A few years ago I found myself sitting in a college library, waiting for my last class of the day to commence with my friend Asiyah. On that Monday afternoon, a simple phone call encompassed the frailty of a child dialing the wrong number.
When my cell phone rang that day, I noticed the number wasn’t one I recognized. I decided to answer the call anyway. On the other end was a little child trying to get a hold of his mother, yet had called me instead. I hastily informed him of the mistake. The little boy thanked me before hanging up to try again.
No less than thirty seconds, my phone rang again. Realizing that the child had mistakenly called me again, Asiyah suggested she take the call. Asiyah told the poor, confused kid that he needed to double-check the number he was dialing so he could hear his mother instead of us.
Another half a minute passed when I heard the familiar sound of my phone ringing. Unbelievably, it was the kid again. I took the call to tell the sad, wrong-number-dialing child my number so he could figure out what numbers he was getting confused on. Then, in one of the most heart-wrenching things I’ve ever heard from a little kid over the phone, the child woefully sighed, “I keep dialing the wrong number.”
The typed word doesn’t due justice to the sadness that this kid was unleashing on me with his sighs of frustration. If I ever wanted to find out where this kid was to help him dial the phone, it was now. But I hung up instead. The child had one more chance to mess up, and did.
Once again, Asiyah was there to tell the boy, “Dial the right number,” after inquiring on the status of the child.
Thankfully, it wasn’t an emergency – he just needed to talk to his mom. Thankfully Asiyah’s words finally stuck, ending this sad saga of “Boy Meets Phone Number.” If this was a prank, I have to say it was the saddest prank ever. That sigh still rings out every time I think of that day.