You Had Me at Hello

Submitted into Contest #50 in response to: Write a story about a proposal. ... view prompt

8 comments

General

Him

Hello.



Her

um….who is this?



Him

I’m sorry to text you out of the blue like this, but it was my last resort. I was going to contact and meet you properly before the lockdown happened. I really am sorry for contacting you in this manner. It’s very ungentlemanly. But with the city so close to destruction this seemed like the only way.



Her

sry…who are you? how did you get my info? why would you want to contact me? do I know you from somewhere?



Him

No, unfortunately. We’ve never actually met. I saw you first at the end of February. You were wearing a blue coat and a red beanie.



Her

….this is supposed to help me remember who you are?



Him

No, I’m just telling you why I’m texting you like this. It’s complicated. You see, I saw you in February at Central Park wearing a blue coat and a red beanie. You were buying a hot dog from a hot dog stand. Then you sat on a park bench and stared at the sky. Then you walked home. I started coming to the park regularly. I talked to the hot dog stand owner to learn more about you.



Her

cause that’s not creepy at all….



Him

I know. I’m sorry. But I felt a little desperate. I just wanted to get to know you. And this isn’t love, or searching for a relationship, or anything like that, just so you know. I’m not looking to be in a relationship. I think maybe I just needed someone to talk to right then, so on an impulse I tried to learn more about you. And now I’m alone in my apartment, wondering when I’m going to die, and I figured you might be going through the same thing, so I decided to text you with the information I had.



Her

so how did you get my number from Harry?



Him

I ingratiated myself with him to get your information.



Her

did u just use the word ingratiated?



Him

Yes.

I really am sorry. This is way too forward of me. But I saw no other way to contact you.



Her

so why contact me at all?



Him

Because I want to get to know you. Because I saw you in the park that day and you’re beautiful and charming. And because the fight is getting closer and I could die any minute.



Her

wow. um, why are you being so flattering?



Him

I’m not flattering. I’m telling the truth. You asked my why I wanted to contact you. So, do I have your permission to correspond with you and get to know you during this whole superbattle crisis?



Her

ur asking my permission??



Him

It seemed like the right thing to do.



Her

um….okay. I’m not doing anything right now. I guess you can text me if you’re lonely or whatever.



Him

Thank you.

May I ask your name? The hot dog stand owner only knew you as Miss Davis.



Her

Tryla



Him

I’m Aleksander Skorzewski.



Her

that’s quite a name



Him

My grandfather immigrated directly from Poland as a little boy. I’m named after him.



Her

why get my number? you could have just asked for my name and then liked me on Facebook



Him

I don’t have Facebook.



Her

….

Where did you grow up?



Him

In actuality, here in New York. In answer to your question, yes, under a rock.



Her

no that’s not what I meant!

ok that was what I meant

sry that was rude

this is why I don’t usually do online or texting relationships. suff just sorta comes out.

*stuff



Him

No, I want to get to know you! That’s the whole reason I tracked you down in that invasive way.



Her

is there a reason your vocabulary is….that way?



Him

Incredibly advanced and sophisticated?



Her

weird?



Him

Yes, probably there is a reason.



Her

….

Fine

Why is your vocabulary incredibly advanced and sophisticated?



Him

Heh, heh, that’s my little secret.



Her

….

so what are you doing right now?



Him

Texting you. Getting the hang of it.



Her

wait….have you never texted anyone before?



Him

I have, just not as a small talk conversation. It always seems kind of pointless that way. But as communication it’s very useful.



Her

….



Her

All the phones out of the city are down.

Only my cell works. so basically I can only talk to you.

should we be worried?



Him

I don’t know. Things do seem to be getting worse, whatever the president says.



Her

they should start evacuating people



Her

So what do you do for a living, Aleksander?



Him

I’m a traffic engineer.



Her

Oh ok. that’s interesting



Him

No, it’s not. At least to you. But to me it is.

Just watch Mission Impossible III and you’ll understand what inspired me. I find traffic engineering really cool.



Her

Mission Impossible III? that came out like fifty years ago!



Him

My mother liked to show us the classics.

Or at least the old movies.

I’m not sure that that would qualify as a classic.



