The Dual – An Online Tale of Our Times
He was online. Hmm. But he had not messaged, yet. She waited impatiently as he still did not reply. She got up from the bed, went to the kitchen, got some water, opened the fridge, shut it and returned to her phone. He was still online. But no message. Bastard.
Myra was not one to easily fall for someone but 2 years ago, during a very trying period in her life she had allowed this beauty in. Mr. Personality who ‘does not commit’. Bloody disease of our time she thought snidely. How many of her friends were single coz of characters like this? Either scarred by them or chasing them, she thought ruefully. So these online games continued on random occasions.
Myra was convinced he contacted her when he wanted some intellectual stimulation after the many random women he chased. She was after all, familiar territory and he knew she was smarter than most and that intrigued him. ‘I’m his reality check after his dick is exhausted’ she thought to herself, half pissed and half hurt. It hurt. That he was screwing other women. Sure, it was casual. But hey, she had fallen ok? Like a ton of bricks and now she was inwardly crying like a fucking baby for his attention. You don’t need him, she told herself. And that was true. But she wanted the man coz “they could be so good”. Yea could but not.
She looked at the WhatsApp sign that showed he was typing. Her heart leapt and she cursed herself for it. Bloody hell woman get a grip!
“Hey there” he wrote. She waited a minute coz she did not want him to know she was waiting for him to message. That would be desperate. So she waited. Went again to the fridge and scoured it with her eyes while her mind was on that bloody text. She breathed. Waited. Then headed back.
She was thinking what to type and just wrote “Hi what’s up?”
He saw her message. She knew from those telltale blue double ticks. Nothing. Fuck. She cursed herself. Should have replied about an hour later she thought. But what’s the point? Anyhow this was just a casual text though in her head she was overanalyzing the damn thing.
When she had almost lost all hope he responded with “Nothing, just thought I’d say hi”. Oh bloody brilliant, just a bloody hi. After all that heartache. She wanted to facepalm herself a few times. Pathetic woman, she muttered to herself. She did not reply. What does one say?? ‘Hi back’??
Shawn was immersed in some articles he was flipping through online. In between, he scrolled his Instagram and mindlessly liked half the women he was following – Charlize Theron, Angelina Jolie, Sasha Grey and Tera Patrick amongst others. They were all hot, sexy and appealing but nothing exceptional caught his eye. He also noticed his Sri Lankan friends – women who were hot and they too got the random likes. He then noticed Myra. He paused. She was posing with a glass and there as a sassy caption to go with it. She looked good but he passed her pic without liking it. Something made him hold back.
Now he just typed a hi to her coz he had seen her picture. She had responded and he just moved on coz it was just a habitual checking up on her. She was cool. Smart. Opinionated and had a big mouth. But he found that he liked her. Nice girl. But she had been getting a little too comfortable a while back and he had inadvertently taken a step back. He didn’t think much of it but there were the times he would remember her and then send her the random hi to check up on her.
She did not reply his message. He found himself checking again after a while. He then asked “what news?”
Myra saw the response after about 10 minutes of berating herself mentally for getting her knickers in a twist over this bugger. She thought, ‘what news?’ Well there was lots to say but she did not want to gush. So she thought a bit and wrote “well nothing new as such. Been getting on. Work, gym the usual.”
She waited a bit and asked “how about you?”
Shawn saw her response. Read it and went back to scrolling his Facebook newsfeed. He saw a politically loaded post and proceeded to comment on it. After writing a snarky comment, he came back to his WhatsApp and saw her message again.
He waited. Checked his other messages and came back to her chat.
“Ah the same. Nothing new” he typed and went back to Facebook coz he got a notification. Soon he was caught in a raging debate online and he gleefully immersed himself in it. After about half an hour, he went back to WhatsApp to check and found no messages from Myra.
Myra was glaring at the screen. What the bloody hell. Fuck a duck and a chicken she thought angrily. What was this bloody conversation?? This was the man who poured his heart out to her in the first 6 months of them getting to know each other. Mr. Personality after all was a sensitive soul and all the years of hurt and pain had come gushing out to her on several occasions.
Myra got the man. Coz she was sincere and also they were a bit alike though he had this outward cool dude exterior whereas she was loud and out there. Still, this stilted conversation was nothing like what he used to be in person.
Ok, he was hurt from some past betrayals but that was not her no. What the fuck. She was pissed now. She did not reply and told herself, that’s it. No more bull conversations that are loaded. It was unnecessary heartache. And she deserved better than this crap.
Shawn was back at his usual debating. He noticed a few messages on Facebook. He should reply to them but he didn’t. He noticed one of the girls he had a fling with some time back, had messaged. He looked at her message and replied her. She was hot but their tryst was a while back. She was now with some other dude. But they stayed in touch. They were both cool about it.
