S-E-E-N. The four words used to make my heart drop every time I read them under the messages I sent. It was undeniably painful to be on the receiving end of non-acknowledgment and disregard. To realize that you’re not even worthy of a response slaps your face with the reality that you’re just not as significant in this person’s life.
It was the overthinking and the isolation brought about by this pandemic that drove me to feel that way. I was all alone, stuck in a windowless room with no one to talk to and only a phone by my side.
I sent a message and held my breath waiting each minute for your reply.
I first met you on a dating app. I made the first move and also put in a bit of effort to get you to be comfortable enough to talk to me. When you finally came to the initial conclusion that I was interesting enough, we talked for hours on end. There’s an ease in the flow of conversation when you’re getting to know a person who’s also interested in learning about you. No matter how insane and downright insane my questions were, you would respond with what I’m sure was a smile on your face when you hit send. We talked about how our days went, recalled stories from the past, and even made some plans for the future. It gave me life to look forward to that time when I could finally meet you in person. I imagined how much fun it would be to talk face to face and know that it was my joke that made you crinkle your eyes and laugh.
If only you would reply already.
As weeks passed by, we didn’t get to talk as much anymore. It would take you longer to reply. At first, it would be hours, and then a day, and then two days. You never started the conversation anymore because you began getting busier. Trust me, I had a lot I wanted to talk about each morning when I typed in a “Good morning” text. I was always hoping that maybe you’d have some spare time in your day, even just a second, to reply. You just never did, and all the stories I was so excited to talk to you about withered away. The distance between us grew further and I felt you vanishing like you forgot about me already.
Every hour I kept checking my phone for your reply. Have you seen my message already? Come on, type anything just so I could feel some relief and know that you’re still there. Hour after hour, after hour. I can see your “Active” status, so you’re definitely online. Is your inbox so full that my message got drowned among them?
I did the unspeakable and attempted to send another message, a follow-up to the one I sent a couple of hours before.
Now I’d caught you. You saw my message. You saw my message and nothing. That was your reply. That was that. That was the end. What else could we do after that? This was the inevitable end of an online connection. Disappointing and totally unsatisfying.
I no longer hold it against you if you never felt the same way. I totally understand, and I hope you understand why I will be doing the same thing. Let’s leave things unfinished and ignore everything else. Maybe none of it was ever real to begin with, and you never gave me a chance to find out.
It’s been months, and there’s no need to worry about me. You left me at “seen” and I saw that as my sign to leave. I’m pretty sure you don’t care. I hardly care if you think of me anymore. Maybe you were too busy, so I should probably be busy too. I was definitely spending too much time on my phone. It’s time to turn it off.