For a while now, I’ve been receiving midnight calls from a stranger. The calls come from a withheld number, so I always pick up in case it’s a family emergency; my mother has a withheld number, too. The first call, at 1am on a Sunday night, told me everything I need to know about this nutter:
“No, it’s not Maia. You have the wrong number.”
“Maia, remember me? Mark. We met at the club last night.”
“I’m not Maia. You have the wrong number and it’s really late so please don’t call again.”
I hung up. This Maia person must have decided the best way to get out of this chap calling her again was to give him the wrong number. MY number. Great.
At 2am the phone went again. Monsieur grunted his disapproval.
“It’s Mark again. Look, Maia…”
“I told you, it’s NOT Maia.”
“Well, you must know Maia, then. Could you get her to call me?”
“I don’t know anyone called Maia. It’s 2am. Don’t call me again.”
I turned my phone off. Thanks, Maia, whoever you are, for giving some weirdo my number.
The following weekend, I was fast asleep when my mobile went off.
“Hi Maia! Happy birthday!”
For crying out loud! It was 3am this time. The only guys who call a girl at 3am are drunks who didn’t get lucky so they’ve moved onto their D-list. Enough was enough.
“Look, if you don’t stop calling me, I’ll change my number. How many times do I have to tell you, I’m NOT MAIA and it’s certainly NOT my birthday!”
I hung up.
The following day at work, my mobile rang. I picked it up.
“Hi, it’s Mark. Remember me?”
“No, should I?”
“I called you late last night.”
“Oh, it’s YOU. Look,” (I was taking no prisoners this time) ” I am not Maia. I don’t know any Maia. I do not appreciate you calling me at obscene hours when I’m trying to sleep like normal people and all I can tell you is that this Maia person obviously didn’t ever want to hear from you again or she wouldn’t have given you a made-up number, which just happens to belong to me.” My colleagues were now staring.
“Oh. Well anyway, what’s your name?” He’d turned on a sugary voice and this was getting sick.
“I’m not telling you my name. I don’t know who you are and if you keep calling this number I’ll tell my company to cancel it and give me a new one. If you call again, I will hang up immediately. Now get lost!”
“Don’t be like that. What’s your name, sweetie?”
“DON’T call me sweetie and don’t ever call me again!” I slammed the phone down and switched it off.
I then had a few weeks of peace and had forgotten about my ‘friend’, Mark, until Wednesday night when I had a missed call at midnight from a withheld number. The same thing happened the following night. Luckily, I was asleep with my phone on mute, but all I can think is that Mark the Axe Murderer was trying again. Perhaps he’s one of those guys who calls the chatline numbers advertised on late-night TV and thinks nothing of getting phone-intimate with a faceless chick. For all he knows, I’m a Lady Boy whose voice never broke.
At work, I moaned to French Colleague about my phone stalker.
“Hey, that’s happened to me!” she yelped, “I had a call one Sunday night from a guy who said he’d met me in Piccadilly Circus a couple of nights before. The weird thing is, I’d been to the place he mentioned so I was really confused. Did I give my number out and not remember? I’m sure I didn’t but then I began to have my doubts… anyway, all we could think was that the girl who gave him my number made it up so she wouldn’t have to keep in touch!”
Luckily for French Colleague, she had had someone who sounded reasonable on the end of her call. I have Mark the Axe Murderer.
I just want to say thanks to all the girls out there who give wrong numbers to the guys they never want to see again. French Colleague and I are incredibly grateful because our lives are so empty that we relish having our beauty sleep interrupted by strange men who want to talk (and do God only knows what else!).
It certainly looks like I’ll have to change my number. Again. Still, anything’s preferable to being woken at 3am by a stranger who calls me ‘sweetie’. Ick.