It’s that moment. You know, the moment just after I’ve composed a lovely text message and sent it off into the ether, and I’m waiting to hear back. And in that pregnant pause between expectation and actuality, I feel truly alive. But then the pause stretches, and I realize it might take a little longer than I had hoped to get a response.
It could be for any number of reasons, I rationalize, why I haven’t received a reply, and it might have absolutely nothing to do with me, but I can’t convince myself of that. You see, I always think it’s me, because that’s how my brain works, even though it makes no sense.
Maybe she’s at work, or she’s driving, or she’s having lunch with a friend, or she’s just IGNORING ME on purpose. I mean, she knows I texted. Her phone lets loose a beautiful melody every time a text comes in. I know because I’ve checked. And she knows I sit there with my phone in hand staring at it until a reply comes in, but it still hasn’t.
And I’m thinking maybe she was hit by another car while checking my text message, and I’m feeling guilty for thinking those horrible thoughts. And I want to text again to make sure everything’s okay, but I don’t want to cause another accident. Or maybe she is with another guy, and they’re both laughing at me, so oblivious. They’re looking at my message and laughing behind my back.
Yeah. I’ve just about convinced myself that she’s either dead or with some other guy, and I can’t unclench my hand from around the phone, even when it begins to vibrate. I’m hyperventilating now, gasping for air, clutching my phone in a desperate claw grip. And I don’t know if that was even her, the text that just came in, but it doesn’t matter anymore.
I fall to the floor in a complicated rictus, a dance with many moving parts but with absolutely no rhythm. And the pain radiates from my left arm before it goes numb and the phone finally drops, clattering to the ground. Before my eyes go blank, I notice the display on the phone’s screen:
“Stop texting me, you freak.”