Her

wow, nobody watches old movies like that anymore

You’re kind of weird, you know that?



Him

I don’t know…you somehow strike me as an old-movies kind of person.



Her

You can’t really say that. you’ve never met me in person.

Maybe I’m completely different than my internet mask….



Him

I don’t know if you’ve noticed this, but…you’re not capitalizing the first letter of everything sentence.

You capitalize some, but not others. And um…that’s incorrect.



Her

oh really. is that so

i had noticed….

but now i’m REALLY going to dedicate myself to doing it



Him

I should have left well enough alone



Her

haha take that aleksander




Him

What is your favorite book?



Her

The Fault in Our Stars

sooo good

what about you?



Him

Brideshead Revisited.



Her

ah

yes

I’ve totally heard of that

(sarcasm)

btw



Him

Irony, actually.



Her

What?



Him

Irony is when you say something you don’t mean. Sarcasm is when you say something to hurt another person. It comes from the Greek word sarx, “flesh” which evolved into sarkazein, “to tear flesh.”  So sarcasm is a sharp, cutting statement that literally “tears the flesh” of the other person. You can do that with irony, but it does not necessarily follow that all irony is sarcasm. An example of irony would be, “Wow, I really love social media. It really helps with Americans’ social and communication skills.” But if something is ironic, that means it’s the opposite of what you would expect. For example, “It’s so ironic that the one guy who got the cold going around was the one guy in the neighborhood who never talked to anybody, sanitized his house every night, and always wore a mask.” Irony is usually used humorously, and sarcasm isn’t. An example of sarcasm would be if you were politely asked what time it was, and you responded, voice dripping with sarcasm, “Well why don’t you go look at the clock, idiot?” Now an example of sarcastic irony would be something like, “Oh wow, you’re so smart,” in response to someone saying something slightly obvious without the intention of being rude or appearing stupid. Then we have irony (saying something you don’t mean), combined with sarcasm (unnecessary nastiness meant to hurt the other person). Now in our present day society sarcasm has come to take on the meaning of irony, namely that it is the use of irony for humor. But that’s not the original definition. Sarcasm implies mocking and derision. Here’s something interesting: the word “great.” Most people don’t even know that they’re using irony, or even sarcasm, when they say that. “Your flight’s delayed.” “Great.” It expresses negative feelings, but it’s a positive word. I think it would be called sarcasm according to the modern definition, but anyway, that’s not what sarcasm actually means. The masses are swaying it to mean something else.



Her

….



Him

…Did I go overboard with that?



Her

nope



Him

Nice irony.



Her

thanks



Her

do you want to communicate over email as well as texting? just a though

*thought



Him

If you would like.



Her

trylad.tk421-24601@gmail.com



Him

Aha, so you do like old movies.



Her

shut up



Her

so how are you this ashy morning?



Him

Doing well.



Her

doing well? you amaze me



Her

the phones are still down and I can’t call my mom and say….whatever needs to be said. she’ll be worried. things are getting so dangerous.



Him

Is there any other way you can contact her? Could you email her or text her?



Her

she doesn’t have a phone or an email

she’s very old-fashioned

kind of like you



Her

thanks for the call. it was really nice to talk to someone



Him

No problem. You seemed upset in your email.



Her

hmmm…was it the all caps and virtual screaming that gave it away? you’re getting pretty good at reading me.



Him

I read your messages, at least.



Her

haha




Him

Happy Fourth of July!



Her

oh my gosh I completely forgot! the news is so distracting. they didn’t even mention it. just the fight.



Him

Well, that’s me! Your friendly neighborhood Reminder of Happy Things.



Her

:)



Her

thank you for your email yesterday. my laptop died, so we’re back to texting.

but thank you for what you said about my grandmother. it was really comforting.

also….thank you for texting me in the first place. you’ve made these last few weeks brighter.



Him

It’s been pretty dark, hasn’t it?



Her

do you think we’re all going to die?



Him

I think some of us are going to die. But not all of us.



Her

always so clever.



Him

Alas, I admit it.



Her

you’re still cheerful.



Him

I try.



Her

after what happened yesterday, I have to talk to somebody. the military just keeps losing men! what makes them think they can stop him when the supers can’t? why do they keep dying on tv? why do we have to keep watching it? why do we have to be trapped?



