My Federal Offense

I never thought I would commit a “federal offense” at the age of 13. I only wanted to have fun, but it turned out very differently. 

It was the day before eighth grade started and my sister and I were having trouble finding something to do. We were so excited about school; we could not contain ourselves. We got the phone and found the school directory, when one thing came to our minds: a prank call

My sister and I opened the directory up to my class and questioned each other about who we should prank call. We dialed the number into the phone and Mr. Spillian, the father of my classmate Pete, picked up the phone. 


“Hello! Would you like to buy a giraffe straight from Africa?” 

“What? Who is this?” 

“I am Christina from an organization that offers wild animals as pets.”

“NO! WHAT IS GOING ON!?” Mr. Spillian’s voice grew intense as he roared into the phone. 

“I am part of a program that gives you the opportunity to buy wild animals…”


“Really? Are you sure you don’t want one? I think that you really would want one!”

I did not know that my mom’s name showed up on Mr. Spillian’s phone. He thought I was Danielle Jones. 


I quickly changed from “Christina” to my normal self, trying to redeem myself before getting dragged off by the police. I started to panic. 

What if he really does call the police. Will they come and drag me off to prison? I thought. Libby and I only wanted to have fun. Mom is going to be so mad. I am going to spend the rest of my life in prison, eating prison food.

My thoughts poured into my head like rain, hard and fast, drenching me with fears. I never realized how traumatic this experience was and did not expect what was happening. 

“Wait, Mr. Spillian, it was just a joke. Please don’t call the police. I didn’t mean to-”

“No, this is unacceptable. I am calling the police now because this is a federal offense.”

He hung up and I ran upstairs to tell my mom what happened. Mom is going to kill me. Dear God, please help me. My mom was not happy and gave my sister and me a long talk about what we did wrong. I started to cry hysterically. While she is correcting us about this, the police will arrive at the door and arrest me? I will never see my family again. I couldn’t stop the tears. 

My mom felt no pity.  I was forced to call Mr. Spillian back and apologize. My mom dialed the number back into the phone. 

“Mr. Spillian, this is Danielle Jones, the mother of Catherine and Libby Jones, the girls who just prank called you. I just wanted to say I am so sorry for their actions.” 

“It is a federal offense to do something like that. They need to know that. It is not a funny thing to do. I will call the police to tell them it was figured out and they were not needed, but they need to be punished for something like this. It is very inappropriate!”

My mom told him my sister and I needed to apologize. Here it comes, I thought, he is going to tell me to start saying my goodbyes and the police are up the street. She handed back the phone to me, and through hysterical tears, we both apologized. Are the police coming? I have to start school tomorrow! What will the teachers say when I am not there? Will I have to drop out of school? Will I lose my position as Student Council Publicity Officer? 

My mom told the police were not coming. I was never so relieved in my life, but I cried all day because of my actions. Even worse, I had to face Pete the next day at school. I thought that Pete would think of me differently forever. I even thought that he would hate me and I would never redeem myself. That night, I cried myself to sleep.