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Who Am I
The first call came at exactly 7:09 P.M. on Monday, September 17th, 2012 while I was cramming for my A.P. U.S. History and Algebra II tests which were both tomorrow morning. Reaching over my piles of textbooks and study guides, I grabbed the small, cordless phone and hit TALK.
“Hello?” I asked into the phone, expecting my mom to be on the other end telling me that she was on her way home from the business dinner she was attending tonight, I didn’t care that I probably sounded rude and tired over the line.
“Hello?” a quiet voice said into the other end. The feminine voice sounded shy and uncertain.
“Hello? Who’s there?” I asked, annoyed that the woman was wasting my study time. It was already seven at night and I had been working on my homework and study guides since three when I got home from school. Nothing like starting the week with a boatload of homework and stress.
“Who is this?” she asked. Her voice was distant and I could hear static in the background.
“I think you have the wrong number. Bye,” I said, clicking the END button.
A few seconds later, after I had settled back into the giant textbooks that sat in front of me, the phone rang again.
“Hello?” I asked into the phone again.
“I don’t think I have the wrong number,” the same voice said again.
“Okay, whoever you are stop calling this number,” my voice harsh and rude. I was so tired of studying and this woman’s phone calls only prolonged my studying, I just wanted to get off the line.
“But you’re who I’m looking for,” she said.
Creped out, I quickly hit END and hung the phone up. It rang twice after that, but both times I let the call go to voicemail. She didn’t leave a message. The third time the phone rang; I heard my mom’s voice on the voicemail.
“Cami? Are you there?”
I grabbed the phone and hit TALK.
“Hey Mom, are you coming home yet?” I asked, my voice filled with worry.
“Why what’s wrong?” she asked, her voice panicked.
“I don’t really know. There is a woman that keeps calling and she’s freaking me out.”
“A woman?” she asked. “Don’t worry; I’m on my way home.”
I hit end and tried not to focus so much on the scary calls. I grabbed my textbooks and continued reading. Not long after the phone rang yet again. I figured it was my mother calling me back to make sure I was alright so I went ahead and answered the phone. I hadn’t even said hello before the familiar voice spoke.
“Why won’t you talk to me?” she asked.
I began to shake. I didn’t know what to say so I hung up. The phone rang again. I ignored it as I sat in the kitchen, scared to death. Who was this woman who kept calling? How did she know me?
Suddenly, a large slamming noise came from upstairs. I froze in my seat. No one was home, but me and all the windows were closed so there was no way that the wind could have blown anything shut. The only pet I owned died two years ago so it couldn’t have been an animal knocking anything over. The only thing that came to my mind was that somehow the woman had found me and was inside my house. I had thought that she was just a prank caller, but now I was freaked out that it was more than just a joke.
I grabbed the phone and as my thumb lingered over the number 9, it rang again. I hit END and listened again for any sound that an intruder was in my house. It was strangely silent, no sound came from anywhere in the house. But just when I started to calm down, another sound, scarier than the one before, came from just outside the kitchen. Quiet footsteps padded down the stairs and I saw a dark figure emerge from the shadows. The only sound now was the sharp thud that came after I dropped the phone on the wooden kitchen floor. The sound echoed through the house.
“I just want to talk to you,” the voice came from the hallway. I gulped; barely able to get the salvia down my dry throat. It felt like my airway was being constricted as I tried to breathe. The breath came short and quick as I gasped for air. The figure came closer to me and I back away, pressing my back against the closest wall.
“Cami, please talk to me,” the stranger said, coming closer. The glow from the small overhead light illuminated the woman’s face, casting a pale light across her olive toned complexion. Her dark, black eyes pierced through mine as she stared at me. At 5’3, we were both the same height so I could take her in a fight. The only thing I was afraid of was the sharp, shiny knife that was held in her left hand.
“What do you want?” I cried, my voice barely a whisper.
“You,” she replied.
“Why me? I don’t know you,” I asked.
“But you do, I know you. I’ve known you all my life, Isabella,” she whispered.
Isabella? Who was Isabella and why was she calling me that.
“My name’s not Isabella.”
“Yes it is. You’re my Isabella. I gave birth to you 16 years ago, but then I lost you. A few years later though, I saw you at the park. You’re mother called you Cambria, but I knew that wasn’t you. You are Isabella. My Isabella,” she said.