Shawn decided to call it a night and headed to bed.
Myra was livid. She decided she would cut the bastard out of her life. It was not worth it and she was just sick of this limbo, loaded bull crap. She looked forward to the weekend as her best buddy Tani was heading over to spend the night after a long time. Myra was gonna cook for Tani and have some good girl talk after a while. That night, Myra whipped up Pasta Carbonara and served it with a good Riesling wine. She and Tani laughed and took a picture of the two wine glasses with the food and decided to post it on Facebook. Of course within minutes there was a barrage of comments including from their own friends asking whose the second glass was? Myra was snorting coz she said “If I wanted a private date why would I put it up on Facebook dude?”
A few days later when Shawn was checking his phone he noticed on Facebook a picture on his newsfeed of two wine glasses on a table at Myra’s house. It was night and looked quite romantic. He quickly checked the comments and noted many asking who she was sharing her wine with. Shawn stopped. He went to her profile and started scrolling through her pictures. He checked Instagram. Then her WhatsApp profile picture but nothing there.
Shawn kept checking her profile throughout the day. He saw another picture uploaded of a pasta dish. Carbonara. He was a huge fan of Carbonara. Again more comments on who Myra was cooking for. Myra’s replies were also ambiguous and a tad sassy. Many winky faces and devils face emojis.
Shawn quickly typed a message to Myra.
“Hey how’s it going? What you upto?”
Myra did not reply immediately. In fact she had not seen it yet. Shawn waited impatiently.
Myra had a good Saturday night with Tani and checked her phone the next morning. She saw the message from Shawn sent the night before and wondered why he was messaging so soon again. She thought a bit in anger but then decided to just reply him.
“Nothing much. Had a busy weekend.”
Shawn saw the message ping and though he was in the middle of something else, he quickly opened the message and saw her reply.
He quickly typed “Ah really? What did you do?”
Myra just replied “Well I spent the weekend with a good friend”
Shawn found himself typing “Ah really? So your friend stayed over is it?”
Myra found this new line of questions really odd. What the hell? Since when did the bastard give a damn about who was staying over? She felt a bit defensive and asked “Why do you ask?”
Shawn realized she seemed to be hedging and quickly wrote without thinking
“Ah no, coz I didn’t realize you were that kind of person.” He added a smiley face though inside he was feeling squeamish.
Myra was like, what the fuck asshole?? She got really pissed and asked
“That kind of person?? What kind of person??”
Shawn found himself backing into a corner and started typing furiously.
“Well you know the kind that entertains people over. You have created this very different impression you know”
Myra was frothing. This fucker who sleeps with any cunt that walks his way, whose dick needs satiating every 3 to 6 months with a new fuck, had the bloody nerve to suggest that she was some kind of “type” coz she had someone stay over??!! Piece of shit!
“You know Shawn, you really are a filthy hypocrite! You who fucks anything in sight, have the nerve to tell me I am some type for having someone over?? Which fucking planet have you been rotating on?? And even if I were some “type” what’s your damn problem with it??”
This is the most Myra had ever typed to him. She was fuming and frothing mad.
“Well you’re the one who created this impression of yourself. Don’t think I don’t know that you have been saying, coz I hear these things. I am not as clueless as you would like me to be”
‘What bollocks is this man on?’ thought Myra, perplexed.
“What impression of myself and what have I been saying Shawn??”
“I know what you have been saying about me. Don’t think I haven’t heard. Anyway I think it’s best if we keep a distance hereafter.”
Myra was stymied with this bloody rhetoric. What on earth??
Shawn typed a quick bye, and got off the chat. He spent a moment wondering why he was still feeling squeamish. He quickly got on Facebook, Instagram and WhatsApp and blocked Myra. His heart was pounding.
Myra was utterly confused by this exchange and enraged as well. What the hell was this man on about?? She was still reeling and wanted to call Tani and discuss what had happened. Shawn had never spoken to her like that before. They had argued in the past but this was nasty. After a bit, Myra on a hunch checked her Facebook, Instagram and WhatsApp and realized that Shawn had blocked her. Her heart was heavy. What the hell happened? The random WhatsApp chats had gone from zero to loco in no time. She had no idea where Shawn was coming from and now there would be no more messages either. Myra was upset. But then she got angry. Who the hell did he think he was?? Accusing her like that.
Myra for the first time in her life switched off her phone. Coz there was nothing to look forward to. She decided to call Tani tomorrow coz she was still reeling. She switched off the light. And went to bed and spent about an hour staring up at the ceiling.