In year 8, I managed to get the number of a girl I had a little crush on. This wasn't any girl, of course; this was the girl who had, apparently, had a crush on me in year 7 - and I considered myself, at 11, too young to be involved in any romantic entanglements. By the time I was 13, I had been developing interests in people, and before The Zebra Project happened I found myself looking at the very same girl. The one who I'd turned down.
Great move, ILB. Very well done.
It was in the middle of an Art class when I noticed that the girl sitting opposite me had her homework diary open with a list of numbers for people right there - and there in plain sight was my little crush's number. I stared for a while, trying to decipher the digits - the girl opposite me didn't have the clearest handwriting, and besides, she'd been writing with a 2B pencil - and, eventually, quickly jotting down what the number could have been on the back of my left hand. Loath to look particularly conspicuous for any reason, I quickly picked up my sketching pencils and resumed my work.
I was nervous by the time I got home. I felt like I'd done something hideously illegal, when all I'd done in reality was write down seven digits which may or may not have been the home number of my little crush. Clearly a home number, I reasoned, mostly on account of the fact that there were seven digits. My mind is amazing.
I transferred the numbers to a piece of paper, and then wondered for a while what to do with them. Evidently I wasn't going to call up and ask to speak to my little crush - that would've been idiotic. What I needed to do was ascertain that she actually lived there, so that I had a number... although what to do with it, I had no idea. Stare at it crying, probably. I decided that I'd call it, hide my number, and wait for a response. If she answered, I'd hang up the 'phone. If anyone else answered, I'd ask if she was there, and then hang up the phone. Foolproof... right?
I tapped 141 into the keypad, followed by what I'd written down. The first two times I dialled the number, I got an unavailable tone, so I switched the numbers around a bit - a 5 may have looked like a 6, for example - and tried again. On the third try, the 'phone started ringing. I crossed my fingers... maybe, this time, it would work.
"EEEEEEH?" shouted a loud, gruff, male voice with a foreign accent suddenly, making me jump about ten feet in the air. This wasn't what I'd been expecting. A parent, perhaps, but not this... not all of a sudden! And with that, the reality of what I was trying to do hit me with the force of something that hits with a lot of force.
"I'm sorry, I think I have the wrong..." I stammered.
I stood there for a while, reflecting upon what to do. And, after careful consideration, I decided not to worry about it. Nothing lost, nothing gained.
Although as I walked to the bathroom to wash the back of my hand, I felt a little more nervous than I had before.