As a rule, I don't answer calls from numbers I don't know. (I learned my lesson with that last summer, when some dude called me using a blocked number, after I'd been ignoring his nonstop calls for a month. But, I digress.)
So, naturally, when I saw some unknown California number on my caller ID, I let it ring. No voicemail came up, and I gave the phone call no further thought.
Eight hours later, a text pops up from that number. "Hey," it reads.
Thinking it could be one of my friends, I type, "I don't have this number saved. Who is this?"
Another text pops up two minutes later. "It's Devon***"
So let me give you all some background: Devon is some guy I met on online... back in September... whom I ghosted twice. The first time was because he started talking to me with sexual innuendos when he hadn't even asked me on a date yet. Hell, we hadn't even talked on the phone yet!
After I'd been ignoring him for about three weeks, he texted me, "So, you don't want to talk to me anymore?" - with a sad faced emoji and everything. Normally, I wouldn't have even thought about answering him. But, I guess I was feeling extra blunt that day, and so I told him exactly why I'd been ignoring him.
He apologized for offending me, and I gave him another shot. Then, two weeks went by where we were texting, and he was showing no signs that he was gonna ask me out. I wasn't looking for a texting buddy, or for someone to waste my time, so I stopped talking to him again... for good this time.
Every couple of weeks, he would send me messages and I ignored every one of them. He even sent me a "Merry Christmas" message. It got to the point where, despite not answering him, I started to recognize his number.
And, since I knew the first six digits of his number by heart, I was completely caught off guard by the unknown number.
But, there he was, trying to trick me into talking to him again. Now, back to the original story:
After he identified himself, I decided to not to answer. Another message from him popped up on my screen...and another... and another.
"This is the right number, right?"
"Do you have a problem with me?"
"What's wrong with you?"
At this point, I decided enough was enough. "Stop texting me," I wrote back.
"What did I do? I thought we were cool?" he replied.
Hoping (naively) that it would make him leave me the hell alone, I told him the reason I stopped talking to him, yet again. In response, I got this big paragraph from him, saying that he was just trying to take it slow, and didn't want to rush things, and some other irrelevant bull. He then asked me if I was taken.
Since none of my ideas to get him to leave me alone were working, and I had a momentary lapse in judgment where I wondered if I was being mean to someone who just wanted to get to know me, I enlisted the help of my mother.
Her advice to me was to tell him that I was, indeed, taken, and to stop answering numbers I don't know. She then told me to delete the text thread to get rid of his creepy energy. I was going to save it so I could laugh at it, and have it for future reference if he ever tried contacting me again. But, the fact is she was right.
His behavior was beyond creepy, and my instincts about him were spot on. We hadn't even been on a single date and he was already showing me that he had no pride, no social skills, and ZERO understanding of the word "No."
A person like that is dangerous to have around, and I can only imagined what would've happened if I was seriously involved with this dude. After all, if a person can't understand, "I don't want to talk to you." I don't see them being able to understand, "I don't want to have sex with you." either. Call it a big leap if you want, but it's a huge red flagwhen someone doesn't respect boundaries.
So, now, I can say that I haveofficially learned my lesson about answering unknown numbers.
***Names have been changed to protect the crazy - although I'm not sure he deserves it.