I can’t say the phone call surprised me. I half expected I would get it one day, but even with that trepidation, it still unnerved me.
It started out like any other afternoon telemarketing interruption. I wonder if I could have ended the encounter before it started by simply letting that initial call go straight to voice mail. I go weeks without checking my messages, it could have easily been among the casualties of a bulk ‘delete all.” Instead, I answered. The area code was familiar, I assumed it was someone I knew.
When she asked for me, she butchered my first name. One of the perks of having an odd name is strangers always mispronounce it. Keeping with the telemarketer assumption, I was about to hang up when she said those four fateful words, “I am your sister.”
Good ol’ dad, you horn-dog. Your lecherous ways are haunting me still.
I couldn’t even stammer an answer. I would rather have stabbed myself in the eye with the fork in that road than pick the wrong path. I should have listened to the Jiminy Cricket voice in my head, the one that sounds remarkably like my husband, that kept saying… nay… screaming, “Disengage! Disengage!”
“You must have the wrong number,” as if a noncommittal response would’ve worked.
For the next 15 minutes, without taking a breath, my caller went through her ‘begats,” listing off facts, dates and historical characters in a wholly believable tale that was Lifetime Movie worthy.
When she finally paused, I jumped in with a single question that could settle the matter.
“When were you born?”
My chance at having a baby sister was dashed when she gave a date some 12 years after my birth.
“My father had a vasectomy when I was 10, two years before you were born,” I said.
The click on the other end of my phone was deafening.