By Steve Siciliano
It was two in the morning when I first heard Samantha Lowe’s voice. I had just gotten home, had just gone to bed, and had just fallen asleep when the phone rang. While I listened to the ringing I thought about another woman -- the sad, red-haired woman I had met that night at Beason’s. I thought about the wisp of hair that kept dropping down her forehead. I thought about the woman's eyes -- those emerald-green, shining pools of sadness. I thought about her full, down-turning lips and how her diamond earrings sparkled in the dim light coming from the bar. She had smiled a little when she slipped my card under the cellophane of her cigarette pack: I thought about that too, and I hoped it was her, the redhead, on the other end of the line. When I answered the phone I was disappointed to find it wasn't.
“This is Winston,” I said.
“Is this Harry Wilson?”
You may think I'm nuts but I can tell a lot about a woman from her voice. It’s a survival skill I've learned. Some survival skills have to be learned; others are just common sense. Sitting with your back to the wall is common sense. It’s common sense to be aware of someone walking behind you and watching someone’s hands when he’s walking toward you. But you have to learn how to read a woman’s voice. It’s a skill you develop. When you’re in my business knowing how to do things like that keep you alive. “Is this Harry Wilson?’” Let me tell you what I read in Samantha Lowe’s voice -- I knew that she was an angel, and a demon. That she could be the promise of heaven, or the threat of hell. That she could be kind, or she could be ruthless. Samantha Lowe’s voice told me that she was a woman who was capable of killing.
“It’s Winston,” I said. “Harry Winston.”
“Oh. I’m looking for Harry Wilson. You’re not Harry Wilson?”
I was disappointed that the voice wasn’t the redhead’s. There were no complications in the redhead’s voice. There was sadness but no complications.
“It’s Harry Winston,” I said again.