Him

It’s okay.



Her

what do you mean it’s okay?????

he’s crushing men with his mind!! he’s crushing this whole city when he walks!!! what made them think we’d be safe in a lockdown?



Him

Tryla, calm down. It’s going to be okay.



Her

HOW CAN IT BE OKAY?

I’m alone in a stinking apartment in Queens, right across the river from the Lower East Side. Once he’s done decimating there, he’s just going to come across the river and start all over again and I’m alone and we ARE all going to die and how can you be so stinking hopeful

where do you live anyway



Him

I live in Brooklyn.



Her

….

you live in Brooklyn?

oh my gosh I’m so sorry

but everyone says that’s where the fight’s going next, I mean statistically…

what are you going to do?



Him

There’s nothing we can do. We’re all in lockdown in our apartments to stay safe.



Her

but the lockdown won’t keep us safe!



Him

I know. But I think it makes people feel safer if there’s something they can do. We couldn’t escape anyway.



Her

how does feeling better make any difference in whether they live or die???



Him

It doesn’t. But it changes things.

Like knowing you through this has changed things for me. Instead of being a time of terror, it’s been a time of friendship. Thank you for that.

We can always make something beautiful out of darkness Tryla.



Her

That was beautiful



Him

Thank you.



Her

but you forgot the comma after darkness.



Him

What?



Her

that’ll teach you to pick on my punctuation after every email



Him

Haha.



Her

did you see the news? what are you going to do?

if the supers fight in Brooklyn?



Him

Stay inside. Don't set off any large explosives. Don't attract attention like we've been told.



Her

but those rules aren't going to protect us!



Him

So what will? This is all we can do.



Her

Aleksander?

Are you up?



Him

Yes.



Her

can you hear it in Brooklyn too?

I’m scared



Him

I’m scared too.

Especially when the media keeps showing us terrifying videos and telling us to be scared.



Her

this is insane. now we have a blackout?

you were right. I watch all the old movies. I’ve seen all the superhero movies. I just never thought that the bad stuff would ever be real too. I never thought it would happen to me.



Him

I think the unexpectedness is part of what makes it so frightening. But also what makes it so much more of a triumph when we prevail.



Her

where are you getting all these deep things?



Him

I was born that way.



Her

Haha

Well thank you for it



Him

You’re welcome.



Her

Or rather thank your mom for me



Him

Actually, you could tell her as well as me.



Her

oh. I’m so sorry for you



Him

It’s alright. She had a happy life, and she doesn’t have to see this now.



Her

I don’t know what’s happened to my mom. she’s in Chicago but that’s no guarantee.



Him

I’ll be praying for her.



Her

You always say that. Do you really think it will help?



Him

It’s all I’ve got to give at this point.



Her

….

thank you




Him

Tryla?



Her

Yes?



Him

I have something to say.

I know that it may well prove meaningless in the eyes of the world, since it’s getting so dangerous that I don’t know if either of us will survive, but it has great meaning to me, and I’ve been waiting two months to say it.

Are you there?



Her

I’m here, Aleksander.



Him

I love the way you put four dots as an ellipsis instead of three.

I love the way you don’t capitalize the first letter of the sentence but you do capitalize all the proper names inside it.

I love the way you write to me all in caps lock when you’re stressed.

I love you, Tryla. Will you marry me?

July 15, 2020 01:13

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8 comments

Rhondalise Mitza
03:59 Jul 15, 2020

<3 <3 LOVE IT. :)

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04:24 Jul 15, 2020

Oh wow, that was fast. XD Thanks!

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04:25 Jul 15, 2020

Do you have any suggestions for revision?

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Rhondalise Mitza
04:27 Jul 15, 2020

No, because your format was different and all but you did fine with it. :)

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Roshna Rusiniya
17:13 Jul 15, 2020

This is a great story! Very unique. I loved it. Beautiful ending too! Quite a proposal!

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21:20 Jul 15, 2020

Thanks Roshna!

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Roshna Rusiniya
04:54 Jul 16, 2020

You are welcome! Would you also read mine when you get time? 😊

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19:12 Jul 16, 2020

Sure!

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