Tom was the only one at the hotel bar, yet he still couldn’t make out the song that was playing on the ancient speakers. “Is that even English?” he asked the bartender.
The bartender shrugged. “I think it’s The Police. Are they?”
“What happens when it gets busy in here? Do you turn it up?”
The bartender shrugged again, and turned to wipe nothing off of the back counter.
Tom sighed. He sipped at his warming beer, and typed out a message on his phone. “I hate drinking alone. I start to notice things like ‘there’s no such thing as a liver emoji’”. He finished the text with a grinning-face and pressed “send”. He was hoping to get cry-laughing back, but he’d accept clapping-hands, or even plain-old smiley.
As the minutes passed with no text-alerts, Tom began to worry that she wouldn’t reply at all.
He was about to order another round when the phone buzzed twice. He almost knocked over his almost-empty glass in his haste to check.
“Beer-mug, winky-face”, it said.
Tom inhaled deeply. He hadn’t expected that. He scrolled through the options, looking for the perfect reply. At last, he found it. “Blue-heart”.
He didn’t feel quite so alone.