In a fucked-up way, this was the closest I'd had to a real girlfriend in years.
It was weird that she was always whispering, though. Ultimately, this is what I told myself: Phone sex was really about the power of the imagination, and in that case I could imagine her to be whomever I wanted.
A couple of times, I told Nicole it was over unless she talked out loud so I could be sure she was a girl. It wasn't hard to imagine her as Fiona Apple's double. My phone had a special ring for Private Caller, and since Nicole was the only one who rang like that, I could tell when she was calling. I dropped the funny guises and just talked to her genuinely.
For the most part, I stopped answering Nicole's calls.
I was busy, and I was dating real girls—real in that they were in the flesh in front of me, and real in that they were unquestionably biological girls.
She said her boyfriend was studying just outside her bedroom door. "Just talk out loud for a second so I can hear your real voice." She refused.