He'd had to go somewhere where he couldn't be heard.
Robert's hands were muddled as he scrolled through his contacts. Nothing was making sense- and there was one person he needed now more than ever.
It was ringing.
Betty was having a bath. Usually, on Saturdays, she'd go out for coffee and the weekly shop whilst he went to the gym. It was a cosy set-up that had meant he didn't have to see her face too much at all- but today, she'd said she was feeling "Ill", and could he do it instead?
He swore under his breath as a stray hanger stabbed him in the ribs.
He didn't know what she was, or if he was going insane. But what he did know, is that if his suspicions were correct, he had so much more to fear now than just her divorcing him and taking his money.
The ringing was replaced by a voice.
"Robert? What the fuck, why are you calling me at 7am?"
He breathed a sigh of relief.
"Pete?," he whispered. "Oh, god is it good to hear your voice."
"Well la-tee-fucking-dah. It's shit to hear your voice, you prick. It's 7. AM."
Charming, as always. Perhaps the relief wasn't deserved.
"I figured you'd still be awake from the night before and I needed to catch you before you fell asleep."
"I was on the brink of a blissful nap before you called," the voice on the other side snarled. He spoke in the slur that only a mix of sleep-deprivation and alcohol can produce. "Whatever it is, can it wait? I'll...be-"
"No! No!" Robert jumped in panic, knocking his head on the ceiling as he did.
"Fine. Get to the point, then."
"We need to speak. In person."
"Are you being fucking serious? Can I sleep first?"
"No. Now, as soon as you can."
"And you expect me to drive to yours? At the moment, that's pretty fucking illegal with my current blood alcohol-"
Robert fringed on being too loud to be surreptitious, but he had to make a point.
"Pete, I once picked you up from your ex's in the middle of nowhere in Scotland, at 3am, the day before I got married."
The speaker on the other side grumbled.
"You owe me. Seriously. I need you."
There was a moment of silence, and the noise of ruffling sheets from the other side.
"I'll be there in an hour. Fuck. You."
The phone beeped as he hung up.
"Darling, are you talking to someone?," his wife's voice echoed from the En Suite.
As quietly as he could, he pushed open the wardrobe doors and shuffled out into the open.
"No one, dear. I'll go get the shopping in an hour."