Phone, street, the big misunderstanding

Another weird story, the kind we think are too much if we would see them in a movie


(500 days of Summer, by Marc Webb)

I moved out and in at the beginning of June, with (among others) someone I met a few weeks ago. This person is named Pedro (I will write full names today, you will quickly understand why) and we had to talk a lot on the phone for obvious organizational reasons.

The day right before me moving in, I receive at work a phone call from an unknown number. Answering, I hear a man voice I cannot identify. Following my question, I get the answer “It’s Pedro”. I don’t even think about it because even if more or less 15% of Portuguese men are called this way, only one is normally having my phone number. I am busy, ask if I can call him back later, he is ok.

Later, while going out and wondering if this phone call was about the room, I call my future flatmate on his normal number and decide to call back the unknown number as I don’t get answer, thinking of all the reasons one person can have to use the phone number of someone else, from the lack of battery to the phone falling in the gutter.

Someone answers. We chit-chat a bit, I ask him if his previous call was because there was a problem with my future apartment or with our organization. Silence, he doesn’t have any clue what I am talking about. Filled now with doubt, I ask why he changed phone number, to what he says he has the same one for years. Obviously doubting as well, he finally asks me my name. I say Mariana, the Portuguese version of my name I use most of the time, which seems to comfort him: he is talking to the right person.

Though from there things are getting weirder. He asks me where I am right now. I give the name of the square where I currently stand, actually quite close from my future living place, which makes him shoot happily: “I am very close, don’t move!”

Still confused by the situation I decide to wait, I am not sure at all anymore than I was talking to the right Pedro but if there is even a tiny little chance that it would be him and that he would have something important to tell me, I still prefer to wait, even if it is also weird he didn’t tell it to me on the phone right away. Some minutes go, I decide to walk to the apartment, quite certain to meet him on the way. While walking, he calls me back to know where I am, getting confused as well when I tell him I am on the way to the apartment (“which apartment?”), that he can wait for me there. He doesn’t understand, tells me to stop and to wait for him. Even more confused than before, I remain still. I am really bad at recognizing voices through the phone, plus I don’t know Pedro since such a long time. I am telling myself that the fact of these 2 people having also a similar voice would just be another amazing coincidence.

So I wait. I wait. I keep waiting. I see a lot of people coming and going, my correspondent calls me back another time, saying he is close. It is a place where people are just passing by, it is easy to spot someone waiting so I try to spot him while thinking that if that person is indeed not the Pedro I know, the accumulation of coincidences is getting so huge that I need to see her anyway. Minutes pass by and while he was telling me during his last call he was just a few meters away I still see no one waiting like I do, presumably looking for someone. I don’t dare to call back. Finally I spot a man, a total stranger to me so, stopping his bicycle 2 meters away from me, looking around a little then checking his phone with confusion. I observe him from distance, my phone in hand, waiting to hear it ring, confirming or not than this man is indeed or not my mystery correspondent. But nothing, the stranger finally goes away biking, probably realizing at some point there was some kind of misunderstanding.

I decide myself to go back to my normal existence, also to my future messy ex-apartment for my last night there, while meditating than such an encounter would have be expected in a very cliché rom-com. Maybe even people would have find it a bit too much. Imagine, a man is taking the phone number of a Mariana that he obviously wanted to see again, probably making a mistake while typing and getting one or 2 wrong numbers and writing my number instead. Then calling me and not being surprised talking to a Mariana without even thinking it can be another one. Calling me, whom was actually expecting a call from a Pedro because of moving in with him the day after that. Both one us thinking we were talking to completely another person, we find ourselves in the same neighborhood where he was hoping to meet Mariana, while I work there and was about to live there.

And at the end both being anxious enough to play this cat and mouse game for half an hour to finally understand we were not talking to the right person, the person we were expecting not being familiar enough to recognize her by the voice only.

The day after, after my moving, I decide to dissipate my 0,0001% of remaining doubt, I ask my now flatmate Pedro if by any chance he tried to contact me the day before, he didn’t, of course.

His reaction to my story confirms its cliché rom-com potential:

“That is too bad you didn’t met each other, imagine if he was the father of your future kids!”

On my side, I still hope that he will manage to find his own Mariana, for whom he might nourish similar hopes, who knows.

Crazy life, sometimes we feel so small.

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