Find the rest of Kissing Fish here.
I clicked on the inbox and opened the first message.
Hey sexy, I see you’re looking for fun times in the Fife area. That’s a hot pic, but I bet you’d look even hotter wearing nothing at all. Hit me up, babe, and I’ll show you fun times… ;D
“Ew,” I said, deleting the message. I hovered over the second one for a moment, uncertain, and finally opened it.
Hi. I’m Tim. I don’t really know how to do this online dating thing, but, well, my friends signed me up for it and you seem like a normal person. And your picture looks like it might actually be a real picture. And a recent one. I guess I’m trying to say, in a really roundabout way, that you’re very nice looking and that it seems like if I were to meet you in person you might actually look like your picture, which believe me is a real problem on sites like this.
I also like the beach, which is useful when you live on the coast, right? Yeah. I’m in Dundee, which isn’t very far from you, I guess. So if you’re interested, message me back. If not…well, don’t, I guess.
Wow. Clearly Tim had some issues expressing himself through writing. Seriously awkward. That wasn’t exactly a promising start, but…well, who was I to be so picky as to throw him out from the get-go for being awkward? I was awkward enough myself. Besides, creepy and overtly sexual was one thing, but awkward was something else entirely. Although you’d think if you were writing a message you’d maybe spend some time on it so that the total awkward didn’t come through quite so clearly…
Frowning, I went to Tim’s profile. He seemed fairly normal. Thirty years old. Listed himself as head of IT in Dundee at a branch of a company I’d never heard of but that was apparently based in Edinburgh. Interested in football and jogging. Middle of three siblings. Liked Chinese take-away and crap films on the weekend.
“Okay, Tim,” I said under my breath, fingers hovering over the keyboard, “let’s you and me get a bit better acquainted.”
I opened a new message and frowned at the screen for a moment, trying to think what to say. Possibly trying to write this while drunk might not have been the best idea, but hey, if he thought I was weird he could always go find himself another nice-looking girl. I flexed my fingers and started to type.
Hi Tim. Nice to hear from you. I’d say I’m a normal person, except I can be a little weird. I haven’t got up to Dundee yet; is it nice? I like St Andrews so far (I’ve only been here a little over a day!) but it is so small! Your profile says you like crap films — any in particular? Looking forward to hearing from you.
I hesitated and then hit send. It made a happy little whooshing noise and went quiet. I sat and stared at the computer for a minute, my mind blank.
“Time for bed, Fish,” I muttered, shutting the laptop and pulling myself to my feet.
Faye was on the computer when I woke up in the morning, already logged into the website.
“Someone’s trying to chat with you,” she said around a mouthful of toast. “He says he likes Army of Darkness, Fifth Element, and The Princess Bride.”
“The Princess Bride is not a crap film,” I said, sitting down next to her. “It’s a cult classic.”
“Before you get enmeshed in chatting with your new lover, can you see me off?” Faye dragged a sweatshirt over her head and pulled on her shoes. “I can drag my sorry arse to the bus station myself, but it would be nice if you at least walked me to the door.” She gave me a sad face and then laughed as I bounded to my feet and threw my arms around her.
“Don’t leeeeeeaaaaave me!” I wailed. She started to walk towards the door, dragging me with her. “Noooooo,” I cried, pretending to sob into her shoulder. “Noooo, you’ll leave me all alone in this tiny town! Do you know what happens in tiny towns? Bad things happen in tiny towns!”
Faye was laughing as she wrapped her arms around my waist and squeezed. “Silly,” she said. “I have to go! I have a job. And hearts to break.”
“You realise we’ve been living in the same place for the last six years?” I asked. “We’re going to go through serious separation anxiety once we realise that we don’t live near each other anymore.”
“We will survive,” she said firmly, and then spoiled the effect by ruffling my hair. “Right,” she said decisively, “I am off. I will see you soon, though. Whenever works.” She hugged me again and stepped out onto the porch. “I love you lots, and you will do fab.” She bounded down the steps and blew me a kiss. “Bye!”
I waved until she disappeared around the corner before going back inside. Taking a deep breath, I pulled the laptop in front of me and squinted at the chat window. “Right, Tim, let’s see how this works.”