Question Everything

“In modern society making sense of a text, a private tweet, or a private message on other social media, can be the difference between everything and nothing. One wrong word, or badly placed punctuation can change the whole meaning. Please don’t explode on receipt always give the person chance to correct the error. It will save your day I promise!”

I wrote this story in answer to the following prompts:
MLMM First Line Friday People see what makes sense to them, reality notwithstanding.
Pensitivity’s Three Things Challenge — Generous – Prospect – Grow
Your Daily Word Prompt — Solely
Ragtag Daily Prompt — Carousel

Question Everything

People see what makes sense to them, reality notwithstanding. On the carousel of life, we make decisions based on our illusions of the reality around us. One bad choice can be solely responsible for ruining our entire life. Read the situation correctly and it will bring prospect and allow you to grow with a generous hand. Get it wrong and you’ll be punished with eternal regret which goes hand-in-hand with every failure you experience.

Richard’s phone beeped in a text message. With one eye on the thesis on his computer screen, he picked up the phone.

‘Hi, Richie. How are you? xx’

Richard smiled, he always loved getting messages from Amy. ‘Hey, darling. Having a good day. I will soon have my course finished. How are you? xxx’ he replied.

‘Yay! Well done. I’m okay. Not been a great day though.’

‘Really why?’ Richard attention was full on his conversation now. ‘Anything I can do to help?’ he sent a second message before receiving a reply.

‘Melissa’s erotic. I wanna go kiss her tonight!’

Richard read Amy’s message twice with shock setting in. He couldn’t believe it, he’d love her for three years and now she was dumping him for a woman. Switching off the phone, he lay back in his swivel chair and covered his eyes.

“Damn you, Amy! Why now? I don’t want to live without you. I want to spend my whole life with you!” Richard looked at his thesis still on the computer. He shut it down without a second glance. “Bugger the qualifications. There’s no point in me accomplishing anything now!”

Rising from the swivel chair, he kicked it across the room. He grimaced as it scared the cat and crashed into the fireplace. Stomping into the kitchen, he threw open the fridge, took a can of beer and slammed it shut. “Damn you, Amy!”

Richard drank two beers in quick succession. They didn’t make him feel better. The intoxication just made him feel worse as he slumped in front of the TV. There was a classic car rescue show on the screen but he barely registered. His mind rolling memories of times spent with Amy. Kissing on the back row in the cinema. Walking hand in hand on the beach. Sharing candyfloss on the carousel at the festival. Holding each other in the cupboard under the stairs when the tornado came.

In the last three years, he realised he hadn’t made one good memory that didn’t include Amy. He knew there couldn’t be any more good memories without her.

The alcohol soon took effect and he was forced to go to the toilet. In midstream, he heard the doorbell. “Ahh, go to hell!” he groaned.

The doorbell rang again more insistent this time.

Richard zipped up his fly and return to the lounge as his front door opened.

“Richard! It’s Amy. Why did you stop answering my messages?” Amy entered the room looking worried.

He gazed at her looking pristine in her business-like skirt suit. She was adorable to him dressed like this. And yet seeing her was like a dagger to the heart. “What do you care. Go jump in the sack with Melissa.”

“What? No! Oh, no, sweetheart!” Amy opened her arms and stepped toward him.  

Richard stepped away. “No, I read your text message. Just go!”

“Sweetheart, did you read the ones I sent afterwards?” Amy said with tears glistening in her eyes.

Richard looked away. His heart hurt too much to answer.”

“Please?”

“No — alright! I didn’t need any more sordid details!”

Amy shook her head looking distraught. “Damn auto-correct. It ruins everything!”

“What?” Richard focused on her again.

“I’m not a lesbian, Richard. I love you.” Amy took out her phone and showed him the screen. “See, the bloody phone changed my message.”

Richard looked in silence:

‘I’m okay. Not been a great day though.’

‘Really why?’

‘Anything I can do to help?’

‘Melissa’s erotic. I wanna go kiss her tonight!’

‘Oh shit! stupid Auto-correct!”

‘Melissa’s neurotic. I wanna go kill her tonight! Lol’

‘Sorry about that, Richie xx’

‘Richie Sweetie, are you okay?’

‘Richie? …’

‘Richie … please answer. I’m so sorry!’

