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Who was on the Phone?

About 9 years ago, I was working in home care.  One weekend evening, I had to see a patient in a not-so-great part of town.  It was wintertime, so it was dark outside already.  The visit with the patient was uneventful, and I was in my car ready to leave.  I remembered that I hadn’t called my young son’s babysitter, Irene, about the upcoming week’s schedule.  I called her and left a voicemail, placing the cell phone on the passenger seat next to me.  I went to my son’s dad’s house to get him, and drove home.

Irene called me later and asked, “Who answered your phone?”  I asked what she meant, and she said she called me and a man answered; she teasingly asked me if I was dating someone (I wasn’t!).  She knew she had the right number because she used the call-back feature.  When the man answered the phone, Irene hesitatingly asked if I was there.  This man told her that I was, but that “She can’t come to the phone right now.”  Irene asked him if this was indeed my number, and recited it.  He  told her in a warm, pleasant voice that it was the correct number, but again, that I couldn’t come to the phone.  Irene said goodbye, and hung up, confused.

There had been no one in the car with me.  The phone was on the seat, and it had not rung.  I’ve always wondered, Who intercepted that call on my phone?  And why?  Would I have been in danger if I’d been distracted by talking on the phone?  I do smile whenever I think of that night, and I thank whoever it was for looking out for me.

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