All original work © 2009 - 2018 Alexey Provolotsky

28 March 2012


The moment she thought about it, her heart sank. A heavy, unsettling plop in her chest, like she suddenly remembered that she hadn’t closed the door on her way out. This was no door, of course, – but perhaps in the long run something even more frightening.

And still there was a containing moment of doubt: did she or did she not?..

The point was, she most probably did not. For if she did, surely there would have long been a letter from him. A text message. A note. Something.

But – no, and the reason for his silence was most irritating: she’d forgotten to put a smiley at the end of the sentence. This tiny little piece of texted emotion that could point him in the right direction of her thoughts, feelings, intentions. As it was, the whole thing had that stale odour of cruelty.

Peppering your e-mails and text messages with smileys was such a natural thing that missing one this time was pure carelessness. Those thirty seconds queuing in her local grocery store, she must have been distracted by some angry customer or maybe a sudden noise from the checkout counter.    

Because, her trusty and sweaty iPhone in her hand, this was what she wrote:

luv u, dear. still, u were such a dirty bastard yesterday

Chilling, heartless atrocity. She would be offended. Hell, anyone would be offended.

And what about him? Well, from the moment she first held his hand he struck her as particularly vulnerable in that respect. Almost too sensitive. And here she was, telling him he was a dirty bastard (with a seemingly straight face!) when the only thing he did was give her their first goodbye kiss. On the porch of her house. Well, how about that? Surely he couldn’t see that she meant it in a most loving, gentle way.

She rewrote the message, just for the hell of it:

luv u, dear. still, u were such a dirty bastard yesterday:)

This was completely pointless of course, but somehow rewriting the message made her calm down a little. Though there was of course no question of sending him the altered version – this would be just plain mockery. No, that train was gone, and she was determined to wait for his reply. It looked like the only thing to do.

She’d read enough interviews in her life to know that innocent jokes have a wicked way of not translating into print. Celebrities lose their fans, murder their own careers, alienate other celebrities. Mainly because the newspapers and magazines are too smug and senseless to insert a smiley where necessary.

And now: did she blew it?

All the more bitter because she actually enjoyed the abrupt intensity of his kiss. More than anything else in the world she wanted to repeat that.

Finally it came, at around midnight. A shrill buzz knocked her out of the blank dream and revealed his message.

sorry, couldn’t write sooner. luv u 2. interesting slutty dress yesterday btw:)

Her initial relief badly crashed on that second part. She kept staring at that ‘slutty dress’ and couldn’t quite understand what to make of it. Yes, so there was that smiley at the end, but with the words like that was it perhaps hiding something? Some evil intention? Some perverted cheek? Some cruel nature?.. 

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