it feels like the Apocalypse has arrived, and I can’t wait for the New Year to ring in at midnight on the 31st December. The way things are going, though, I’ll probably be downing Prosecco and singing ‘Auld Lang Syne’ while staring at these four walls, still wondering if I’ll ever be free to go outside.
Turning my head to the side, on my beautiful, rather expensive, light purple, cotton pillowcase, I see the time is eight a.m. I have to be sitting at my makeshift, up-cycled desk in the living area of my apartment by nine to start my workday.
I left school six years ago without many qualifications. I wasn’t much good at science or math. However, I excelled at art, and based on my final year project, I was picked up to work as a graphic designer for one of the leading advertising companies in the UK. It’s been a steep learning curve ever since, but I love it, and I adore living in central London even if I can only afford a small apartment at the moment. I’m saving, though, and hope to upgrade my accommodation soon, assuming everything eventually returns to normal.
I slide from my bed and open the curtains…just as I thought, nothing has changed. A cosmopolitan city that’s usually vibrant with life has become a sleepy metropolis with only national health employees and other key workers rushing around, heading to their jobs. Tonight, I’ll open my window and make as much noise for them all as I can. It’s something we’ve started doing here in the UK on a Thursday evening at eight. The people I’m looking at are the real heroes of this world now—not the rich and famous. These are regular people, risking their lives on a daily basis to save those inflicted with this devastating disease.
I’m about to make my way into the bathroom when my phone rings, and without looking who it is, I pick it up. It’s most probably my mother—she’s the only one who would dare call me before nine a.m.
“Hello,” I answer with a cheery tone.
I’m trying to stay positive in spite of the fact, stuck inside and alone, I’m starting to go stir crazy.
“Hi, Sis.” A deep timbered male voice comes from the other end of the phone.
“Er…I’m an only child, so I think you might have got the wrong number.”
Just my luck, the first person I’ve spoken to in a while, who isn’t my mother or a work colleague, and it’s a misdial.
“Damn it, shit. I hate technology or rather it hates me. I’ve done everything as per the instructions, and I still can’t get this damn thing to work.” I can hear the frustration in the man’s voice.
“I’m sorry, I didn’t mean to upset you,” I find myself apologizing even though I’ve done nothing wrong.
“No, I’m sorry. It’s not your fault. My company said I needed to have a new phone because my other one wasn’t secure enough while I’m working from home. I asked them to set it up before they sent it out to me, but apparently they forgot. I’ve been working through the instructions since five a.m. All I want to do is phone my sister to wish her a happy birthday. It seems it won’t allow me to enter her number correctly,” the stranger gives out a heavy sigh on the other end of the line.
“I used to have the same problem with computers and technology when I first started work. I’ve gradually got used to it, though. I’m able to do most things now. In the early days, I spent a lot of time on the phone to our company’s IT department. Do you have one of those you can contact, maybe?”
“I’ve already phoned them six times. I think they may get too stressed if I call them again.”
I can’t help laughing at his reply. If he’s called them that many times in three hours he really can’t be technologically minded.
“It’s not that funny,” he responds indignantly, and then laughs. “Okay, yes it is—it’s ridiculous. I can run a multi-million pound company, but I can’t set up a mobile phone. I’m going to be the laughing stock of my firm when we eventually go back to the office, and they all find out.”
“Don’t worry, I think I’ve got you beat there. I spent the entirety of a teleconference call the other day as a donut because I tried to alter the screen and couldn’t get it back to my face.”
I’m not sure why I’m sharing this rather embarrassing fact with a stranger, but I feel sorry for him. He’s obviously a smart man if he runs a successful company, but technology can be a bitch sometimes. I should know, working with graphic design programs all day—they never function the way I want them to.
“You win. That is worse. But I can see myself doing something similar if this lockdown continues for much longer.”
“I’ve got the same conference tomorrow, and I’ve been wondering what I’ll end up looking like for that call. I’m hoping it’s a bit more upmarket than a donut. Maybe I’ll try for a macaroon.”
“You’ll have to send me a picture of that.”
We both fall silent. We’re two strangers conversing like we’re old friends, but I don’t even know his name. When I think of the kind of person who runs a large company, I imagine them being a lot older than this man sounds, even if he is technologically challenged.
