I hate talking on the phone.
All those awkward pauses, not knowing how to end it… And the risk of talking to someone for over an hour?! It’s terrifying! So I keep my phone perpetually on silent, and figure if it’s important, they’ll text or leave a voicemail.
So on Sunday evening, while I was doing the dishes, my phone was silent on the couch. When I picked it up later, to check the time, I found that I had a missed call at 7:24 pm. But what I saw next made my heart start to race.
The missed call was from my own number – (352)-xxx-xxxx.
Is that even possible? I thought.
I did a quick Google search. “Some scammers can impersonate your phone number, to make you more likely to pick up the phone,” the webpage read. “To prevent it, go to…” Ugh. I closed my laptop, tossed the phone on the bed, and took a shower.
When I got out, I checked my phone.
There was another missed call from my number –
And a voicemail.
Probably just a message from the scammer, I thought. Are you satisfied with your internet? Do you need a new dishwasher? I dialed in to voicemail, and listened closely.
The first thing I heard was a dull thump, echoing through the earpiece.
Then, the next 25 seconds were static – a low hum. And I could hear some sort of clicking in the background – faint, barely audible. Click, click, click.
At 25 seconds in, I heard a distinct rustling sound – and then the static started to fade. It didn’t disappear, but it faded slowly into a soft hum.
At 27 seconds – intermittent blips of voice, cut with static. I couldn’t make out any words, but it sounded female. And the tone sounded relatively normal – I don’t think she was screaming or crying, but I’m not sure.
And then – at 35 seconds –
This word was clear. It was shouted, loudly and firmly, over the static. I couldn’t tell if it was angry or afraid – with such a short clip, it was hard to tell.
But I did know one thing, without doubt.
It was my voice.
The voicemail ended there. I dropped the phone, and just lay there on the bed, trying to make sense of it all. Probably just a weird glitch, I thought, draping an arm over my face. And was it even really my voice? I mean, hundreds of men must sound like me, right? –
The phone flashed.
I grabbed it. The phone slipped in my sweaty fingers as I tapped away, brought it up –
The text was from my number.
And it was only four words, all in caps:
DON’T OPEN THE DOOR
Well that’s ridiculous, I thought. What does that even mean? Of course I have to open the door sometime! Tomorrow is a workday, and –
The air-conditioning kicked in. A low hum filled the room.
Click, click, click.
High-heeled footsteps, out in the hall.
And then –
A sharp knock, at my door.