Cryptic

The phone vibrated. It meant that there was a Whatsapp message.

I was trying to finish the plate of six chicken wings I ordered, wrestling the midwing part with a fork. I put it down on the plate and dug my hands into the pocket for the phone.

Who could it be? I asked in my heart.

The earlier flurry of messages were from a friend I’d not met in years. She was sitting next to me at the table, nibbling elegantly away at a chicken chipolata. It couldn’t be her. That is unless it was a delayed message. It wouldn’t make sense for any flirty texts from her.

Another friend should be working out hard in the gym at that moment. That is unless she has the habit of texting while exercising, which has never happened.

A belated birthday wish… ?

By the time I held that thought, my phone was in my hands and its screen before my eyes.

The message came from a number, which was not assigned to a name. It didn’t matter. I was familiar with the number.

“Can help send me back?”

From a woman whom I’ve established (possibly and belatedly) she was not attracted to me and that I had been a joker card of sorts to her whenever someone else had cancelled their plans on her, this was most peculiar. She could hold her liquor well (and almost prides herself at it) and even if she was horrendously drunk, how could she text without any spellos?

I furrowed my brows and dismissed it as that she sent the text to me by mistake. I didn’t dwell on thoughts about whether she sent it to a man or a woman either.

I could have ignored it. I could have replied with a “?”, in keeping with the almost cryptic nature of the text. Against better judgement, I typed “What happened?” and hit the “Send” button.

It was on the same day that I had removed myself from a group chat she was also a part of and I deleted the whole chunk of our text conversations.

I put the phone on the table and went back to wrestling with the pile of chicken wings. I held one up and offered it to my friend. She wrinkled her nose, shook her head and nibbled at her chipolata.

As for the sender of the text, there was no response predictably.

I’ll leave it as that.