“I’m sorry. I shouldn’t have said that. I better let you get on,” he eventually breaks our silence.
“It’s all right. Please don’t worry. So much in the world is weird at the moment. Chatting to a complete stranger because they misdialed my phone number is possibly the least weird thing in my life right now.”
“Aren’t you worried I could be an axe murderer or something?”
“You told me you run a business. Are you changing your job description now?” I tease.
“You sound like you’re handling this lockdown well. I know a good few people who spend most of their days sobbing.”
“Maybe rather than handling it well, I’m already drunk,” I retort back as I take a seat on my bed.
“I know a few people like that too,” the man laughs and it sends a shiver down my spine—it’s an erotic sound, and one that I’d like to feel against my heated flesh. Okay, I really am starting to get a little weird. Being surrounded by four walls is clearly affecting me.
“Since neither of us seems to want to end this call, my name is Nathan,” the man continues.
His name doesn’t sound like it belongs to an older person either.
“Hi, Nathan,” I reply. “I’m Natasha, but everyone calls me Tasha for short.”
“Hi, Tasha. I’m guessing you’re in lockdown too and as bored as I am with it. So, what do you for a day job?”
As he speaks, I listen to the sounds in the background of his call. I can hear a business report being read out on a radio, but there’s no traffic noise, so it’s plausible he’s working from home. I can’t hear any other voices, so maybe there’s no wife or partner, or children.
“I’m a graphic designer, and I often work from home but not as much as this.”
“I know what you mean. This is definitely different.”
We both fall silent once again. In spite of our earlier ease, I’m starting to feel a little awkward with the conversation. I’ve no idea who it is I’m talking to, and that’s a bit scary.
“This is a bit unconventional isn’t it. A wrong number and then having a whole conversation,” Nathan expresses what I’m thinking.
“It is, I’ve barely spoken to anyone in forty days. Most of my friends are busy and have partners, but I live by myself, so it’s been a little lonely. I guess that’s why you’ve got the talkative version of me.”
“I know what you mean. I don’t live with anyone either.”
Another uncomfortable silence follows. I know I should say goodbye and end the call, but I really don’t want to.
“Everything feels so strange at the moment. Is this what the future could look like if we have to stay in lockdown?—working from home, catching up with family and friends on the phone, and only meeting new people if they accidentally call our number. You’re the first person I’ve spoken to in two days, and I don’t know anything about you.”
“I get what you mean. Over the last few weeks, I’ve had to conduct all my business like this or on video call,” Nathan agrees, then pauses before asking, “Tasha, would you like to switch to a video call? I think I can figure it out on this phone. Would that make you feel a little more at ease if you can see me? I know this sounds really sad for a thirty-year-old man to admit, but I’ve been feeling lonely too, and I’m enjoying talking to you. It’s a refreshing change from the humdrum schedule of my current Groundhog Day life.”
I smirk—pleased he’s feeling the same way as I am about our conversation. I pull my phone down from my ear and switch the call to FaceTime. I’m not sure why I agree to do it—maybe after all this time on my own, I’ve truly gone insane. I’ve no make-up on, and I haven’t even brushed my hair or teeth this morning. I probably look like a right mess, but something’s telling me this is the right thing to do. I’m the kind of person who believes in destiny and fate. Maybe Nathan calling me is some sort of weird cosmological intervention.
As the FaceTime call is accepted and the screen flashes up, I take a deep breath and wait for the man’s face to appear. When it does, my eyes go wide. Damn, Nathan, whatever his last name is, looks hot! I’m talking male model with a strong jawline covered in the stubble from the previous day, kind of hot. His hair is chestnut-brown and disheveled in the just-got-out-of-bed way I like, and he’s wearing a white t-shirt that shows off his muscular arms. But it’s his eyes that capture me the most—they’re a stunning bright blue, and they register with something that looks a lot like excitement when he sees me. Okay, this really is weird. I’m video calling with a hot guy I didn’t even know existed until a few minutes ago.
“Hi, Tasha,” he speaks first, and I melt into the warmth of his greeting and smile.
“Hi, Nathan,” I reply and give a silly little wave, inwardly cursing myself for being a geek.
“This is a bit crazy,” he says as he places his phone down and leans back in his chair.
I get a peek at his house behind him. It looks big, but then he did mention he runs a multi-million pound company. So if he’s telling the truth, he’s probably loaded.
