A conversation between strangers

I began paying attention on February 21st

5 text messages

3 early on the 23rd, then later in the day:

“Tell me the truth, do you like me or not?”


I had gotten messages from the number before and was sure it was a misdial or scam so deleted them as they came in. I made the mistake of answering my cellphone once for a scam. They hung up the moment I picked up and then called twice a day, every day for months. Maybe a year.


“Tell me the truth, do you like me or not?”


It had been an exhausting and miserable day. Fasting except for liquids, citrus flavoured chemicals, potent laxatives and strawberry Jello. Purging for a CT Scan. Caught somewhere between life as normal and nowhere near. 10 at night my phone made the odd ring clunk that indicates a text message. I put down Zadie Smith’s, “The Autograph Man”.


“Text me. like i really need to talk to yew.”


There was one person it could be, and if so, he might be in trouble. Or just really need a response. This had crossed my mind before but I didn’t think it was him because of the spelling and structure. His would be much rougher. It was a leap, but I began to type.


“If I knew who was sending the text I would answer. But i think you have the wrong number… Only reason I’m responding is in case you are E”

“its Julie.”

“Julie you have the wrong number. That’s why your texts aren’t being returned”

“Oh, who is this?”

“Nope sorry. Someone you don’t know I’m sure. good luck finding your friend.”





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