Disclaimer: I own nothing.
Summary: In life, love, and liberty, there's only one step to getting past problems: admitting them. And Caitlyn Gellar has a problem. She's a random dialer addict. Let's see what happens when one victim stays on the line.
A/N: Not much to say. I hope you enjoy, I hope you'll review, but I really just hope you'll like it. And on that note, I hope you guys are going to nominate in the official CR awards. The nominating stops at the beginning of June. Head on over to my profile for a link!
This particular one-shot, because I actually think it's halfway decent, is dedicated to It is written, Overuse of Emoticons, and Serendipity545.
Because they're awesome. XD.
I don't know really remember when it all began - sometime back in my freshman year, I think. Mitchie and I, we were your typical high school friends. We painted our nails together. We had those two-day sleepovers. And like always, we got bored pretty easily. Sometimes we would cook up these wild schemes. Kiss a stranger without an introduction. (Neither of us ever won that one. Either the boy was way too cute, or his pet girlfriend was too disgusting for us to approach.) Other times we would just hang out. Sing. Write lyrics. Imagine what it would it would feel like to be serenaded by Shane Gray.
And then one evening - God, I don't even know what drove us to do it - we got so deathly bored that we picked up the phone and just started dialing. The first guy...God, I don't know why I remember him, but I do. The two of us sat in her living room, a mere lamp shedding light on the caramel-colored carpet, while I let the phone ring. It rang once. Twice. Three times. And then -
Mitchie and I had to stifle our laughter as best we could, and luckily the guy didn't hear us at all. I bit my lip for a second before picking up the notebook of script we'd written. "Hi! So, my friend and I went to the store today, and we're, like, totally wasted. We go to the back of the - the...what's it called? Oh! The store! So, we go to the back of the store, and like, grab some sodas. And then the guy at the counter is totally staring at my boobs! Can I, like, cut him for that?"
I swear that the guy really did say this: "Are you high?"
At that point I couldn't contain myself and the laughter in the pit of my stomach had a nuclear explosion. Tears formed in my eyes and my shoulders shook. "What!? Am I high? I'M A CUT YOU! I KNOW WHERE YOU LIVE!"
And get this. The guy on the line pauses for at least three seconds before: "Am I being punk'd?"
That really sent Mitchie and I over the edge and soon the guy had caught on to our little bit of fun. Within ten seconds all that could be heard was the dial tone.
I've been a random dialer addict ever since.
Nowadays, I'm not in it for the kicks or the laughs. The random dialing thing, it's not about messing with strangers or anything like that. It's more about seeing how far I can push someone I don't know. With random emails you give them a chance to think about how to respond. Random emails serve no point, other than freaking someone out over cyber space. And with letters there's the same reason, but also, who wants an addiction that costs a postage stamp to fulfill? C'mon now.
And there are two rules I strictly follow. One: Absolutely under no circumstances do I reveal my identity. This rule serves two purposes. Not only does it protect me from potential serial killers, but it also keeps me from taking any life altering risks. A picture is worth a thousand words. A name is worth at least half, right?
Two: Absolutely under no circumstances do I dial the same number twice. There really isn't a huge point to this rule, I just figure that there are lots of fish in the sea, and I might as well share my wisdom and carefully constructed views on, well, everything, with every single Nemo I come across.
I've never broken these rules before. And I have no plans in ever doing so.
Mitchie and I are best friends, and we probably always will be (unless she marries Shane Gray, of course), and we don't usually keep secrets from each other. Or at least, I don't. But this dialing thing...it's just one thing that's solely mine. I haven't told her or anyone really. I don't know if I ever will.
Tonight is the night that this secret part of my life goes down. Every Tuesday night. I don't know (gee, I don't seem to know much of anything, now do I?) why it's like that. Maybe I just decided that I should give the most pitiful day of the week something special. Or maybe it's just that Monday nights are all football, weekends are devoted to shopping with Mitchie, and other sacred relaxation methods, Wednesdays and Fridays are for dance and Thursdays...Thursdays are Smallville. Don't ask.
