Table for One
This was it. She was convinced that finally, this Valentine’s Day, she would no longer be considered a ‘table for one’.
She’d met him on her latest dating app. A true modern courtship, snapchatting and texting each other for weeks without ever meeting face to face. She felt that she knew his online soul, his likes and postings aligned perfectly with hers—they were a virtual match made in heaven. She prayed that their first meeting would confirm what they were both already feeling and that she would soon be able to update her relationship status, for good this time.
* * *
She saw him enter the bar, dressed exactly as he said he would be and noted that his profile pic didn’t do him justice. He’s even more handsome in real life, she thought, as butterflies began to form in her stomach. He wandered through the bar, looking for her, his face young and hopeful just like in the most recent selfie he’d posted. The place was crowded, couples filling every table in their shared romantic ritual, checking their phones and snapping pictures of their dinners in between toasts to their undying love.
She raised her arm and waved him over. He walked right past her, never even making eye contact. She tried again and hoped she didn’t look as desperate as she began to feel. He doubled back, discouraged, then exited the bar. She ran after him out into the night and heard the sirens for the very first time.
* * *
She was lying in the street, one shoe missing, the car that killed her covered in blood and gore. Her cell phone was cracked and discarded, ripped from her hand by the sheer force of the blow, his latest Instagram pic sealing her doom as she hurried across the street while the driver of the car searched for the nearest PokeStop on his Pokemon GO app.
Her virtual date had no idea she was even there, walking right past the police, sirens, and EMTs as he checked his phone, searching for any trace of her in his latest texts and updates.
Her match made in heaven had turned into a heavenly table for one after all, but if she had any luck, maybe there would be free wi-fi there.
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A. Elizabeth Herting
A. Elizabeth Herting is an aspiring freelance writer and busy mother of three living in colorful Colorado. I have had short stories featured in Bewildering Stories, Dark Fire Fiction, Under the Bed, New Realm, Speculative 66, Flash Fiction Magazine, 50 Word Stories, Peacock Journal, Friday Fiction, Pilcrow & Dagger, and Fictive Dream. More at: sites.google.com/site/aehertingwriter
2 thoughts on “Table for One”
A warning about the irreality of virtual reality. The story might be stronger if there were a sense of compassion for the admittedly fictional victim. AGB
As a technophobe, utterly bemused by the way people seem to disorganise their lives these days, I was left with a wry smile, and the thought that maybe I should not be quite so amused by this woman’s misfortune.