Four-Letter Word

You’re not really having a good morning—not at all.

The girl on the train stepped on your foot. The latte you were drinking spilled on your table. Your boss is being twice the headache that he usually is. Your officemates seem a little too grumpy and worse, you took the stairs up to the sixth floor because the elevator wasn’t working when you got to the building’s lobby.

You had so many expectations when you woke up this morning but just like every other day, you’ve been disappointed the moment you stepped out of your house.

You carry on, just like always. Despite all the fiasco that’s happened, you need to go on with your day. A lot of people rely on you at work, you can’t let them down.

You sit in front of your office computer, waiting as it loads so much slower than it usually is. You sigh because clearly, you’re on a personal episode of A Series of Unfortunate Events. You do your usual stuff: open your computer, serve yourself coffee, chit-chat with your closest workmate for a while, go sit back in front of your computer, and then check your email.

You memorize it so well, you can even do it on slumber.

Then, you hear an unfamiliar beep as you see an unfamiliar popup on your monitor. Someone just sent you a message on a… chat?

You didn’t even know your email had a chat feature on it.

You see her name and there’s that unfamiliar fast beating of your heart. She asks you something about a computer program, a technical question you, honestly, can easily answer—but you still research if you’re right and you answer her. She asks a few more questions and in the middle of her questions, you realized you two haven’t talked in a year or so. You last saw her in one of your short gatherings last year, along with all your common friends. You exchange a word or two and then you went separate ways.

You remember her best in college—when she was that girl who competed with everybody else for recognition. You laugh a little. You remember her best when you were in the same class and she’s just so good at everything she does, except Math and except the things you’re really good at.

You even remember her asking you for help because she doesn’t understand something really technical, like, on a geeky level of technical. You don’t know much about her except that she loves coffee and that she loves to eat, and that she hates it when she doesn’t understand something.

You answer all of her questions and she thanks you a million times. You’re not used to the kind of energy she has. Even just on that chat box, you feel it. She tells you she’s gonna bug you more in the coming days.

Usually, that will scare you—a person telling you they’ll gonna bug you in the coming days—but there’s something about her that made you wish she will. It’s kind of refreshing to be out of your routine for once. You smile and she logs off after that.

The next day, she does as promised. She bugs you. And you smile because she asks a dozen questions again, all of which you have answered easily and you realize how much she’s changed. She seems happy, even just in the way she talks to you. It almost seems like she’s a different person, like someone’s using her email to talk to you but you know, it’s really her. She’s that same old annoying girl who wanted to understand everything but this time, her enthusiasm amazes you.

There were a couple of times you laugh at the stories she shares about that old lady living next to her apartment who snores so loud she had to put earphones on every damn night; or that story about how she wanted to be lion; or those silly videos she watches on YouTube. She makes you watch them and normally, you’d be grossed out by how random and silly the videos are but you laugh at them as well, because yeah, you’re seeing the videos in the perspective of someone who’s just trying to have fun. You never got the point of those kinds of things before, you always criticized them, how crappy and just utterly pointless they are. You’re kind of laughing at yourself, too.

She bugs you more weeks after that. You got used to her morning greetings that you actually found yourself violating your routine for the first time in years. You don’t start your day without reading her latest morning joke or without her telling you to: “Hey! Get your coffee first and I’m gonna tell you about the lady who died because she farted too hard.”

And then, the chat messages turned into late night exchanges of text messages and first-thing-in-the morning greetings. She invites you to hangout some time, along with your other friends and you decide to come for the first time and it was nice. You chat, you text, you see each other on weekends until one day, you just realized how you couldn’t stop thinking about her.

You suddenly find yourself doing everything you told yourself not to: fall for her.

She’s outgoing, free-falling, honest, careless, competitive, clumsy; she possesses all of the qualities you couldn’t handle in a person and yet, she’s everything you couldn’t stop think about. You couldn’t start your day without her morning messages; you couldn’t end your day without her good night texts.

On one sleepover, you kiss her.

She kisses you back.

You close your eyes because perhaps, she’s everything you’re scared of because she’s real and she probably loves you back. She loves how you’re grossed out with her YouTube video choices and she loves how you think she’s funny.

You tell her you love her.

She says she loves you back.

And for the first time in your life, all the other aspects of your life can kiss your ass because right now, the rest of your life doesn’t matter. She came on the day everything was going wrong for you and you realize she’d been the one constant thing in your life and you’re probably not that smart but at least you know you can’t mess this one up.

You put your arms around her and she leans her head on your shoulder. She tells you she hates you because you’re too tall and that she tiptoes when she kisses you. You don’t know a lot of things, you don’t believe in a lot of things but perhaps, you also didn’t believe in happiness until she came.

You look up and thank whoever it is in there, “Thank you for that chat client I never really knew about.”


4 Letter Word (David Cook)



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