Joe’s heart pounded in his chest. She had finally arrived! This was his opportunity – to have his first conversation with her; to get to know her; perhaps even let her know his true feelings! Now all he needed to do was instigate. With much trepidation, he decided to take the plunge.
“hi” he typed, and began to pray. If only she would say something back – no matter what she said, it would be a dream to him; it would make his day; he would treasure the words forever.
“hi” Grace replied. Try as he might, Joe couldn’t work out exactly what she meant by the word – was it a simple greeting, or was it something much, much more? He decided to risk talking to her a little longer.
“how r u?” Joe asked, immediately kicking himself for his stupidity. He could just picture her telling all her friends at school the next day about that idiot Joe who couldn’t think of anything better to say than “How are you”.
“gd u?” Joe’s emotions soared to higher heights than he had ever known. Not only was she in his presence, she wasn’t unhappy as a result of it! And what’s more, she was interested in his feelings! Joe doubted he had ever known such ecstasy as he carefully contemplated his next words.
“yeh im gd” he replied, before adding “wots bin hapnin?”
Her reply took only a minute, but it felt like an eternity as Joe sat with his fingers drumming the table in front of him.
“nt much u?”
Joe had a dilemma. Should he tell her what he was actually up to – sitting at his computer, hoping and praying that she would talk to him? Or should he play hard to get, making her press him for information? He decided to take a more light-hearted approach.
“jst skool lol” he typed, knowing that it would be a good ice-breaker. Joe knew that anything would pass as deep and meaningful unless you laughed out loud after stating it.
“lol” came her reply. Joe almost leapt out of his seat. She was laughing too! They were laughing together! They were having a shared experience that they would remember and reminisce on forevermore! Steepling his fingers under his chin, he contemplated his next move – but before he could type anything more, Grace took the initiative.
“brb” she wrote. This encouraged Joe. Surely she was off to ring her friends – to tell them about this boy from school that she was talking to for the first time – this wonderful, hilarious, charming boy that she’d never even noticed until this afternoon. Surely she was asking their advice about how to show him she was interested! Joe decided he’d better acknowledge that it was ok for her to do this – that he would wait for her, no matter how long she would be.
“k” he typed, knowing that upon her return, she would be thrilled to find this message written solely for her – to know that he was rapt by her attention.
Three minutes passed, and Grace returned.
“g2g bi” she wrote. Joe’s heart sank. They were just starting to get to know each other – surely she couldn’t despise him already? What had he done wrong? How had he messed up this perfect opportunity? In despair, he reached out to her. He had to let her know what she meant to him – he had just this one last chance to win her over.
“k bi” he wrote back, and immediately kicked himself again. Now he had completely blown it. There was no returning from this. Head in his hands, he let a tear roll down his cheek. There he sat for twelve minutes, before getting up and reaching for the power button.
It was then that he saw it. In the moments before signing off, Grace had left him one last message.
“c u l8r”
Joe smiled. He was in.