Her voice was hard and sounded like a New Yorker with a southern drawl, almost whining.
"I'm sorry, but who I am speaking with?" I asked.
It was early Saturday morning. You know, Saturdays when you hope and pray you can sleep in for a change.
"It's Margaret. How are you? You know I just got back from Florida and I bought you a present," she continued.
I'm not much of a morning person. I get up around 5:30 because our dogs are morning people. Lucy wakes up Ricky and as many times as you tell them "Go back to bed!" they are persistent in their attempt to rise with the sun.
"Please forgive me. I don't mean to be rude, but I really have no idea who I speaking with. Your voice doesn't even sound familiar to me," I said.
There was a pause. I felt like I may have insulted someone dear to me, but I really had no idea who she was.
"Are you sure you have the right number?" I asked.
"Yes, I'm sure."
"How do I know you?"
"I just moved into town and I met you on the square," she replied. "I needed directions. You were so nice to a perfect stranger."
Scanning my foggy, early morning brain, I came up with nothing.
"My friend, I'm sorry. I really believe you have a wrong number."
"I just got back from Florida and I have a present for you," she repeated.
I wanted to ask what it was. I mean, just out of curiosity. Maybe it was salt water taffy or fudge. We didn't buy any this year when we were at the shore.
"I'm sorry. You have the wrong number. But I hope you enjoyed your trip," I said.
"Oh, okay," she said. Then there was a pause.
I didn't want to just hang up. I wanted her to hang up first. Kind of like when you hug someone. Try to be the last one to let go.
Then she said, "You sound like a nice man. While I have you on the phone...may I pray for you?"
I was surprised by that. She was a perfect stranger who in the course of about five minutes thought I was a nice man and offered to say a prayer for me.
"Well, sure. I'd be blessed by it," I told her.
"God, he's a nice man. Whatever needs are in his life at this time, whatever desires are in his heart, open up all the possibilities that lie before him so that he can see Your plan for his life."
There was silence.
"While I have you on the phone..." I said. "Thank you, my friend. God bless you, too."
Come to think of it, that wasn't a wrong number. The gift she gave me was better than salt water taffy.