Flash Fiction

In my blogging hiatus, I also took quite a hiatus from creative writing as well. I’m thrilled to be getting back into both. Today I am publishing a piece of flash fiction inspired by the theme of social anxiety and insecurity. Enjoy!

Emojis & Exclamation Points

Monday night, sitting on the couch with football blaring on the TV, though I couldn’t even tell you who’s playing. I hear the familiar ping of a new text message on my iPhone. I’m waiting to hear back from my new friend Hilary about meeting up for coffee. We met a few months back when she and her husband moved to town for her job, and I asked her if she wanted to meet at Starbucks on Sunday.

“Sounds good.”

That’s it? “Sounds good?” With a period on the end too. That’s not good. No, this is bad. This is very, very bad. I mean, yes, she did technically say “sounds good,” but her punctuation was so unenthusiastic.

I bet she doesn’t really want to hang out. She’s just humoring me because she feels sorry for me. That’s why she didn’t put an exclamation point or an emoji at the end. No, emojis and exclamations points are only for people you really want to spend time with.

I just want to feel wanted.

***

“Babe, do we have plans this Sunday?” I ask my husband. He’s barely paying attention to what I ask, since he’s engrossed in Monday Night Football.

“Nah, nothing I can think of.” I wish he would just go out and make friends. We are in a new city, after all.

Whatever. I’ll take his word for it that we don’t have plans. My new friend Victoria wants to meet up for coffee this weekend, and that sounds a helluva lot better than being sat on the couch watching even more football.

“Sounds good.”

I hit send and tuck away my iPhone. My new year’s resolution is to have less screen time, so I’m keeping texting to a bare minimum.

I don’t know Victoria super well yet, but she seems like such a cool person. Really confident – the kind of person with a mega-watt smile. I’m so glad to be making new friends here!

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9 comments

  1. Great little story! Does actually remind me of me sometimes. In fact, quite a lot. My other half for example, never puts kisses on his texts. It used to make me feel insecure, especially when my friends boyfriend would send her three per text. We are still together though, nearly 14 years later! X

    Liked by 1 person

    • Thank you!! This is definitely a depiction of how I used to process interactions. I don’t do it much these days, but I absolutely used to read into every little nuance of a virtual conversation.

      I know what you mean, too! My husband is an engineer and has never been big on emojis or virtual kisses etc. After a while I realized my insecurities were unfounded, he just didn’t express himself the same way I did!

      Like

  2. The volumes at which this short story speak are deafening. How, as a species of such alleged great intellect, have we become so consumed by little yellow faces as a way of conveying more meaning than the words we use to precede them? In many ways, I suppose it makes sense from a psychological standpoint as body language and facial expressions make up the large majority of communication and emojis are a way of conveying such. Also words in written form are open to interpretation. In the age of digital communication, are emojis a vital component? I think there’s an argument for them for certain.

    Liked by 1 person

    • I have conflicting feelings about emojis, to be honest. On the one hand, I will admit that I inwardly groan when they are used in what I deem to be excess, or when they are so valued as to get their own movie and merchandise. On the other hand, as you say, they really can and do help clarify the tone of the surrounding text. As anyone who follows me on social media is well aware, I use them a fair bit myself, sometimes to clarify my tone, and sometimes just because I honestly think they’re cute in moderation. *ironic shrug emoji*

      Liked by 1 person

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