So I sent this text to Simon saying how I was sick, flu, so I wouldn’t be able to make badminton, but if you want to do something before you leave – he’s off to Canada for a permanent job next month – that’d be great, and I went back to sleep.

But when I woke up, I don’t know why, I had this sudden sort of fear that I hadn’t said do something before you leave, I’d said see you, I want to see you before you leave, when I probably should’ve just gone for meet up, you know, to make it sound more casual, we’ve only known each other for six weeks and barely done anything meaningful together: he’s a temp, he works in a different department. We’ve gone for a beer and lunch, but only after badminton, and we’d only played five, six times.

So I checked my phone beside my bed, hoping it was meet up, but there it was, I want to see you before you leave, like I’ve got something important to say when I haven’t. Or, worse, like he’s more to me than just a casual acquaintance, a potential lover maybe, and I’m like, shit, what have I done?

I think, maybe, deep down, I wanted to write see, not meet up, I just didn’t know it myself, and it came out in the text. Maybe he was important to me. But I couldn’t believe it, not really. I must’ve just been careless – I’m sick after all – and all I had to do was send another text to stop him from mulling it over himself, thinking what did I do to deserve this see, surely he meant meet up, did I do anything to make it more than that, a pat on the shoulder after tennis, a smile, an overlong stare into his eyes?

But I didn’t know what to write, sorry I meant meet up not see? What if I disappointed him? But then maybe I needed to. I didn’t want to lead him on. Or make him think I was a dick, playing with his feelings for me, if he had any feelings. Then again maybe he didn’t care. He was at work, doing other things.

So I locked the phone then unlocked it and looked again. I hoped the text had gone, or changed, the s at the start of see morphing into an m, the e at the end leaping up to make a t, an up appearing from nowhere. But it hadn’t, it was still the same, and everything was in the same place it had been before I’d fallen asleep two hours earlier. So, in the end, I just thought, fuck it, I’ll text. I’ll blame the meds, which was what I was about to do when my phone vibrated and buzzed and a message appeared, and none of it really mattered anymore.

Cool, it said, badminton end of next week?



4 thoughts on “Text Message

  1. Love the back and forth and circling as your narrator chases his/ her own tail. So easily done, not so easily described. This has just the right amount of tension and fear without being overdone.

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