“Little King, Honoring God…” When she was pregnant with our youngest brother, my Mom would tell everyone she came across the meaning of his name.
He’s the baby of the family. There’s six of us kids, with a seven year gap between him and the fifth. So while I like to pretend it’s normal, I’m pretty sure the reality is that we’re all most likely over protective of him in a way. Even in spite of the fact that he is now 28 years old.
When I got a text last night after midnight from my older sister that stated, “Sorry to bother you, but a Mexican man is calling me from Ryan’s phone. I can’t understand him because he doesn’t speak any English. He said he is in Wisconsin,” I immediately went into protecto mode. Only, it was 2:30 in the morning and all my protecto mode could muster in my sleepy state was, “Did you get a hold of him?” I managed also to reach out in a message to my brother, “Hey sorry to creep at 3 am, but just woke and saw a message re some dude having your phone?” After a slight auto correct typo correction I asked him to message me when he wakes to let me know everything’s ok.
I woke up a little later and went to my 5 am workout. Upon returning home I noticed a response from Ryan. “I’m good,” it simply stated. Relieved but bewildered, I inquired.
“Instant family classic,” he responds and begins to relay the story.
Apparently, someone, who identified himself as a, “Latin King,” hacked my brother’s Apple ID and called my sister at 1 am from what appeared to be his phone. I have no clue how this is even possible, but that’s irrelevant. The man called my sister and was talking to her from what she thought was my brother’s cell phone. No one wants a call in the middle of the night, let alone from some creepy dude who doesn’t even speak the same language as you on your family member’s cell.
My sister did the seemingly logical thing. She reached out… to me, to my brother, to my mom and dad. What’s a mother of six at home in bed to do in that situation? She didn’t want to overreact and call the police with such little information, however, calling the Ps, even though they had every right to know, only fueled the panic stricken flames.
My parents proceeded to drive ALL THE WAY downtown at one o clock in the morning, at least a forty- five-minute distance from their suburban home, to assess the situation and assure my brother’s safety. God bless them. However much it may have annoyed my little bro, that’s love right there.
They rang the North Ave garden apartment bell; Banged on both my brother’s and his unsuspecting roommate’s windows, after there was no answer at the door. My brother finally answered and told them, “I’m fine guys. Please go home,” after seeing the barrage of texts from my mom and sister. Only later did he see the text message conversation between the Latin King hacker, aka kidnapper, and my sister.
She was getting all Liam Nissan with the dude. She doesn’t speak Spanish, but must have used a translating app to communicate with the hijacker in her panic.
Now, I love my little brother dearly. Like anyone you love, there’s vulnerability and concern involved. While I love him, I do find it darkly comedic that anytime anyone can’t get a hold of him or he is M.I.A, not answering calls for even a few hours, my Mom goes into panic mode and arouses alarm all around. I’ve been a victim of this many times. I get a text that she hasn’t heard from him. Initially I assure her he’s alright and attempt to calm her fears. Five minutes after I get off the phone my own mind starts to drift and head towards dreadful possibilities, all sorts of horrific scenarios involving my little brother bound and gagged in the back of a truck, a single tear falling from his frightened eye. It’s disturbing, I admit.
Surely some psychological correlation and explanation can be given as to the roots and stems of our irrational fears. Maybe it’s deeply complex. Maybe it’s just that we love the heck out of him. Maybe we all need to cut the cord.
“Why does everyone always jump to you kidnapped, dead in a ditch?” I asked him towards the end of our text exchange this morning.
Who knows? Then he responds, “…I’m going to have some fun now,” and he screenshots me the text thread between my older sis and the Latin King kidnapper.
My sister’s initial response after a missed call in the middle of the night.
Her Spanish translated, one-sided, private eye attempts to retrieve info.
My brother’s response this morning.