One random day I received a message from Scott: “Hi! Been a long time… what you been up to? Crazy times eh?”
It was March 24th 2020.
I replied that same day: “Hi Scott! How are you? Long time indeed! Crazy times crazy times. How is it up there?”
He wrote back: “Yeah I’m good thanks. Getting bored in the house right enough. Laughing emoji. Where are you?”
A few hours later I replied: “I’m in Argentina. We have been on lockdown for a few days now and still a long way to go. My dad lives in Spain and they have been on lockdown for two weeks and they’ve just announced two more weeks...” Clearly I was just chatting to a friend, making small talk.
The next day he texted me ”Yeah been hearing it’s crazy there... Hope you’re well!” I thought that would be the end of our conversation, I mean we hadn’t talked for over 13 years. The way we had met was random and we were never super close. But he texted: “What you doing nowadays?”
And then I forgot about it. My phone was acting crazy, it didn’t notify me of the new message and I never checked again.
I can only remember that it was just one of those weeks. I’ve tried to figure out what was actually happening in my life that made me be distracted, even cold. I am the person that is always up for a nice chat about whatever you feel like talking.
However, in this case, I guess it was just one of those weeks where you put off any external world contact because you are too focused on what you are currently doing, better said in my case, currently working on.
Two weeks later Scott came to my mind, I don’t even know why. I remembered how we had met. So on July 10th I wrote to him:
“Hi! Sorry my messenger went crazy and didn’t notify me that I had new messages haha. What have you been up to?”
A few hours later he replied: “Hahaha no worries… well I think it’s been like 10 years Mind blown emoji, so lots of stuff.”
We continued talking for a bit. Then I said: “Hey wanna chat on whatsapp? laughing emoji” (Why the laughing emoji, no one knows). And sent him my number.
He sent me a smiley face on whatsapp.
Something had clicked in my head. I don’t know what it was but I was suddenly curious about him. What was going on?
Let’s step back in time, more precisely let's go back to when I was 17. Fresh out of high school I moved to Scotland to go to University. Since I wanted the full experience (besides, I didn’t even know the country, let alone how to rent an apartment) I decided to move to the campus dorms.
I had always been a social person, so when given the chance to choose a room in different buildings, I chose one that seemed particularly amusing: the flat was for fifteen people, yes you have read that right. Fifteen 17/18 years old who do not know each other living together. Even though there was drama (there is always drama at that age) it was lots of fun.
Scott was one of the fourteen people living in the same apartment as me. He was tall, blonde, blue eyes. Not my usual type. However, I had a crush on him.
I never acted on my crush, because I was very busy with University. A lot of things were happening in my life.
Besides, during the first semester I was dating a guy who I thought I loved. We had been a couple back in high school and one party led to getting back together again. Things weren’t going as planned (he was quite the asshole) and I broke up with him. He was the star of the post: “The story of my boyfriend, who had another girlfriend”.
Scott and I lived together, together with thirteen people. We would coincide in the kitchen, have a few laughs and that was it.
During the second semester we started to get into the habit of doing movie nights. We would all go to one room and watch a movie together. A lot of people in a small room. Food, alcohol and a bad movie. It was fantastic.
One day after movie night, he invited me to his room to hang out. Honestly I didn’t think much of it.
We laughed and talked about who knows what. I left, and that was it.
Final exams came, we were consumed by them, studying non-stop. We stopped hanging out all together. Once exams finished, we did one big get together where we did a barbecue (and burned the meat), laughed carelessly under the sun. We were truly enjoying our stress-free time post exams.
The school year ended and we all went home for the summer. Some time during that year we had become Facebook friends.
The second year I went off to live in a little house on campus with five other people. I wanted a new fresh start. The drama of that 15 people apartment had exhausted me.
I never saw Scott again. That was 2007.
Fast forward to 2020. Pandemic year, lockdown. In those 13 years a lot of things had happened: I was done with University, I had lots of shitty jobs, a lot of shitty relationships. Moved country, some more shitty relationships. I traveled. Went bankrupt. Stood back on my own two feet. I built a small company. Went on Tinder. Went off Tinder and lived life.
Suddenly, on March 24th, 2020 Scott said “Hi”.
Once on whatsapp, I asked him what were his plans for this Saturday night. Were I live, we were on lockdown but he lived in a different country, he was back to (whatever) normal life was happening out there. He didn’t reply. I assumed that that was it.
