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A Phone Call …

The setting ; A dim  – lit office in the wee hours of Sunday morning .

A slim gaunt – faced man is sitting behind an oak desk. The moon ‘ s light enters from a window directly behind him .Long thin shadows are rolled across the surface of the desk and into the darkened corners of the man ‘ s lavishly decorated room.

As the clock ticks – the figure sits still. His eyes focused on the iPhone 4 that rests in the palm of his right hand . His skeletal fingers reach out – tentatively they discover the contact list . Beginning with the letter A , slowly the man scrolls down. Stopping at the letter H .

” It is now or never ” . The man thinks – his head spinning with a mixture of pride and remorse.

His delicate fingers push the green symbol of a telephone. The familiar tone of a ringing sound commences . The man leans back into his chair and he waits for someone to answer. On the fourth ring – the intended receiver responds.

” Hello ? ” The voice answers with a hint of annoyance.

The man hesitates as if he was asking the object of his affections on a first date.

” Hello … ? ” The voice repeats. The annoyance much more pronounced.

” Um …yes …um … hello ! Is this Jaroslav … ? ” It is done. There is no turning back now .

” Yes – this is Jaroslav Halak. Who is speaking please ? ” The voice is not happy.

” Jaroslav … this is Pierre Gauthier. The GM from the Montreal Canadiens . How are you ? ”

Momentarily – Gauthier thinks Halak has hung up on him as there is deafening silence for almost three uncomfortable minutes. Finally – just before the Habs ‘ G.M gives up , Halak’s voice comes to life …

” Yes Mr. Gauthier – what can I do for you ? ”

” How’s St Louis Jaro ? May I call you Jaro ….? I hear thy have a wonderful arch in that city and the blues are everywhere … Do you enjoy blues Jaro ….? ” The tone in Gauthier ‘s voice resonates with awkwardness.

” Yes – the arch is very nice. I’ m not much of a blues guy – I prefer classical … you know – Mozart , Bethoven … that sort of thing. Oh and please call me MR . HALAK – I prefer that. Thank you. ”

Gauthier leans forward in his chair. He realizes with Halak ‘s tone – the puck is no longer in his corner.

” Oh … okay …sure Mr. Halak … that ‘s not a problem … ” Gauthier laughs nervously. He never should have picked up the phone.

” How are things with you Mr. Gauthier ? I received a call the other day from Roman Hamrlik. He loves it in Washington ! He says he has never felt so free … ! Oh and Sergei Kostitsyn sent me a text message … Guess what ? Him and Mikhail Grabovski are great buddies now … imagine that ! I gotta tell ya Pierre – may I call you Pierre – I never would of seen that coming …. ha, ha …”

” Yes … er … that is pretty funny Mr. Halak and please – call me Mr. Gauthier if you do not mind … “.

” Sure thing Pierre ! Not a problem … Hey – I also hear that Lars Eller is not exactly lighting the league on fire . What about that other guy – Ian Schultz … how is he doing ? ”

” Um .. well … Mr. Eller will be fine. He is just a kid after all. Schultz too will be fine … ” . Gauthier ‘s tone leaves doubt .

” Sure – whatever you say Pierre … ! ” Halak struggles to keep his laughter to himself. ” Say … Pierre ? ”

” Yes Jaro …um … I mean MR. Halak …? ”

” How ‘s Carey doin ? I was speaking to Alex Auld the other day and Alex told me that Carey called him. ”

” Oh … and what did he say ? ” Suddenly Gauthier ‘s interest is piqued.

” Not much … he told Alex that he misses him and that this Budaj fellow is annoying … aside from that , not much else … ”

” Oh … I see … ”  Gauthier responds . His tone trailing off as if he was falling into a canyon.

” Pierre ? ”

“Yes Jarosl …I mean Mr. Halak … ?”

” What was the reason for your call ? ”

” Never mind … Mr. Halak . Never mind … “

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