On these 'sacred' Tuesday nights I pretty much sit around and eat something, dial away and anticipate the kinds of people who would pick up. Sometimes you would get the standard, "Hello? So-and-so speaking." Or maybe you'd get a, "Stop calling me (insert name here)! We're over. Just deal with it!" The latter is kind of fun to play off of. Unless they hang up, in which case all you get is the sound of a pretty little dial tone. Fun, fun.
Tonight I'd be dialing Texas. I had picked out the area code last week for fun. 210. Seemed simple enough. Add a pretty little 555 after that and all I needed was four more numbers. Which is where the fun part comes in! I do the standard "1234" thing every now and then, but that's pretty boring, so I try to be as random as possible. You know. Hence the random dialer thing?
And when I run out of ideas I dial the time. If it's 5:23, I dial 0523. It generally works out great.
A pizza was supposed to be getting here in a while and the way I figured it, I might as well start dialing. From my pocket I pulled out a list of ten four-digit numbers and scanned them for a second. Then I reached over, grabbed my phone, and started dialing.
I picked up my remote and turned the TV on.
American Idol was on!
I turned the volume down low and readjusted my position on my couch. "No, sorry."
There was some shuffling around on the other side before the voice, clearly male, young, possibly my age, sighed. "If you're looking for Shane, he's not here."
I blinked. "Who's Shane?"
Unless he was Shane Gray, I could honestly give two shits who this 'Shane' person was.
Instinctively I didn't say anything. When a direct question was asked, you were presented three options. Lie, hang up, or evade. Being the girl that I am, valuing truth and all that jazz, I couldn't go with option A. Option B didn't do me any good either, so I was stuck with option C.
"I'm…a random dialer addict."
There was a kind of profound silence on the other end before, "A what?"
"Yeah. I suffer from RDA. It's fairly common on the west side, you know. Lots of people have it. It'd blow your mind to know the statistics."
"Really. So, what is this? You call me, I call someone else kind of thing? I'm not sure I like the concept. Sorry."
I laughed. He was the first guy ever to suggest such a thing. Or to apologize for it. "No, no. I talk, you talk. Or you can hang up, but where's the fun in that?"
"Sounds like a lot of therapy waiting to happen."
"Oh, here I thought you were an interesting guy, but damn. I've heard that one, oh…twenty-thousand times?"
"Then clearly I must be right."
I shook my head to myself and finally just turned AI off completely. Adam Lambert was being too damn distractive. "No, that's where you're wrong. I don't need therapy or anything like that. I like my RDA."
"Maybe I'm wrong."
"Maybe you're clinically insane, instead."
Oh, gosh, this boy was just a huge scoop of fun! "Me? Clinically insane? Well..."
"Ah, so I am right."
I rolled my eyes, but I wasn't exactly not enjoying myself. This guy was interesting, whoever he was. And he sounded familiar too, if that was even possible. "I can't believe you're still talking to me," I burst out.
And it was true. I was genuinely surprised. Very few people would stay on the line with a random dialer. Maybe he was just as crazy as me.
"I've never been randomly called before," he replied. "It's kind of interesting."
Suddenly I could hear two other voices in the background. One guy said, "Dude, are we going to rehearse now, or what?" while the other clearly said, "What? This late? Are you crazy?"
The two voices presented something interesting. "Are you in a band?" I asked.
He didn't answer me directly, he must've muffled the phone for a second, turning to his comrades to say something. A few seconds later he said, "What? A band? Uh, yeah, kind of."
"What do you mean kind of?"
"Well, fine. Not kind of. Yeah, I'm in a band."
His vagueness wasn't very appealing, nor was the tone of his voice. "Are you alright?"
"Yes. Can we talk about something else, please?" The two voices, I heard them a few seconds ago, suddenly disappeared. I couldn't hear them at all.
"Look, dude, don't blame me for whatever's going wrong with your little garage band, alright?"
He sneered back, "Now I finally understand why you're all alone randomly dialing people. You're so annoying that no one wants to hang out with you."
I can't explain it, but the blatant attack hurt. I wasn't on the verge of tears or anything like that. It's not like a 'random' stranger had that much control over me, but it was upsetting all the same. I huffed back, "Whatever." And then I hung up, just in time for the pizza man. I glared at the phone and slammed it onto my coffee table, snatching the twenty that sat delicately next to it.
