When Ros comes home after three years away, she’s ready to pick up with life exactly where she left it. But her friends have moved on, her parents have rekindled their romance, and her bedroom is now a garden shed. All of a sudden, she’s swept up in nostalgia for the way things were.
Then her phone begins to ping, with messages from her old life. Including one number she thought she’d erased for good – the man who broke her heart. Is this her second chance at one big love? Sometimes we all want to see what we’ve been missing…
‘I need to send everyone my number,’ I told her, rubbing peanut dust on the leg of my only pair of jeans. ‘They updated my contacts from the cloud so I’ve got everyone’s details but no one has mine. Is there an app for that or have I got to text everyone I ever met?’
‘You sweet precious baby,’ Sumi said with a fake swoon. ‘There’s an app for everything.’ Her nail rattled across my screen and in just a few taps, a little green icon appeared on my phone. ‘This is what we use for group texts at work. End to end encryption, no one can hack it.’
It was fair to say Sumi was more than averagely engaged with conspiracy theories.
‘Hit that, connect it to your contacts and open up a group message. Then you can text it to whomever your heart desires.’
‘How did I manage three whole years without you?’ I asked, marveling at the wonders of modern technology.
‘It is a question I ask myself every day.’
Editing radio shows was easy, iPhones were a whole different story. This was why I didn’t dare download TikTok.
I stared at the screen, trying to come up with just the right message. How was I supposed to say ‘Hi, I’m back in London, please don’t ask me any questions about my surprise return that was one hundred percent my idea and also I live in a shed now’ without sounding completely pathetic?
‘You’re sending people your new number, you don’t have to write an essay,’ Sumi said, peering over my shoulder as she climbed down from her stool. ‘I’m going for a wee, see if you can finish it before I get back.’
‘Good to know, enjoy it,’ I told her as she sauntered off through the bar.
Hi, it’s Ros Reynolds, I typed out before I could over-think it. Over- thinking was one of my greatest talents. Given the chance, I could talk myself out of literally anything in under five minutes. Instead, I took another glug of the wine tried to imagine what I would say if I were writing it for someone else. ‘Hi, it’s Ros Reynolds. This is my new number, I just moved back to London! Let’s catch up soon.’
One exclamation mark, no emojis, short, sweet, to the point and most importantly, not pathetic. It was a winner. I tapped the little arrow in the corner and saw a small white box pop up.
Group Text wants to access contacts? I hit ‘Allow’.
Choose recipients or select all?
‘Can I get you another drink?’
I looked up to see the woman behind the bar smiling at my empty glass.
‘Could I get a water?’ I asked, my head suddenly swimming with the realization that I’d absolutely chugged an entire glass of wine on an empty stomach. Not the perfect start to a Monday night. Or was it?
Rubbing my tired eyes, I looked back at the screen. Choose recipients? I started scrolling and clicking, scrolling and clicking, scrolling and clicking. It got very boring, very fast.
Yawning, I flicked my thumb upwards, sending the screen whirring all the way back to the top of the page. I clicked on Select All.
And then I pressed send.