She still had the knife in her hand, but I didn’t think she was going to use it. She just was a crazy, delusional woman.
“I remember your first day of school like it was yesterday. You were wearing a bright, yellow sundress that woman picked out for you at the mall and she even tied a bow into your hair. I hated the color yellow, so I even bought a pink dress instead at the same store. I still have it, but I guess you’re too big now to wear it. ”
“What do you want?” I asked, my voice trembling.
“I want you Isabella. You’re mine. I want to take you far away from this place. We came start a new life, just you and me. Together we can live in peace without that woman,” she said, pointing the knife at a picture of my mother and me and Disney Land. The photo was taken a few years ago when I was thirteen. We were both smiling and happy in the picture.
“I could take you here, to Disney Lane,” the woman said, picking up the picture. “We could have a wonderful time, just the two of us.”
“No, I’m not going with you. I don’t know you, you’re not my mother and I’m not your daughter. I’m not Isabella,” I said, my voice and confidence coming back.
This seemed to upset the woman. Her smile was gone and she now looked angry and confused.
“You are my daughter!” she yelled, pointing the knife at me and walking closer.
I suddenly wished I hadn’t dropped the phone because now I couldn’t call for help. There was no way I was going to get out of the house with the woman’s knife pointed right at me. But we were the same height and I was stronger than her, that’s what I had to tell myself at least.
“I’m not. I’m not Isabella and you’re NOT my mother!” I screamed, lunging at her.
The knife was my only concern. I needed to get it away from us and then I could take the woman down no problem.
She struggled against me, her hands clawing at my hair and face, but as soon as the knife dropped from her grasp and I had her pinned downed to the floor on her stomach she started to cry.
“Why? Why did this happen to me? Why?” she cried, tears streaming down her face. I got off of her and she crawled into a ball on the floor. For once I didn’t see her as a threat, but a heartbroken mother who had simply lost her daughter. Nothing more, nothing less.
Once the cops arrived, the woman was escorted from the house and my mother and I were reunited.
“I’m so glad you’re all right,” she gasped, embracing me in a tight hug. I breathed in the familiar scent of honey, never wanting to let her go.
“I’m okay Mom,” I said, crying a little.
“She thought I was her child, Isabella. That’s why she came here tonight. To get me back,” I told the cops.
“I’m just glad your okay,” my mother said, hugging me again.
“Me too,” I said.
Later that night, I decided to Google the name, Margie Jacobson, just to see what came up on the internet. I was astonished to see multiple news stories, not on Margie Jacobson, but a three year old child, Isabella Marie Jacobson.
I clicked on one story and skimmed through the short page. The article read:
HEARTBROKEN MOTHER FACES TERRIBLE NEWS
Just last Thursday, September 30, 1999, three year old, Isabella Marie Jacobson disappeared from her house early that morning. It was around nine that morning, when Isabella’s mother discovered that she was nowhere to be seen. The woman was delusional when she called the cops and claimed that, “There had been a masked man across the street.” The woman had said that one minute the man had been there, the next he was gone, but she blames the man for her daughter’s disappearance. The girl is only three years old, had blue eyes, blonde hair, and was last seen wearing a blue dress. If you have any tips on the whereabouts of this young girl, contact 1-800-997-9476.
Another article talked about the mother more. Apparently Margie had been hospitalized for having a nervous breakdown about the disappearance of her daughter. She allegedly told police that she saw Isabella at a park and she knew that the girl was her daughter. Police did not believe her, but instead sent her to a mental facility.
The last website I visited talked more about the girl again and it was more up to date on her disappearance. “Isabella had vanished thirteen years ago and the case is currently cold,” the article said.
Before I closed off the website, I noticed a photo of the girl when she was little. She looked a lot like me when I was little. We had the same blonde hair and bright blue eyes.
The website had a photo generator that showed what the girl would look like if she was alive today. I scrolled down and about stopped breathing when I saw the picture. Not only did the girl look like me when she was three, but the resemblance at sixteen was scary. It looked like I was looking in a mirror, we were so alike. I couldn’t help but think maybe that was me. Was I who I thought I was? Was my real name Cami, or Isabella?