When I came back, the phone was ringing. I bit my lip, but figured that it couldn't be him. There was no way. What kind of person would be so stupid as to call back an RDA-suffering person? Nevertheless, I picked up the phone. "Hello?"
"Look, I didn't mean to be rude, I just...I'm not supposed to be talking to you."
"What does that mean?"
"It means whatever you want it to mean."
"What does that mean?"
"Look. You want the honest to God truth?"
I set the pizza down and fiddled with the hem of my shirt. Did I?
"Sure," I offered.
"Then tell me something first."
I nearly cursed myself for being so stupid. I pretty much walked into that one. "Okay...what?"
"If I told you that I was Nate Black, what would you do?"
There was a silence between the two of us before I choked on laughter. "Right. Sure. You're Nate Black. I really, really believe you."
"Well, what if I was?"
"Then I'd probably kiss the moon and ask you to marry me."
"Maybe we should meet first," he joked.
I laughed and took a bite of my pizza. "Right. So if you're really Nate Black, sing something for me."
Another silence and then, "Music's in my soul. And I'm never letting go, no no. I just want to play my music."
I dropped my phone and began to scream. With trembling hands I took it back. "Oh. My. God."
"Yeah...I was afraid of that."
"You're - you're - you're."
"I'm. I'm. I'm Nate Black. Yeah, I know."
"So...why'd you tell me?"
"I don't know, really. Maybe because I'm a big believer in fate, my girlfriend just broke up with me today, and I have a huge feeling that whoever you are...maybe it's destiny."
I blinked and then giggled. "Fate. Destiny. You're hilarious."
"...I just bared my soul to a stranger. What the hell was I thinking?"
"You're a really sweet guy," I said softly. "And I don't know you. And I don't know if I really believe you're Nate Black, but hey. If you are...that's really cool. And if you really, really believe in this whole 'destiny' thing, then maybe we'll meet in the future."
"You mean at a concert or something?"
"Maybe. That is if you're really who you say you are."
"Well, then. If you're so sure."
I smiled. The guy had persistence, I'd give him that.
"Alright," he continued. "You know my name. You want to give me yours?"
I frowned. The rule was not to reveal my identity. Tell him the truth? Or hang up? Unfortunately, there was no evading this one.
He coughed and said again, "Hi stranger. I'm Nate Black. And you are?"
I sighed and said it all with one simple action.
All that could be heard afterwards was the reverberating sound of the dial tone. And that was it.
Two Years Later...
"I can't believe we got backstage passes," I squealed into Mitchie's ear. She hugged me and together we ran over to the guys, staring with awe. The boys were beautiful. My eyes immediately shifted to Nate Black's. I smiled. Well. This would be fun.
It was a few moments later that I was able to talk to him. "Hello," he smiled to me.
There were butterflies in my stomach as I stuttered out a hello. "Um, hi." Before I knew it the whole two-year old story came gushing out of me. "And then I hung up on him."
Nate Black stared at me confused before a laughing beam burst out of him. "It was you," he whispered.
My eyes widened and I stuttered out, "Oh, my God. I hung up on the real Nate Black. I am such an idiot."
Mitchie, all the while I was chatting up Nate, stood with Shane Gray, and they looked really nice together.
"You're not an idiot," he said.
"Yes I am! Oh, my God. I'm so stupid I could just -
He stunned me by pushing back an out of place hair of mine. I swallowed uneasily. "I, uh, I should probably go."
"My friend and I. We. I."
"I. We. My friend."
"With me," he finally said.
I smiled. Maybe it was just a dream, maybe this whole meeting thing was just too damn perfect. Maybe it was a lot of things. But the one thing it definitely was?
"Hi," I mumbled. "The name is Caitlyn Gellar."
A/N: I'm not very sure this was the most 'convincing' one-shot, but it was halfway decent. I'm just practicing for some of my multi-chapters I have to finish. If you liked, you should review. ;) If you didn't like but made it to the end, you should give me some con-crit. I'd appreciate it.