"Hi, I’m calling for Mona Liddel. I just wanted you to know that I’m your son.
"This isn’t a crank call. You put me up for adoption in Raleigh, North Carolina in 1995. You left me a toy airplane, which I kept until we lost our house in a factory accident. I… I’m your son. I’m not crazy. I got your information from the adoption center.
"We’ve met three times. You think my name is ‘Jesse’ – it’s not, it was my dog’s name as a kid, and I panicked when you asked that time while we were waiting in line. I don’t even know why I had to see you. I’m not a stalker. I just recognized you in this coffee shop, and came by the next day at lunch to see if you’d return, and got lucky. And then I promised I wouldn’t go back again today, but I got a call from the hospital. That’s why I’m actually in town – there’s a great oncologist who specializes in kidneys only eleven blocks from here. Howard Kleinman, he smells like fish food. After they called, I couldn’t help it, and I almost came over to your table today. I’m actually sitting across from where you were having lunch.
"Damn it, I sound crazy. Mo… Mrs. Liddel, I’m dying. It’s my kidneys. I’m not looking for an organ transplant or anything—Kleinman says the onset was too rapid anyway. It’s a freak problem that might have had to do with where I grew up. There was a factory nearby that processed a lot of chemicals, and it exploded, and really, you don’t need to know about that, because I’m not calling you because I’m dying.
"I guess I’m calling because I’m not brave enough to walk up to you. This is easier, and I need a little easiness right now. I’ll be at this table for at least another hour if you want to come back. See me, yell at me, or whatever.
"You’re beautiful, by the way, when you don’t think anyone is looking. All three days now you’ve gotten that way, with the long stare, like something big is on your mind. If you wanted somebody to talk to about that… I don’t know.
"I wish I’d inherited your cheekbones.
"Okay? Okay. I hope I see you again some time. Otherwise, I guess, goodbye.
"Oh God, my name’s Kevin. Your son’s name is Kevin.