"It's okay. I've been waiting for the phone to ring all night. Don't hang up. Talk to me."

He could have hung up the phone then, but he paused.

"I care about what you have to say. I know why you were making this phone call and I want you to know that I need to hear the words you have to say."

Her soothing words did not help him feel any more comfortable about what he was doing. This wasn't right. He couldn't express his emotions this way.

"I won't judge you on anything you say. I'll listen. I've been prepared for weeks."

He couldn't break up with this woman. Even though he had prepared his thoughts and worked up the resolve for days now, it just wasn't working. Trying to speak the words now would only ring hollow.

"Speak to me. Say it. We both need this. Please. I've been expecting this for so long and I just can't stand it any longer."

His head fell into his hands and gently rocked back and forth. The phone was still pressed hard against his ear, being gently crushed by the pressure exerted by the palm of his right hand. He couldn't bear to do it.

"I don't care if you called the wrong number. Tell me what you would have said if you called the right number. We both need the closure."

He said nothing and hung up the phone. Then he realized he would never have the opportunity to call her again.

Maybe she had caller ID.

I'm home alone. I put on an away message telling people to call me, I was tired of staring at the computer screen and waiting for somebody to come online. The phone rings... could it be, somebody cares? I soon find out that while somebody cares, it's not destined to be for me, as I find myself talking to a teenaged girl who I don't know...


"Uh...hi...is Brenda there?"

"No, but this is Brendan, you can talk to me if you want."


"What? Uh...no. I want to talk to Brenda, can I?"

"I told you, no. She can't talk right now. But talk to me?"

"....Why can't Brenda talk? She isn't really there, is she? I mean, are you telling the truth?"

"I had to kill her. She's buried in the back yard. Now talk to me, dammit. How are you?"

Laughter. What a quick one, finally figuring out it's really a wrong number. Only took a minute or two.

"I think you're lying."

"You're right. I was lying the whole time. Brenda really is here. Bye."

Why couldn't somebody interesting get the wrong number and call me? Or... why couldn't somebody have the right number and been meaning to call me? Hmmm... maybe they lost my number... better go change that away message.
Lately I developed a sick habit of pretending to be the person people are looking for when they dialed the wrong number.

I've discovered it's a lot of fun. You get to anonymously talk with strangers, fooling them without getting caught.

To show you some examples, I've written down some sessions I had.

phone rings...

Me: "Good evening"
She: "Hello, is Jack at home?"
Me: "It's me"
She: "Oh, I didn't recognize your voice. Are you OK?"
Me: "I am a bit sick."
She: "You seemed alright when you left work today"
Me: "I didn't want to show it, you know, we are kinda busy these days."
She: "Right. I want to inform you that they have pressed charge against the shop lifters you have caught last week"
Me: "Really? That's fantastic. Say, what do you like the most about me?"
She: "Huh? Hmmm... I am quite suprised with this question. I wanted to talk with you about something... well..."
Me: "Yeah?"
She: "Would you like to go out sometimes?"
Me: "Sure"
She: "Oh! Terrific"
Me: "But not with you."
10 seconds of silence...
She: "Ah... that's cruel. Why?"
Me: "See, I am not Jack."
She: "You... what?!"
Me: "I'm Dan, you have dialed the wrong number, I played a trick on you."
She: "You...YOU BASTARD!!!"

hangs up...

phone rings...

Me: "Hello"
He: "Hello, can I get John please?"
Me: "That's me."
He: "Hi, John, I'm calling from the bank. I want to tell you about our new services-"
Me: "I want them all"
He: "Alright, thank-... REALLY??"
Me: "Yes. What do you have to offer?"
(the guy talks about 20 minutes, boring my ass off)
Me: "OK. I am not interested."
He: "But, but.. you've said..."
Me: "I am not John."
(10 seconds of silence)
He: "What is this?!"
Me: "Wrong number."
He: "You have to be joking!!!"
Me: "Joke indeed. This was so fun, I am the nightmare of all wrong number dialers."
He: "I can't believe this! I... I... GO TO HELL!"

hangs up...

It gets even more amusing if someone by mistake advertises his new phone number with an error. Suddenly you got a swarm of these dialers, and each one you can separately try to fool using a different style.

Call from 908-285-xxxx

My cell phone does not have a caller ID that you have to pay for.  If a person with a number not in my contacts calls me, only the number is displayed, so it's a mystery who is on the other side of the phone connection.  At the time, I was sitting with my no-longer-in-touch-with girlfriend in a coffeeshop, over a slice of pecan pie and tea.  My phone rings, and I see a 908 area code, which means someone from New Jersey

I pick up the phone and ask in my best neutral voice, "Hello?".

The girl on the other side says, in quite a suggestive way, "Hey, what's up?".  Now I am utterly confused.  This is someone who thinks she knows who she is talking to, and I have no idea who I am talking to and she sounds very interested.  I might have taken advantage of this if that person I am no longer in touch with was not so physically satisfying.

Alas, I intend to make the situation a little bit better by making it slightly less awkward, and reply, "Nothing", then a pause, "Who is this?".

In a perfect world, the girl would say her name, and we would both go on our merry ways, living our lives.  However, we do not live in such a world, exemplified by her disconcerting and 'are you shitting me' response, "What?", as if I insulted her without really knowing her.

"I think you dialed the wrong number", I reply, in an attempt to lend some knowledge to the situation so that at least one of us can make an informed decision

Instead she demands, "Who is this?".  Finally, she may know that who she is talking to is not who she wants to talk to.

I intend to take the higher road and answer her question directly, "This is Rob censored".  I ask my question again, "Who are you?", hoping to know if I am indeed talking to someone I know and forgetting something important.

She responds, "I'm sorry", sounding genuinely apologetic.  We exchange our conversation closing words, and I hang up the phone, knowing that I will never hear from this person again.

Call ended

Second call from 908-285-xxxx, only a few minutes later

Well butter my dick, here is the same number and probably the same person.  I try to be helpful and say, "You have the wrong number again", instead of a greeting, in hopes that the person she got the number from wrote something down incorrectly, or she typed in the wrong number twice.  I've done the latter before, and it really is embarassing hearing "Hello" over and over and introducing oneself, hoping the number was typed correctly.

Instead, I get my head royally ripped off, "Fuck you!  You know you're such an asshole!".  I was not expecting that.  I think of a biting reply, "I'm an asshole and you are lacking a brain", but I bite my tongue, now on a mission to not be an asshole.  I shake off her accusation and ask for her name again, now determined to figure out who this girl is.

She says in that biting-your-head-off voice again, "I'm not telling you, who are you?", and I facepalm.  Now neither of us are going to figure out what is going on, and she will feel betrayed.  Everyone loses, good job, girl who I may or may not know.  Faithful to my mission, I tell her my name again, only to hear:

* Click *

I never got a call from this number again. I still don't know who made this call, or even if I know her.

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