SUBTEXT

 

Posted September 1, 2016

(Fiction)

Monday. 7:54 A.M.

I should wait to text her, right? Yeah, I should wait. I’ll text her at noon.

 

 

12:00 P.M.

I'm just worried that if I text now, it’ll feel like I told myself to wait until 12:00. I should do it at 1:03. 1:03 feels spontaneous. Like I was busy exploring the Grand Canyon or something and only just realized I should text that girl I met last night.

Exploring the Grand Canyon?
 

Or something else adventurous. I just want her to think that I’m out there in the world, living life. Doing exciting things.

This is the girl who already knows you’re an office coordinator, right?
 

Maybe I took the day off. Maybe I’m adventurously playing hooky.

And texting at 1:03 will send that message?
 

On some level.

            

1:03 P.M.

ME: Hey, this is Mike from Maddie’s party last night. How’s it going?
 

1:10 P.M.

Why hasn’t she replied? I thought she would have texted back by now.

Maybe she’s exploring the Grand Canyon.
 

Shut up.

1:20 P.M.

She’s not going to respond.

It’s been seventeen minutes.
 

That’s an eternity.

She might not have even gotten the text yet.
 

Nobody goes seventeen minutes without checking their phone.

2:42 P.M.

Now can we agree she’s not responding?

Maybe she’s making you wait like you made her wait.
 

Why can’t she just be honest about whether or not she likes me instead of playing these stupid games?

Yes, it really is a special kind of monster that intentionally waits to text someone to make it seem like they’re playing it cool.
 

I don’t want to date someone who plays games like this. If we were the right fit, we wouldn’t be doing this tango. I’m not really sure I want to see her again.

So if she texted back right now and said “let’s go out,” you would say no?
 

I didn’t say that.

3:42 P.M.

Okay, we’ve officially crossed the “This isn’t happening” threshold. It’s 3:42. If she wanted to meet up, she would have replied by now. Honestly, even if she does text at this point, I would say no. Just because it’s rude for her to do this. Like, if you don’t want to go out with me, just say so.

4:56 P.M.

 

 

My phone’s vibrating.

 

No it’s not.
 

If that wasn’t my phone vibrating, then how do you explain that buzzing sensation I felt on my left thigh?

Desperation?
 

I’m checking my phone.

Go ahead, check your phone.
 

4:57 P.M.

 

 

Okay, maybe that wasn’t my phone vibrating.

 

5:20 P.M.

 

 

Maybe there’s something wrong with my cell service. I haven’t gotten messages from anyone in the last few hours.

 

You should call T-Mobile. I’m sure they have an entire extension set up for people who haven’t heard back from the girl they met last night and assume something’s wrong with their service.
 

7:05 P.M.

That was a vibration! That was definitely a vibration. I’m just going to wait to check my phone. I don’t want to seem desperate.

Good idea. If you looked at the screen too soon, she would probably sense it.
 

7:06 P.M.

Screw it. I’m checking the phone.

 

I can’t believe you held out this long.

BETH: Hey! Great! U?
 

Two exclamation points! That’s good, right? That has to be good.

I thought you didn’t like her anymore.
 

Shut up.

ME: Great! I’m glad to see your Uber driver didn’t kill you!

Glad to see your Uber driver didn’t kill you?
 

Yeah, because when she got into her Uber last night, we were joking about how—

 

No, I get it. It’s just, it’s a weird option to lead with.
 

It was a joke. Is she not going to think it’s a joke? Is she going to think I’m some weird, twisted sick monster? Maybe I should text “JK.”

Please don’t text “JK.”
 

She’s typing something.

BETH: …
 

Wait, where did the dots go? Why did she stop typing?

8:14 P.M.

 

 

Why did she stop typing?

 

 

8:18 P.M.

Why did she stop typing??

Maybe her Uber driver killed her.
 

Shut up.

8:22 P.M.

Maybe the problem is that I didn’t ask a question.

 

That’s not the problem.
 

No. Like right now she’s thinking, “that’s a funny line, but there’s nothing to respond to. So I just won’t respond.” But if I had asked a question, then she’d have something to work off of.

Don’t ask a question.
 

Yeah, it’s too late. If I type something else now before she types something, she might feel smothered.

9:10 P.M.

Okay, it’s official. She’s not responding. Honestly, I’m not totally surprised. Even when we were talking the other day, she didn’t seem like she had a great sense of humor. It’s probably for the best. I wouldn’t want to date someone who doesn’t find that Uber line funny.

Sure you wouldn’t.
 

9:41 P.M.

She texted!

 

BETH: Ha! No still alive

 

She’s fun.

I thought you said she wasn’t fun.
 

I think I was wrong. She’s fun.

Please just ask her out.
 

I should engage in casual conversation, then segue naturally into the ask-out.

It’s 9:41. Just ask her out.
 

ME: Would you wanna grab a drink some time?

BETH: Sure
 

She said “yes!”

She said “sure.”

ME: How about Thursday night?

BETH: Yeah I can probably do that

She said “yes!”

She said “probably.”
 

What does that mean?

It means you have plans... Unless something better comes along.
 

No, I don’t think she would do that.

She just did.

ME: You know the bar up the street from Maddie's? The Attic? Wanna meet there?

BETH: Ya

ME: How about 7:30?

BETH: I think that works. I'll let you know

So do we have a date?

You have plans for her to tell you that night if you have a date.
 

I should put my foot down. I should say something like “commit to this or else I’m gonna make other plans.” Except in a way that’s fun and chill.

Yes.
 

But what if she gets annoyed and decides she doesn’t want to go out with me?

That sounds like what she’s planning to do anyway.
 

ME: Cool, yeah it should work for me too. We’ll be in touch.

Way to put your foot down.


Shut up.

ME: If my Uber driver doesn’t kill me. ;)


Please put away the phone.

9:51 P.M.

She hasn’t responded.

She won't.

Wednesday. 2:06 P.M.

I should text her.

No you shouldn’t.
 

When we talked at the party, she said she had a presentation on Wednesday. If I just text, “Good luck with the presentation,” it sends the message that I listened when we talked and am thoughtful.

It sends the message that you have her calendar committed to memory and have probably already checked her Facebook page 40 times since you met.
 

I don’t think that’s how she’ll take it.

ME: Knock ‘em dead with the presentation slugger.

How did you ever get this girl to give you her number?
 

3:15 P.M.

 

Why hasn’t she responded?

It's a mystery.

 

Shut up.

 

 

Thursday. 5:20 P.M.

ME: Hey! Still on for tonight?

5:40 P.M.

I feel like she might not respond.

After that text about her presentation? I don’t see how she could possibly walk away.
 

5:42 P.M.

BETH: Sorry! Super slammed at work!

Don’t think I can make it by 7:30

ME: Oh, I’m sorry to hear that. We can try for later if you want?

That’s not what she’s saying.

ME: Wanna do 8:30?

 

Really not what she’s saying.
 

6:57 P.M.

BETH: Ugh, I’m sorry. Still at work. My boss won’t let me leave!
 

I shouldn’t respond right away.

Or just don’t respond.
 

ME: No worries. Wanna do something next week instead?

BETH: I have a pretty hectic week next week
so I’m not gonna be around that much

 

Maybe she’s not interested.

It could go either way.
 

I don’t get it. I thought she was into me.

There was no way you could have seen this coming.
 

Shut up.

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