Sitting on the floor of the bathroom, Avila\’s heart pounded as she opened the box. Her conversations with Gabriele had gotten a little personal lately. She didn\’t know how it lead to a little cautious flirting, but she did joke about her non-existent sex life.
It was an eye pillow. Something she could pop into the microwave to warm up and place on the eyes before she slept. It even gave off a delicate lavender smell.
Avila clutched it to her chest in both relief and happiness. While she was thrilled with all these thoughtful gestures from Gabriele, she knew deep inside her heart that she was just a job to him. It made her reflect on what she was missing in her life. It would be hard to get her husband to pay as much attention to her as Gabriele, but she would need to have a talk with him about her needs.
The trial month was coming to an end soon and Gabriele was probably trying hard to retain her as a customer. She felt bad that he had been showering her with all the thoughtful gifts and getting nothing in return. However, the subscription fees were rather hefty. She signed up only for the trial month and had no intention to continue from the start.
The guilt weighed heavily on her as she sent a message to thank Gabriele for his gift. She hardened her heart and told him to stop sending her stuff, especially when she didn\’t intend to continue with the subscription. Then she braced herself for his reply.
As expected, he didn\’t take \’no\’ for an answer. He persuaded her, tried to offer her extra perks and all, sending her messages after messages. She was just glad that there was no call function on the app. It was easier to turn him down via messages. She put her phone on silent and went to get her children to bed. After settling them, she checked her phone again.
She thought about reading them, but that would just make it harder for her to quit the app. Anyway, she had already thanked Gabriele earlier on for his services and promised to write him a glowing review. With resolve, she uninstalled the app.
Avila heated up the eye pillow and was about to go to bed when her phone rang. She jumped and scrambled to check the caller\’s ID. It was a local number, but one she didn\’t recognize. She didn\’t want to pick it up in case it was Gabriele, so she rejected the call.
However, the caller was relentless. The phone kept ringing and ringing until she had to switch it off.
\”Who\’s that?\” her husband asked.
\”I don\’t know. Never seen the number before. Could be those scam callers,\” she lied.
\”Wow, the scam callers are getting really persistent.\” He shook his head and went back to reading on his kindle.
Avila thought about getting her husband to answer the phone and telling the caller it\’s the wrong number, but she was worried Gabriele might talk to him instead. Even though she was adamant it\’s not considered cheating, she didn\’t feel like explaining the entire thing to him.
\”Actually, what if those are emergency calls?\” her husband asked suddenly. \”I don\’t think scam callers are so persistent. You can always answer first, then hang up if it\’s a scam call.\”
He\’s got a point, but she couldn\’t bring herself to hang up on Gabriele and she didn\’t want to have this conversation in front of her husband.
\”Nah. It can\’t be that urgent. My family members have your number. If it\’s really an emergency, they can call you. I\’m tired. Had a long day. Don\’t feel like dealing with this now,\” she dismissed him. She plonked the eye pillow on her face and tried to fall asleep.