Her Campus Logo Her Campus Logo

I Should Have Called Back

Last Tuesday afternoon, I had a really great idea. It was brilliant — at least, I thought it was.

I would go home for the weekend and surprise my family. I wouldn’t tell anyone about it. No one could possibly spill the beans. 

I bought a three o’clock bus ticket to ensure that I would get home at an hour when my family would still be awake. However, the day I was supposed to head home, I couldn’t find a cab to get to the bus station and everyone I knew with a car was busy. So I missed my bus. This sort of disrupted my initial plan, but I decided to be hopeful. I went back to my dorm and scheduled a cab so that way I would catch the next bus on time. I ended up getting the five o’clock bus, but this would get me to New York City by ten o’clock and home by a little after 11 p.m. considering the ride from Manhattan to Brooklyn. 

On the bus, the only thing I could think about was whether or not the surprise would work out. Would my family be up? Should I knock on the door or use my key? I thought about the perfect way to play out the surprise the whole ride home. Eventually, I figured I’d get creative. 

When I arrived in front of my house, I sent my mom a picture of myself that I had taken in my dorm earlier that day. She didn’t text back right away, so I called her cellphone to find out if she received the photo — and to make sure she and my family were actually awake. I held a short conversation with her and then told her I would call her back. After I hung up, I went to the door and began knocking. Pretty hard. I didn’t want them to think it was me. There was a huge smile on my face. I couldn’t wait for one of my parents or siblings to come to the door and see me standing there.

No one came, so I knocked more rapidly. “OPEN THE DOOR,” I said jokingly in a deep voice. Don’t ask why I chose the deep voice, I thought it added anonymity. I really wanted them to be super surprised. Eventually I decided to use my keys, but for some reason the lock wasn’t working. I figured maybe they changed the lock because it gave us trouble in the past. So I knocked again. After no one came to the door for what seemed like five minutes, I called my mom on her cell. There was no way she could have fallen asleep that fast, and someone had to hear my knocking.

The next thing I know, I get my mom’s voicemail. Ok, what the heck? I just spoke to her. So I kept knocking and texted my little sister, but she did’t respond. I called my mother’s cellphone again and this time she answered — whispering. The first thing she said was “Someone is at our door, we just called the cops, they’re on their way.”

I could not believe what I was hearing. I yelled, “OMG, Mom! No, it’s me!!!”

“It’s you?” she responded.

“Yes! I wanted to surprise you guys!” 

A second later, my dad opened the door, not looking too happy. My siblings stood huddled in a corner together, and my mom came and hugged me. My parents told me they thought a robber was at the door which is why they called the cops. They said I should have just called and said I was at the door from the beginning because they would have been surprised either way. A few minutes later the cops arrived at the door and my dad explained everything. I couldn’t believe it. I could have been arrested. Not to mention I scared my family half to death! This was definitely a surprise gone all the way wrong. I should have just called back like I said I would.

Even though we hit a few road bumps, my family was definitely happy to have me – and not a robber – home for the weekend. 

My name is Zaynah Anderson. I'm a sophomore majoring in Television, Radio and Film with a minor in Marketing. I was born and raised in Brooklyn, NY which I love dearly but my dream is to move to Los Angeles, CA after college to launch a successful career in entertainment. I love children, music, writing, binge-watching shows on HGTV and I LOVE PIZZA!