The kitchen was fraught with the strains of a popular new Christian pop song cascading through the stereo speakers. Singing along at the top of my lungs I grabbed a bread bag, spun in a dramatic circle towards the table, and proceeded to pair up slices of wheat bread onto waiting napkins.
I swung over to the cupboard and plucked a jar of crunchy peanut butter from the shelf, then twirled to the refrigerator, opening the door as if the handle were the hand of an imaginary dance partner. Swirling into the door as if into the strong chest of an athletic dancer, I grabbed the raspberry jelly, un-twirled from my chilly dance partner, and waltzed my way back to the sandwich halves.
Before I could acquire a butter knife to apply the savory sandwich fixings, my private ballroom was assaulted with the obnoxious ringing of the kitchen telephone. I ignored it, as I always did the home line.
If it’s Mom calling from Wal-Mart, she’ll know to call my cell. I assured myself. Anyone who needs to contact me knows where to call.
Without the worry of answering the phone to someone I didn’t know, I belted out the words of one of my favorite songs, defying the beast’s insistent ringing. My younger brother, Andrew, sauntered into the kitchen just as a new song was starting.
“My stomach needs food. When’s lunch?” He plopped his lanky teenage body into his seat at the table.
“Working on it right now.” I spread a glob of jelly onto a bread slice.
Andrew rested his arms on the table and flopped his head on top of them. “I may die of hunger before then.”
I smiled and continued my jelly-spreading.
A strange sound began to play through the speakers. As if two songs were playing at once. I lowered my knife and shot a confused glance toward the radio. Then I recognized the extra song. It wasn’t coming from the radio.
I laughed and grabbed my cell phone from my pocket. Mom’s ringtone was playing. Without looking at the screen I flipped it open. “Hey, it’s funny. My phone was blending with the music from the radio!”
The line was silent as a sleeping baby.
“Hello?” I wondered if we’d been cut off.
I was about to hang up when a questioning male voice finally spoke up. “Is this Anita?”
I recognized the voice. It was the morning show host from the radio station that I listened to. I wondered if he could hear the thumping of my heart through the phone.
“Do you know who we are?”
My legs were beginning to resemble the raspberry jelly. “Dan and Gloria from Life 100.1?”
“And do you have any idea why we’re calling?”
My shocked brain couldn’t search its memory files fast enough to find an answer. “Um, no not really.” I released a nervous laugh.
I could imagine Dan exchanging a knowing glace with Gloria. “Anita, do you remember entering the Life 100.1 Father’s Day contest?”
Light bulb moment.
“Yes, I do!” I gasped.
“Well, your father has been chosen as our special dad for the day! We thought he sounded like a pretty cool guy, so we decided to have you tell us a little more about him.”
I nearly fell to the ground. “Oh my goodness, that is awesome!” My voice stopped short of screaming.
Gloria’s amused voice chimed in, “Ya know, that was an interesting way to answer the phone.”
I chuckled, trying to force my head to keep up with my mouth, “I’m sorry, I thought you were my mom.”
Both DJs burst into friendly laughter. “No way!” Dan said through his contagious laugh.
“Yeah, it just happens that my mom has the same ringtone.”
We all laughed again. “Ah, that’s crazy!” Dan commented. “So tell us about your dad, Anita.”
I panicked for a moment, forgetting exactly what I had written when entering the contest. But with a little prodding from the ever-patient morning show hosts, I managed to recount some of my favorite things about my father.
When the call ended, they told me what time the conversation would air the next morning and assured me that my prizes were on their way.
“Who was that?” Andrew asked as a recorded announcement for the Father’s Day contest came onto the radio.
“You’ll never guess.” An uncontrollable grin filled my face as I plopped a blob of jelly onto a waiting sandwich.
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