“What the hell?”
Honor looked over. “What’s wrong?”
“My phone is going completely nuts. It sent me a whole bunch of text messages from myself. Look at this.” Was it possible to get a virus or a worm on a phone? And when had it happened? I held it out.
Honor squinted at it, then looked up at me, eyes going wide. “Oh shit.”
“That’s not your phone.”
“What!” I pulled the screen back to look at it myself.
Below my number the content of the messages was only partially visible, but it wasn’t hard to figure out.
+1 (847) 555-2015
YOU HAVE MY PHONE! PLEASE COME BACK TO . . .
+1 (847) 555-2015
WHO IS THIS? I HAVE YOUR PHONE . . .
I thumbed the lock open and had to search frantically for the messages app. It wasn’t where I kept mine on the screen. When I found it, it had the number 15 in a little red circle. The phone app showed another red circle, this one with the number 6.
Oh double fuck.
I said it out loud. “This is definitely not my phone.”
“I already said that. So whose is it?”
I scrolled through the increasingly frantic messages from my number. Whoever had my phone didn’t give a name.
I tapped into the phone app and selected my number. Tension drew me up high in my seat, stomach flopping like a fish, and all traces of drowsiness gone.
No no no no no no no, this could not be happening to me.
Honor must have grabbed the wrong phone at the airport!
Who the hell had my phone?
God, it could have been anywhere. It could have been on its way to Katmandu by now!
The sound of my own voice startled me. “Hi, you’ve reached Clementine. Please leave a message.”
As the automated voice gave me my options at the end, I realized I had no idea what to say. But it was too late to think about that now. Beep.
“Um, hi. I’m the person who has your phone. I am so sorry. I don’t know how this happened, um . . . I’m, um . . . please call me so we can figure out what to do.”
When I disconnected, I shot Honor a look of death. “You took the wrong phone!”
“It was the only one there!” he protested.
“Obviously not.” My hands curled tight around the strange phone as I fought the urge to punch him in the shoulder.
“I swear to god, Clementine, it was the only one there. You left it plugged in; I grabbed it, end of story.”
“Then how did this happen?”
“How should I know?”
Serena the flight attendant appeared in the aisle looking concerned. “Is everything all right here?”
“Fine,” Honor snapped.
“Don’t be a dick. It’s not her fault.”
“Well, it’s not my fault,” he said.
“Well, it sure as hell isn’t mine!” I said through gritted teeth then looked at Serena. Time to channel my grandmother. I gave her my best Miriam Schulman-Daly patrician smile. “Everything’s fine. Just a little problem with my phone. Thank you.”
The pilot hit the brakes as we arrived at our gate and the plane filled with the metallic chatter of seatbelts releasing. Serena hurried back to the head of the plane and Honor got up quickly, like he was determined to be the first one off. I guessed he was avoiding talking about this any longer on the plane.
Probably for the best. Because I was going to kill him after all.
He seemed determined to stay ahead of me the whole time, using his longer legs to eat up the terminal all the way to the escalators to baggage claim. I was out of breath by the time I got on behind him, but that wasn’t going to stop me. Oh no. The longer I had to think about this, the madder I was getting. I poked my brother in the back of his head.
“I swear to god, Honor, if we weren’t surrounded by witnesses—”
He turned, looking sullen. “It’s possible there were two phones plugged into the outlet, okay?”
“Uh, ya think?”
Just then the phone started vibrating in my hand.
It was a call, and it was coming from my phone.
“Oh god, it’s him—her—whoever.” I didn’t even know since I hadn’t listened to the no doubt angry voicemails. The texts had been enough.
Was I about to get screamed at?
“Answer it!” Honor exploded.
I swiped the phone to life. “H-hello?”
“Hello?” A masculine voice replied and I practically jumped out of my skin. There was a fifty-fifty chance it would be a man answering, genius.
“H-hi,” I stammered. “I’m the idiot who took your phone.” Probably best to approach this humbly.
He sighed, making static in my ear. “Hi there. Thank you for calling.”
“I’m very sorry,” I said.
“Yeah, me, too.” He sounded resigned. “What are we going to do?”
“Um . . .” I had no idea. What were the options, even? Probably the easiest thing to do would be for me to get a new phone, disable mine remotely, and import my number to the new phone, but that would leave this stranger with a dead phone and I’d still have his. Now theoretically, he could do the same but that presumed he could get a new phone where he was. And that he had the cash to do it.
“I could FedEx it to you, I guess,” I offered. My heart quailed at the thought of trusting my precious phone to any kind of delivery service.
“Meanwhile we’re both phoneless while they’re in transit.”
“Right.” I followed Honor to the baggage claim area on autopilot. All my concentration was on the phone.
“And that assumes that they don’t lose our packages.”
“Yeah,” I said, sounding much cooler than I felt. “Not my favorite option . . .”
“Mine either . . .” the voice said softly. “The thought of never seeing my phone again hurts in a way that I’m a little embarrassed to admit.”
I laughed, glad to hear I wasn’t alone. Though probably for way different reasons. “Okay, so what then?”
“Where do you live?”
“Chicago. But I’m in California until Friday.”
“You’re from Chicago?” he asked. “So am I. But I’m in Florida until Friday, too.”
“So, do we wait until we’re both back and trade?”
He made a soft whimpering sound. “I guess we have to.”
“I promise you I’ll guard it with my life until I get back,” I said.
“I’ll take good care of yours, too.”
An absolutely adorable book!
Clementine and Justin (a romance reader/book blogger and a journalist) are the perfect word-geeky couple; words cannot express how much I loved their big words seduction scene:
“Say that again.”
“Big words sound very sexy in your mouth.”
“Insatiable’s not that big,” I said. “I can do better.”
“Go for it.”
He bent to kiss me.
He tilted his head. “I don’t actually know that one.”
I put my arms around him with a smile. “It means ‘pleasant to embrace.'”
Justin kissed me again, rolling to his back to pull me on top of him. “I’ve got one for you,” he said, sliding his hands down my spine. “Epeolatry. It means ‘worship of words.'”
Our mouths found each other again and there was no more need for talking for quite a while.
Sigh… And when she offers to diagram a sentence for him? I nearly swooned… 🙂
The falling-in-love-via-text-and-phone call bit was just so cute; certain parts of it felt as if they were a little rushed, but overall I really liked the way they started to fall for each other long distance. Justin sent her some early multiple choice questions (Getting to know Clementine, part 1…) that were just too funny. There might have been a bit of snort-laughing on my end.
The fact that Clementine could have been my reading twin didn’t hurt matters at all either…every time she fangirled about books or reading it was as if she had hijacked my own thoughts and feelings on the subject 😉 (I have to admit, though, I kinda hate her a little bit. She’s got a trust fund and can spend all day, every day reading if she wants to…she’s an unpaid volunteer at the library…I get her stress over not finding a purpose like her family wants her to, but the job that eventually falls in her lap? So. Not. Fair. I know, I know…jealousy of a fictional character is pointless. Whatever.)
When they finally did get together it was all adorableness–until the fact that Clem wasn’t 100% honest reared its ugly head. Justin’s reaction was slightly over-the-top–though he did have a reason for it, it still seemed a bit much (though so did Clem’s paranoia. Not that she didn’t have good reason for that too, but still…those two factors are the main reason for docking a star from the rating). Clem’s big idea for getting him back seemed risky in the extreme, but it worked out in a fairly believable way, which was a huge sigh of relief.
And then we were back to the adorkableness. 🙂
Call Me, Maybe was my first book from this author, but it won’t be my last!
Rating: 4 stars / A-
I received a complimentary copy in exchange for an honest review.