I’m not exactly sure how old I was, around 8 or 9 years old, and one day the phone rang. Okay, so our phone rang every day, probably, but this day was different. This day, the phone was for me. Dad answered the phone, and asked who was calling.
Dad called me over. “The phone’s for you, it’s *Todd.” [*All names have been changed to protect their identities.] Todd and I had known each other since we were 2 and 3 [he was 2, I was 3, in case you were wondering], since our older sisters were in kindergarten. He and his sister had moved [with their mom] far away a few years previous, so we didn’t get to see them as much as we’d like.
I went to the phone excitedly [which is saying something, because I’ve always hated talking on the phone]. Todd sounded … different. “Are you okay?” I asked. “You sound like you have a cold.” “No,” he answered. “I’m fine.” He really wasn’t talking much, like he would have normally. Sister wanted to talk to Tessa, his sister, so I asked if she was there. “Who? Tessa doesn’t live here.”
“Quit joking around, Todd. Sister wants to talk to Tessa, your sister.”
“My sister’s name is Jennifer.”
“What’s your last name?” I asked.
He told me.
Oh. It suddenly clicked: one of my school friends, Jennifer, had a little brother named Todd. This was all just a case of a boy who found a phone number without really knowing who it belonged to, and called it to see what happened, and on my end a case of mistaken identity.
Now I ask people for their last names if I’m not exactly sure who they are. Caller ID helps, too.