Monday, June 27, 2022 Jun 27, 2022
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My Affair Began With a Text

And it quickly consumed my life.
By |

Recently I participated in a love triangle that I am still struggling to understand. Maybe it was a love rhombus. It started at 3:24 am with a text from an unfamiliar 214 number. “Thanks,” it said, followed by a smiling yellow emoji. Then another “Thanks,” with no period. I saw the texts when I woke that morning but didn’t give them much thought. Someone was thankful. He or she had unfortunately expressed that thanks to the wrong person. But it wasn’t my place to get involved, so I didn’t respond. 

That night, though, things took a turn. At 9:39: “What would u do you don’t know how I feel even if the movie man did came by you would not watches you would not watch it with me.” A sad-face emoji followed in its own gray text bubble.

Fighting through the absence of punctuation, I gathered that someone was no longer thankful. And not only had the movie man not come, but even if he had come, this someone would have had to watch that movie in solitude. Now I was curious. I went to bed wondering what a movie man was. 

The next morning, at 5:56: “Let’s talk about the smelly,” seasoned with a purple devil emoji. 

I replied: “Whose smelly? Yours or mine?” 

My odoriferous cinephile didn’t text till 6:43 the following morning. And it was a doozy. “The truth is I know u gonna leave me when red get out ,that’s we you didn’t want to move , you don’t want to marry me and I believe this” with no period. Then another: “You are not trying to save no money , just waiting on red” Then a third: “And that mess with you and Kevin my mind is strong I can put up with bull”

At this point, my curiosity bloomed into full-on infatuation. I spent hours trying to figure out what I had gotten myself into. Red was in jail. That much was clear. But the mess with Kevin? How could I have allowed that to happen? 

At 4:02 that evening: “Call me”

Maybe I was scared. A bigger man might have called and dealt with the situation head-on. Instead I texted: “First, I don’t even want to hear about Kevin. That’s poppycock. As for red, I ain’t seen red since that last time and you knew that. Red is nothing. I’ll tell you what I think. I think YOU the one that don’t want to get married. That’s why you throwing all this shade. You trying to push me away and make ME the bad guy. Main reason I don’t want to move is (besides saving money), the guy who lived here before me never canceled his subscription to the paper, and I been getting a free paper since I moved in. That’s straight up truth.”

A profound anxiety held me in its grip for several long minutes. Then came the response: “I might get transfered to duncanville warehouse” And two minutes later: “Everything sounds Good”

I had done it! The movie man, the smelly, Red, Kevin—it was all behind us. Everything was good with a capital “G”! Maybe one day we could even be friends. “That could be good,” I texted back, preparing for us to go our separate ways. “Duncanville is chill.”

But we weren’t done. Far from it. The next morning at 4:04, another text: “I do pay something, and I refuse to live like this” Which was followed two hours later with: “Yes !!! You was grimey !!! To me”

I read the texts when I awoke and was troubled by the uneven distribution of exclamation points. Things clearly were not Good.   

After stewing all day, I wrote: “Maybe you’re right. It might be best if you found someone who doesn’t mind your spaces before punctuation. Also, I don’t even know what ‘grimey’ means. You deserve better.”

A week has passed without a response. On the one hand, I’m happy that my mystery texter has moved on, maybe even found some measure of peace in Duncanville. But I’m torn. I still sometimes lie awake at night, wondering about Red and Kevin, haunted by what might
have been.