Gillian picked up the phone wondering who on earth could be calling her at this time of night.
“Hello. Mrs. Peterson? Mrs. Gillian Peterson?”
Before Gillian could answer the voice continued.
“So sorry to be calling you so late but it’s been a rather hectic day. I’m afraid this is the first chance I’ve had. If I could just check a few details with you, make sure I’ve got the right person? It won’t take long.”
Gillian was tempted to simply put the phone down. She seemed to be getting more and more of these cold calls recently. Such a nuisance.
“I’m not interested,” she said, “Whatever it is your selling, I don’t need one. Goodbye.”
“Please Mrs. Peterson, don’t hang up. I promise I’m not selling anything and I do need a quick chat with you.”
Gillian sighed. It was always the same old patter. She supposed they must all have a script they have to follow. At least this one seemed a little more gentlemanly, not like some of those youngsters who phoned. A part of her felt sorry for him. It can’t be a very fulfilling job trying to speak to people who didn’t want to talk to you.
This moments hesitation had been all that the caller had needed.
“Thank you Mrs. Peterson. I promise I won’t keep you long. If I can just confirm that you are Mrs. Gillian Peterson of 22 Percival Gardens and that you were born in Manchester on Monday 29th October 1931 at 3.34 in the morning and that you are a widow?”
Gillian was shocked. Who was this person?
“Who are you?” She whispered, “How do you know these things? What do you want?”
“I’ll take that as a yes shall I Mrs. Peterson? Wonderful! This is just a courtesy call. My name is Peter, Saint Peter, from Pearly Gates Bookings and Accommodation and I just wanted to confirm that your place with us is now ready and my staff and I are looking forward to your arrival, which, according to my records, should be in about ten minutes. Speak to you soon Mrs. Peterson.”
Before Gillian could say another word the phone slipped from her hand and she fell to the floor, clutching her chest.