“Just a bit. But it might be the only way of making new friends if we can’t go out to bars. Just dial a random number and chat to the person on the other end of the line,” I suggest, smiling into the phone.
My idea isn’t a bad one actually. I’ll have to think about marketing the concept—I certainly have the graphic skills to sell it.
“So, your company, what does it do?” I question, genuinely interested.
I’m feeling a little more relaxed now I can see his face and monitor the honesty of his answers. I’ve always relied on my ability to read faces when I talk to people. It’s how I realized my ex-boyfriend was cheating on me. Whenever he was going to meet his other woman, he could never look me directly in the eyes before he went out. I followed him one night, suspecting something was up, and I was right. I caught him having sex with my best friend in an alleyway outside a club. Classy.
“It’s IT based, ironically. We offer consultancy services to other firms. I have experts to deal with that part of the business, though. I’m responsible for the overall structure of things. I inherited the firm from my father when I turned twenty-one. He wanted to retire early, so that’s what he did. Thankfully, I’ve managed to ensure the company has gone from strength to strength since then.”
“That sounds fantastic. I’ve only been working in graphic design for six years, but I’m already responsible for some massive contracts at my firm. I’m one of their senior managers. I’ve been lucky.”
“You’ll have to give me your firm's details. I’ve been considering a company rebrand for a while.”
“I’d be happy to do that.”
We both fall quiet again, looking directly at each other and smiling. Then a question pops into my head, and I have to bite my lip to keep it inside.
“What are you thinking?” Nathan asks. “You can say whatever you want.”
“It’s a question, but it’s probably inappropriate,” I reply.
“Come on. No question’s off limits.”
“It’s silly.” I shake my head.
“And doing a video call with a stunning blonde girl who has the bluest eyes ever, having misdialed her number, isn’t?”
I try not to focus on the fact he called me stunning.
“I guess I can’t argue with that. I just wondered whether you have a girlfriend or wife?”
Nathan holds his left hand up to the camera, giving me a good view of it. “No wedding ring, no wife, and although I can’t prove it, I don’t have a girlfriend either. Like I said, I took over the firm from my dad when I was in my early twenties, and it’s taken up my entire life ever since. Would you believe me if I told you this is probably the longest conversation I’ve had with a woman, who isn’t my sister, mother or work colleague, since I was twenty-one?”
“That’s sad.” I state before realizing how my words could be interpreted. “Not in a bad way. I meant that it’s sad you haven’t had anyone special to share your life with.”
“You’re right, it is sad. I’ve just never found the time to date. What about you, are you in a relationship?”
I shake my head.
“No, I got badly burned the last time and swore off men for a while.”
“Are you still sworn off them?” Nathan asks.
He pins me with an intense look as he folds his arms across his chest, giving me a better view of his muscles. I’m starting to feel a little hot around the edges.
“No, it’s lockdown that’s preventing me from dating now. I’ll probably be menopausal by the time we get out of this.” I sigh with a heavy feeling of frustration.
“I promise, if it gets to that stage, I’ll break my lockdown and come and find you to make sure it doesn’t happen.” Nathan smiles at me, and I get the feeling he’s not joking.
“Thank you. I’ll hold you to that.”
“Do you really think it will go on for that long?” I question, hoping for some words of encouragement.
I’m not sure how much longer I can cope with living like this, and eating basic rations because I can’t find anything in the shops. I baked a lot before this, but flour is like gold dust now, and don’t even get me started on eggs—they’re more like the holy grail!
“No, I don’t think so. One of the companies I work with is involved in developing a vaccine for the virus. They’re making good progress, but nothing is certain yet. It could be a year or two before they find one that’s safe and effective.”
“A year or two,” I groan loudly. “Sorry, it’s a particularly bad day today.”
“And here I was, hoping I was putting a smile on your face.”
I look into the camera at Nathan and give him a big grin in response.
“You definitely are.”
We simply stare at each other for a moment. My breath hitches as Nathan’s tongue pops out of his mouth and licks around his lips. I wonder what they would feel like pressed against mine. I bring my fingers to my mouth and touch the soft skin of my lips before pressing a little harder as I imagine Nathan kissing me there. He moans softly, and I watch as his eyes darken.
Our call has taken an unexpected change in direction. But I’m not going to stop it. It may seem insane, but I want him…I want my wrong number.
