The first time the phone rang Rylee sent the caller to voicemail. She didn’t recognize the number and she figured that if it was someone she knew, someone important, they would leave a message. But they didn’t leave a message. They just called back again.
She let the phone ring the second time. Maybe, after hearing the phone ring just twice, the caller had a feeling Rylee purposefully sent them to voicemail. So, she allowed her cell phone to ring and send the caller to voicemail on its own.
About an hour had passed before the person tried calling again. Rylee picked up her phone to look at the number. She was on the computer when they called that time, so she typed the phone number into a search engine. Another state had popped up. Rylee had various family members living all over the world, but no one she knew in that area.
She put her phone down on her bed once again and let it continue to ring.
That was all the phone calls she got from that day.
The following day, she got four calls from that person. The day after that, she got four more calls. They were always at the same time, too. Rylee considered picking it up just to tell the person they had the wrong number. But still, why weren’t they leaving her a message if it was something so important?
She had considered blocking the number, but knew that would add a few more dollars onto her phone bill. She’d have to inquire about that soon, but since it was Sunday, they weren’t open.
Rylee’s friend, Ned, came to her house to study for a big test when he finally got annoyed with the constant ringing. He took her phone and before Rylee could voice any protest, Ned had answered the call.
“Hello?” he said deepening his voice. Rylee rolled her eyes.
“Oh,” Ned said in her normal tone. He looked at Rylee. “Yes, this is Rylee’s phone. Can I ask who’s calling?”
Rylee narrowed her eyes. She didn’t know whether she should be angry at Ned for telling a stranger that this was indeed her phone or if she should be concerned a stranger was looking for her.
“Sure, one moment, please.” Ned took the phone away from his ear and covered the mouthpiece with his hand. He held it out to Rylee. “It’s your brother.”
Rylee’s eyes grew wide. “Ned, I don’t have a brother. You know that. Hang up. Hang up right now.” A sudden wave of dizziness hit her as nerves began to take over. How did a stranger get her name and number and why were they pretending to be her family?
Ned sighed. “Well, according to the Richardson Adoption Agency you do have a brother. And he’s been looking for his biological family for a long time.”
Rylee shook her head.
Ned hesitated, but finally brought the phone back up to his ear. “Can I have your phone number, please? Rylee is busy at the moment.”
Rylee glared at Ned. There was no way she was going to call this stranger back.
“Thanks,” Ned wrote down the number in his math notebook. He hung up the phone, ripped out the paper, and handed it to Rylee. “Didn’t you have a twin?”
“Ned, I told you my twin was a miscarriage. I was lucky to make it out of the womb alive.” Rylee explained. She took the paper, but folded it and put it on her bed. She was planning on throwing it away after Ned left.
“But your mom always donates to that adoption place, doesn’t she?” Ned asked.
Rylee remained silent.
“I’m just saying,” Ned shrugged, “it happens. And this is a little too coincidental.”
Before Rylee could counter with anything, she heard a car door. She stood up from the floor and looked out her bedroom window. Her mother had just gotten home. She was carrying a bundle of groceries as was her stepfather.
“Ned,” Rylee said still watching her parents, “I’ll see you in school tomorrow. I think I have to talk to my mom.”
Ned gathered his things and stood up. “Call me later. And tell your mom I’m looking forward to making a new friend.”
Ned left the room first. Rylee could hear him saying hello and goodbye to her parents as they passed each other. She waited a few more minutes before going downstairs to confront them. She wasn’t exactly sure what she was going to say, but… She just knew she had to say something.
When Rylee finally went downstairs, she found her parents in the kitchen putting away the groceries. They greeted her as they noticed her walk in and she greeted them back unenthusiastically.
“Is something wrong, honey?” her mother asked.
Rylee folded her hands together in front of her. “Um, Mom? Do I have a long lost twin brother out there?”
Both her parents froze. They glanced at each other before Rylee’s mom looked back at her again.
“What gave you a silly idea like that?” she tried to laugh it off.
“He called.” Rylee said bluntly. “He got our information from the Richardson Adoption Agency, where you always donate to.”
Her mother pressed her lips together. Her stepfather put a hand on her mother’s shoulder.
“I guess he’s trying to find his biological family.” Rylee said.
Her mother sighed. She pointed to the kitchen table. “Let’s sit down and have a family meeting. I guess it’s time you knew.”