She takes a deep breath, and swipes right.
BOOM! It’s a match.
Lucy exhales in relief. After all the flirting – and his message – it would have been extremely odd if Amir hadn’t swiped right on her profile, but all the same, you never know. Men are fucking weird sometimes and Lucy really has no clue how their minds work.
Now they’ve matched, Lucy has a new problem. The rule of Bumble is that women have to make the first move – guys can’t message until the girl has. This means that Lucy has to compose an engaging opening message. OH THE PRESSURE!
Normally she’d send something brief but hopefully witty that shows she’s looked at the guy’s profile. Nothing too long in case he doesn’t bother to reply and it turns out to be a waste of time. Nothing that sounds like it might have been copied and pasted from another chat (even though, yes, she’ll admit it… sometimes it is).
But this is different, she thinks. This is Amir. He’s not a random stranger. She doesn’t need to start with a friendly question because she already knows loads about him.
But then she has a brainwave. What if she were to pretend that she doesn’t? If the fact that they’re friends is getting in the way of him asking her out on a date, maybe removing the friends aspect will solve the problem.
Time for a little role play action…
And then she waits for a reply. And waits. And fucking waits.
Hours go by and there is no response. The suspense is driving her bonkers.
According to the rules of Bumble, Amir has just 24 hours to reply to her message before the match expires and the connection will vanish. The clock is ticking like an incredibly stressful episode of Countdown where the prize isn’t just bragging rights but the chance for love and happiness. Lucy feels like Cinderella: she has just a few hours left to win her prince before the spell is broken and she’ll turn back into a pumpkin.
So why hasn’t he replied? Is he busy? Playing it cool? Has he lost interest? What if he isn’t checking his messages? FFS!
Lucy weighs up the options. Given his attention so far, it seems pretty unlikely that he’s suddenly lost interest. No, she thinks, he must have notifications turned off, so he won’t know he has a match or have seen her message. This is a nightmare! What if he doesn’t check? What if the match expires?!
Calm the fuck down woman, she thinks. It’s only a dating app.
But still, it seems like she is finally on the cusp of something brilliant. She simply can’t let the opportunity slip through her fingers. Not now she’s come this far.
So she sends him a message via WhatsApp.
Lucy doesn’t get a chance to reply to his text, because the next moment, he also pings her a reply on Bumble.
And just like that, Lucy’s stomach falls through the floor.
What. The. Actual. Fucking. Fuck?!
Is this really what this whole thing has been about? All that teasing, all that flirting, for weeks… it was all just in the hope of getting into her pants?
Surely not. It can’t have been. Could it?
The shock and disappointment make Lucy feel slightly nauseous. She doesn’t know how to respond. Is he fucking serious? Or is this just part of the role play: they’re pretending to be two strangers on Bumble, so he’s ably playing the role of the typical dating app fuckboy. It must be a joke!
Yes… it MUST be a joke, albeit a fucking crap one. Amir could get a casual hookup anywhere, if that’s what he wanted. Surely he wouldn’t be so stupid as to ruin their entire friendship for a meaningless shag? He’s even told her about getting propositioned recently, but he turned the girl down because ‘that’s not what he’s looking for’.
But if his comment was a joke, why didn’t he follow it up with a winky face emoji, or a ‘just kidding’ like he did before? Arrrrggggghhh! FFS!
No, it must be part of the role play. Surely she knows him well enough to know that he wouldn’t seriously proposition her like that. Doesn’t she?
She decides to give him the benefit of the doubt and carry on playing.
This is much better, Lucy thinks. A bit of humour, a few choice compliments, and he’s even showing off his excellent use of English. It must be said Lucy does like a guy with a large… vocabulary.
From the comfort of her sofa Lucy smiles to herself. Well it WAS a good line. This conversation is about as much fun as Lucy has had on her own in a very long time.
She just needs to give Amir a bit more encouragement.
The Quantum Leap reference makes Lucy laugh out loud. She absolutely loves that Amir is on exactly the same wavelength as her – cracking jokes that she finds hilarious and making slightly obscure pop culture references that only certain geeky kids of the 90s would get.
Lucy once told Amir that she’d kissed a guy who wasn’t very good because his rhythm was too mechanical. Clearly he was paying attention. So he’s a good listener too.
But the fact that he’s suddenly brought up kissing is an interesting new development. Is that what’s on his mind?
The idea makes Lucy’s imagination stray to places she’s not sure it should go. Things are so up in the air with Amir that she really doesn’t want to get her hopes up. But oh how she’d love to find out if what he’s just said is true.
How to respond, though? Is this his way of bringing the subject back round to sex – trying to see if she’d be up for a shag? Or is it just a joke (the emoji suggests it is)? Should she encourage him by flirting back? Lucy must admit she’s pretty tempted – she wants to see where such a conversation might end up…
But hang on a tick, she thinks. This is a role play. They’re pretending they’ve never met. So she should say the same thing she always says to total strangers who get a bit too carried away:
This is interesting. He doesn’t say he’s looking for anything serious – but what man fresh out of a 10-year relationship would ever say that anyway.
But now the conversation has lost its fizz. Before it was sparky and light-hearted, and now it seems to have fallen flat. This is my fault, Lucy thinks. I shouldn’t have shot him down. Why the fuck did she do that?
Lucy wishes she could get the banter back. She needs Amir to think of her as fun and sexy, not needy and serious. And more than anything, she needs to bring him back round to this date idea.
Lucy’s confused. Did he not just suggest cocktails? But now he’s proposing a meal. Or about a dozen other things. Which is it? This seems to be typical of Amir: he spends a lot of time coming up with great ideas for dates – but never actually makes good on the promise.
Well this time, she’s determined to make sure he does. And THEN they can have a few drinks together and let alcohol nature take its course.
Of course she’ll let him touch her hair. And anything else he wants to touch for that matter.
And he’s gone. Now Lucy will have to somehow manage to get through the next two weeks before she can see him. That’s assuming he doesn’t cancel on her again like he did last time. She’s really not sure she’d be able to bear it if he did…
(To find out what happened next, click here