“Lower your hand, Tasha,” he instructs, and I do.
I skim my fingers over the gossamer fabric of my silk camisole top as Nathan sits forward in his chair, his eyes as dark as the moonless night sky. I trace a finger around the curve of my breast while following my movements with the camera in my other hand so Nathan can see.
He blows out his cheeks, “Jesus, Tasha.”
“Why don’t you remove your t-shirt?” I suggest, and Nathan immediately strips his white shirt from his body.
It’s my turn to gasp as I take in his rippled physique. An abundance of muscles and intricate tattoos adorn his body.
“Wow,” I exclaim, lowering my hand from my breast to the place between my thighs where there’s a very sudden and urgent need for me to touch.
I pull the waistband of the shorts I’m wearing away from my heated skin and delve beneath to stroke through my folds. I’m already wet, and my desire coats my fingers. Phone sex with a stranger is not how I expected my day to begin, but I’m going with it. Hey, what else have I got to do today? I’m alone in my castle, and Nathan’s the prince who’s come to rescue me from a life of loneliness and boredom.
Nathan places the phone down, and his hand disappears below the desk in front of him. He then raises himself up in his chair, and I can tell he’s unzipping his pants and removing his cock. I wonder what it looks like. What size is it? Does he have tattoos or piercings down there? I’m clearly not going to ask, though, so I’ll just have to use my imagination.
“Tell me what’s going through your mind, Tasha.” Nathan’s lust-filled voice interjects into my thoughts.
“I’m not sure I can,” I reply with embarrassment, my cheeks turning red.
Nathan picks up the phone again, and I watch with growing excitement as he lowers the camera down his body to show me his cock in his hands. I gasp at how beautiful it is—if that’s even possible for a male appendage. I know some of my friends think they don’t look very attractive, but Nathan’s cock is gorgeous. It’s long and wide, and the head is a deep purple and perfectly formed. I find it absurd that he doesn’t have a girlfriend. His dick needs to be buried inside a pussy every night—it’s certainly worthy of it.
He moves the phone back up so I can see his face.
“Is that what you were thinking about?”
“Yes,” I reply timidly. “Thank you.”
“Will you make yourself come, Tasha? I want to hear every little gasp and moan—perfect sounds coming from a woman who, in a very short space of time, has captured my attention.”
“Only if you do the same. I want to hear you too.”
“I will, don’t worry.”
I stroke my clit faster, delving a finger inside myself while I watch Nathan on the screen. His arm is moving faster and faster as he strokes himself. His breath quickens, and little grunts escape from his mouth as the heat inside me grows, but the explosion I’m chasing lingers just beyond my reach.
“Come, Tasha.” Nathan orders, and it’s as though he’s already in tune with my body, commanding every inch of me.
I come apart in a powerful orgasm that has me calling out his name. The entire time, I never take my eyes from the phone, watching every second of his climax as he also moans out his release.
Eventually, we both fall silent. The deep breaths of our recovery are the only sounds.
“Are you all right?” Nathan asks.
I look at him and smile.
“More than all right.”
In the background, I hear an alarm sounding in Nathan’s house.
“Damn it,” he curses. “I have to go. That’s a call on my work computer, and it could be important.”
My elated mood deflates, but I manage a weak smile. “Yes, of course. I need to start my work as well. It’s been great talking to you.”
“And you, Tasha. Goodbye.” Nathan gives me one last smile and then hangs up.
I throw my phone onto the bed as a strange sadness floods over me. It was a wrong number—just a few moments of fun. So why do I feel as though it was much more important than that?
A few seconds later my phone pings with a text, and picking it up, I swipe to open the message and see it’s from Nathan. He’s included a link to his profile page on his company website, so I can learn a little more about him. His full name, Nathan Prince, stands out, but that’s not what captures my attention—it’s the words he’s added to the bottom that excite me the most.
‘Same time tomorrow? I’d like to get to know you better. I hope you feel the same way.’
Pulling up my company profile, I copy and paste the link into my reply before typing only one word.
I put my phone back down on the bed and curl up in the sheets, a big smile on my face. I’ve just discovered phone dating, had an amazing orgasm, and maybe met the man of my dreams—all from the confines of the four white walls of my six-floor studio apartment on the fortieth day of lockdown.
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