Richard looked from the phone to Amy and saw tears running down her cheeks.

“Please, say believe me when I say I love you,” she said. “Don’t end our relationship over a stupid mistake, please.”

Richard sighed the tension melted away from his shoulders. “I’m about to end my relationship with that bloody autocorrect. I can’t believe it changed your message like that!”

“Me either, I’m sorry,” Amy opened her arms again.

This time Richard pulled her into a hug. “It’s me who should be sorry. I took the message at face value and never thought to read any more messages. Can you forgive this fool for not believing in you? For not trusting in you?”

Amy giggled in his arms. “Course I can, you silly date. I might have had the same reaction if I received a similar message.”

Richard smiled for the first time in hours. He reached down and brushed his nose against hers as they kissed. “Thank you, my darling.”

“Thank you for listening to me. For giving me a chance to explain.” Amy kissed back as they dropped onto the sofa in each other’s arms.

“Let’s make a promise not to judge a message at face value. But to question its reality and meaning until we’re sure auto-correct hasn’t screwed up – in future.” Richard suggested.

“Deal!” Amy began massaging his arms with a fond smile.

“Thank you. I thought I lost you. I realised my life is miserable and empty without you. This is the last time I let auto-correct try to steal you from me!”

“Are you going to ‘kiss’ auto-correct then?” Amy said with all seriousness.

Richard looked sideways at her.

Amy burst out laughing. “Seems kiss and kill are the same to that stupid system,” she shrugged as relief gave way to love.

Richard was a happy man as he poured his love into her. He did give her phone the occasional glance, wondering what the penalty for technological homicide was!”

The End


Thanks for reading my friends.

There’s more in the Poetry CornerPoetry Nook, and the Short Story Collection

Have a great day!

20 thoughts on “Question Everything

Add yours

  1. When autocorrect of a dictated message kept changing certain words into descriptions of male genitalia, I was lucky my friend found it hilarious. Woebegone if it had gone to certain other people.
    Great take on the prompts.

    Liked by 1 person

      1. It has done it to me more times than I can count. Sometimes with much more severe results. My aunt got mad at her husband a few years back because they were arguing. i was at my mom’s house. She typed “Uncles name is seriously a dick. I’m going to put him in the hospital.” Not very nice, but you understood how annoyed she was. it changed “a dick” to “very sick” and we thought…. well you can guess

        Liked by 1 person

      2. Wow! That just shows you how one word can dramatically alter and entire situation doesn’t it. Always pays to check before jumping to conclusions doesn’t it.

        Like

      3. OMG we bomb called her to find out what happened and what hospital and she was like “WHAT?” I SAID DICK! To be fair, she had just gotten a smart phone (upgraded from a flip phone) and she didn’t know autocorrect existed.

        Liked by 1 person

      4. Yes. Or short hand improperly used. My mother was convinced that LOL meant Lots Of Love. So she would tell us things that she felt we needed to know as a group, like “so and so is getting a surgery tomorrow. LOL” we had no idea if it was a joke or not, so suddenly there was a flurry of texts and calls to her to find out what the hell she meant. eventually she realized that she was making everything sound serious and then like a joke, so she changed it to LYL, Love Ya Lots. It cut down on so much confusion. It’s not autocorrect by the phone, it’s a malfunction in the user interface LOL

        Liked by 1 person

      5. I don;t know any short hand or text speak aside from LOL. I always get that wrong when trying to read.

        I bet you mum cameof a bit weird using LOL like that. UNtil you know you don’t know it’s as simple as that.

        Like

      6. Oh she was told that she didn’t know about four hundred times. She just wouldn’t let it go into her head. I eventually made a sticky tab with the short hand for her and she added her own and then texted out what she did – we all remembered. I forget what crazy thing she thought jk meant, but it was NOT just kidding despite all of us thinking it was. It was something else – something that made everything really horribly confusing

        Liked by 1 person

      7. When not brought up with devices learning them is a nightmare. My parents are both way in their 60s and never get anything write on the phone or computer no matter how often I show them lol

        Like

      8. I actually taught my mom, dad, and 80 year old aunt how to use them both. It’s not hard if you know how to explain it and HAVE PATIENCE because they’ll make the same mistakes 10000000000 times. LOL

        Liked by 1 person

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