Baby, You're A Rich Man

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Status: Finished  |  Genre: Young Adult  |  House: Booksie Classic
A modern day obsession.

Submitted: November 01, 2011

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Submitted: November 01, 2011

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A young man holds a gun to his head in a run-down share house off

Brougham St before realizing that he has a Facebook friend request.

 

His fingers shoot from the trigger to the mouse and he's clicking

'accept', seeing her for the first time. He studies the profile,

pictures first, and they have a lot in common. He's seeing the world

open.

 

Work isn't so hard the next day and he waits until getting home before

he messages her. He says:

 

"Hey! So good to finally have a new friend! To have some contact with

the outside world! I know you live in Darlinghurst, we should hang out

soon. I live at 6/32b Brougham St, drop in one day! 0410 110 220."

 

He reads the message through and highlights the text, clicks delete.

He tries again:

 

"Hey!

Glad you found me!

I'm on Brougham St, call me for coffee?

0410 110 220."

 

He tries once more:

 

"Hey,

Been a while!

If you're ever in the cross, let's have coffee.

0410 110 220."

 

He can't sleep that night, rolls in bed and updates his Inbox, checks

his phone and sweats in the cold. In the morning he's too hungover to

work, feels like he's been speeding, calls in sick and has no

messages. He finally collapses at the computer.

 

It's there, shining red on his Profile page, a 'New Message'. Pupils

dilate and the sweating starts and he clicks the link, biting his lip

as the page pixilates.

 

"The Anaconda's Absolute Last Show Ever!"

 

He curls his legs up under his arms and softly sobs under the

monitor's glow. He sleeps most of the day, takes too many pills from

the vanity and only checks his Inbox once before bed.

 

When he's next awake, he's at work and it drags, feels like wasted

time, and he's stuck in his cubical, clicks 'refresh' till he has

callouses. At four thirty-nine her face replaces the Anaconda's logo

and she's messaging him back. He stands by the desk, too excited to

sit, leans over the screen. She says:

 

"Hey,

Yeah, it's been ages!

Coffee sounds great, maybe tomorrow?

I'll message you when I know.

Anyway, 0420 111 222."

 

His heart skips beats as he enters her details into the phone, his

fifth contact, and he wants to call right now. He considers waiting

for her to message tomorrow, or could it be today? she wasn't exactly

clear. He could try to 'play it cool'. Getting ready for bed, at a

quarter-past eleven, he can't stop himself and he replies online:

 

"Yeah, tomorrow is good,

Let me know!"

 

And sleeps like a baby.

 

He's finished work and she hasn't messaged, not even online. He writes

out several drafts on paper before SMSing her:

 

"Hey, what's going on tonight?"

 

And makes tuna sandwiches for dinner. He wakes up on the couch, under

the dim TV lights and his phone is silent, under closer inspection,

shows no change. He leaves the gun on the mousepad and goes to sleep.

 

Daylight comes with a buzzing and he jumps from the bed to the

nightstand, fully alert, raises the phone into the air before reading

the flashing screen:

 

"WORK

Where are you? If y..."

 

He doesn't bother reading the rest, unlocks the phone and makes a new

one, sends it to her.

 

"Hey, what happened yesterday? Call me please."

 

He doesn't realize till too late how pathetic it sounds, how he's

probably ruined it all.

 

He gives it one one more day, supported by the vanity draw, he manages

to sleep, drooling, through twenty-four hours before he tries again.

There are still no Facebook messages. He SMS's her:

 

"Sorry about that. I'm free most afternoons, so let me know."

 

He sends the same message on the computer and falls asleep at the

desk. Again, the buzzing phone wakes him and again, it's total

deflation.

 

"WORK

Don't bother coming..."

 

The loss of income doesn't register, doesn't hold value anymore, but

it's not her. She hasn't called.

 

He sits at the desk, checks the Inbox, sends one final message:

 

"Why? Why? All I wanted to do was know you. Love you."

 

Again, the man holds a gun to his head in the run-down share house off

Brougham St, but now, nothing stops him and he forces the trigger,

briefly catches a flash from the phone, and it's finally her:

 

"MYLOVE

Sorry, lost my phon..."

 

And his brains cloud the screen.


© Copyright 2017 Davidgfrancis. All rights reserved.

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