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Heavy Breathing

July 27, 2020

My sister loves playing tricks on people. When we were growing up, her victims were most often her siblings and since we shared a bedroom, I was her favourite one. Even today, if Jocelyn says, ‘Look at that!’ I place my hand over my cup of tea before turning my head. When she was about 12, she made a phone call to the girl next door. Obscene phone calls were all the rage at the time and Jocelyn naturally wanted a piece of the action.

Holding a handkerchief over the mouthpiece, she breathed heavily, in and out in an urgent, raspy way before hanging up. She was still laughing about it when the phone rang. It was the girl next door. She’d just received an obscene phone call. Really? Jocelyn expressed concern. What did he say? The girl next door began to tell my sister all the terrible things the man had said. Filthy things. Utterly horrible things. A right dirty old bastard.

My sister, in an unusual display of generosity, never let on that she’d been the heavy breather. The girl next door never knew she’d been had. Everyone else did though. I mean everyone.

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