The voicemail message was not encouraging. There was no real news, but this was one of those situations where no news wasn't necessarily a good thing.
Something bad was happening. Something terrible was potentially happening - may have already happened during the time between when the message was left and when I finally noticed my blinking phone.
Before I returned the call, I took a few minutes to start preparing for the worst. Planning my reaction. Rehearsing my lines. The show must go on and all that crap.
It was, as it turned out, a false alarm. As false as it could have been I suppose. I felt myself exhale, finally, mercifully.
I would not have to feign humanity tonight.