At night he popped into my head. What was happening to me? He was just a random guy I had lived with a million years ago. Whatever, I went to sleep.
The next morning when I woke up, as most millennials, I checked my phone. It was Sunday morning and Scott had sent me eight messages. He told me about his job and his travels. He apologized for falling asleep last night. There was no need to apologize. I mean, we hadn’t talked for 13 years, why would he apologize?
Between those eight messages he had sent me telling me about his job and travels there was one message that stood out: “I was actually gonna randomly video call you but fell asleep... Laughing emoji”.
He was going to do what? I smiled. I fucking smiled. What did that mean? I prepared myself a cup of coffee and decided to text him back. I told him I had slept in because it was Sunday, it was cold, and it was perfect for sleeping. Your average small talk, I guess.
However, I found myself being me and writing: “I do have a random question for you though… haha.” (That “haha” is what you write after a stupid comment you’ll soon regret.)
He ignored all the other interesting questions about his job and said “What’s the random question? Laughing emoji”
I am straight forward, so there was no hesitation when I wrote: “How come you decided to write to me after so long? Just curious upside down smiley emoji”. I mean, it had been 13 years, this was random.
In a Disney movie this would be the moment he would say something along the lines of “I had a crush on you back at Uni and wanted to see how you were”.
I threw that thought into the garbage and decided to read a book while having my coffee. I think I watched too many Disney princesses’ movies when I was a child or something. My thought was ridiculous. First because it simply was, and second, what did it say about me? I am a strong independent woman who lives alone, who has her own (very small) company and who writes a feminist blog. I had a moment of self-reflection which concluded in how silly my thought actually was and went back to my book.
Surprisingly he did reply to my question. He explained that he tends to message people who come up online on his Facebook and chats with them to see how they are. Seemed reasonable. He asked “Why? What did you think? Laughing emoji.”
I had to play it cool. I wasn’t going to explain that I had a short-circuit in my brain about Disney movies. Besides, I had told myself that he was still the same lady’s man. Maybe this wasn’t true, but at least it got me out of “Disney mode”.
“I didn't think anything haha I just found it random. A nice random. Didn’t think you would remember me laughing emoji”
That last bit was certainly me letting out a cue for him.
I told myself that, firstly, it was a stupid thing to say, secondly, that he wasn’t going to reply to my “cue”. And then, I tried to convince myself that the 100 day lockdown was clearly affecting my mind.
Literally five minutes later he replied: “Hahaha was hardly gonna forget you... Laughing emoji”.
Was he flirting? Was I flirting? Were we flirting? What was happening? Was the Disney version of this conversation going to be true?
I let a few minutes pass by. I didn’t do it on purpose. I was actually thinking what the fuck to reply. I wanted to subtly leave another cue for him, to let him know, subtly, that I welcomed his flirting. After some thought and realizing I am incapable of being subtle, I sent him this: “How come? Upside down emoji”. Let’s be honest, I was curious as to why he “was hardly gonna forget me”.
Four hours later I was still reading my book and he still hadn’t replied to my “How come?” comment.
I slapped myself out of it. The whole thing was ridiculous. He wasn’t flirting, he was just bored and decided to talk to me. My conclusion was that I was going crazy because of the 100 day lockdown and maybe I just needed to get laid.
That last part not being a feasible option during lockdown, I decided to take a moment to think straight and said to myself: “If he never talks to me again, that is fine.”
I lied to myself while waiting for my phone to ring. How silly of me. I needed to get out of my house and go to a party. I needed a drink and I definitely needed to see my friends.
Maybe he had spent too much time on lockdown as well and needed to talk to someone and I suddenly popped up on his Facebook. Maybes, maybes and more maybes.
I decided to close down this chapter as the “story that never was” and continued reading my book.
Suddenly he replied.
Our conversation continued day after day. Flirtatious comments here and there. One day I brought up his idea of the video call. He video called me. We talked and at the end he said: “Well if you ever want to talk again, just give me a call”.
We chatted some more.
Were you expecting a love story? You have watched too many Disney movies. Were you expecting a friendship? You have watched too many rom-coms.
Some stories are meant to be love stories, some stories are meant to end up in fun friendships.
And, even though I didn't necessarily wanted it that way, this story was meant to be a random anecdote you tell your friends (and write about in your blog!).
But one thing is for sure: everything is sexier in a Scottish accent.