Ms. Sillow had recruited Joshua in the nick of time to fool her daughter. She had been busy coaching the boy since 5 o’clock that afternoon, telling him his new name, his new age, and everything that he would need to say to “his new mother” so that there would be no reason for Sondra to believe that she wasn’t talking to her actual son. At around 8:27 p.m., the call for Presley finally came through, and Joshua went into action under his new, temporarily-assumed identity. Ms. Sillow was confident that he would be able to fool her daughter, but just to be safe, she was listening in on the conversation from another phone inside of the house. But Ms. Sillow had underestimated her daughter’s maternal instincts. Sondra had immediately picked up on the difference in the voice on the other end of the line.
“Presley, you sound so different. Is everything alright?” his mother asked worriedly.
“He got the cold,” Ms. Sillow chimed in before Joshua even had the chance to respond.
“Mother,” Sondra blurted, clearly surprised that Ms. Sillow was also on the line. “I had no idea that you were eavesdropping. Why do you continually do this?”
Always the quick thinker, Ms. Sillow responded without hesitation: “The boy’s birthday just passed: you never called him; you never wrote. I need to find out what’s going on with you.”
Whenever her mother decided to speak to her as though she was still a little girl, Sondra would lose her composure. “I had been busy dealing with some personal matters, mother.” Truth was, her son’s birthday had completely slipped her mind.
“You’re always dealing with a personal matter, you idiot,” her mother counter-argued. “Listen to yourself; you’re nothing but a drug slut.”
Sondra began to break down on the other end of the line. Everything her mother was saying to her had been carefully orchestrated. Ms. Sillow knew that her harsh rant would cause her sensitive daughter to become totally distraught, which would in turn cause her to stop focusing on the boy, who might have mistakenly said something that would have let Sondra know she wasn’t actually talking to Presley.
“Allow me to speak to my son, mother - alone!” Sondra demanded.
“You have the audacity to call here almost a month after the boy’s birthday and expect him to want to speak with you? You have gat to be the most ignorant bitch to ever walk this Earth,” Ms. Sillow snapped back.
Sondra angrily hung up the telephone. She was deeply embarrassed by the way her mother had spoken to her while the boy she believed to be her son was also on the line. Sondra knew that if the boy was to continually hear her mother talk to her with such disrespectful contempt, he would eventually adapt the habit and begin to disrespect her as well. Before things could get to that point, Sondra made the hard decision to stop calling the house altogether.