Kyle plunged his hand into the pocket of his jeans, feeling for the comforting familiarity of his phone. Habitually mashing the unlock button, he squinted at the time, 7:51. He'd agreed to meet his date at eight o'clock sharp. The Seaside Café was about thirty minutes from his house, but hopefully showing up fashionably late would work in his favor. He waved goodbye to his mother without looking up, and composed a text to Mandy, “On my way!”
Exit signs flew by as Kyle thought of every situation that could go wrong at the cafe. Would he talk too much about himself? Would Mandy think he got fat since high school? The two had been texting back and forth for hours each night since they made plans last weekend. Kyle would lay awake, staring at his phone on his nightstand, waiting for that familiar buzz and glowing light. He'd snatch at his phone, and eagerly turn it over to see her name on the blurry screen. The two would usually fall asleep mid-conversation, and Kyle would wake up to the abrasive beeping sound of his phone alarm at the ripe hour of 6:00 AM.
His constant exhaustion was worth it, he thought, to keep her attention. She was so easy to talk to, at least through the phone. Kyle loved responding to each line of conversation, artfully tapping his fingers against the digital keypad. He'd think of the perfect punch line, the perfect cheesy compliment, and the perfect way to tell her that he couldn't wait to meet up. Hopefully, his timid voice would work as well as his fingers when it came time to have a real-life conversation.
Speeding off the highway, Kyle knew he would be more than fashionably late. He should at least tell Mandy, he thought, so she knew he was close. He reached for his phone, nervously darting his eyes in every direction. As he peered down at the screen, he saw a message from Mandy staring back up at him.
“On your way where?” The white letters taunted him as the sound of a car horn blared from over his shoulder. He looked up and realized he'd been fumbling with his phone at a green light and screeched away quickly.
Could she have forgotten about the date? Kyle wiped hair gel and sweat off his forehead as he scrolled up through his text log with Mandy. His late-night flirtatious ranting glided down the screen as he searched for the text where the two actually planned the date. About a mile down the road, he finally pinpointed the message.
“Thursday would be great! Just don't hate me for being a messy eater.”
His left hand gripped the steering wheel tight, as the color flushed from his face. His eyes shot to the date on the top of his phone screen: Tuesday, October 23rd. His groggy late-night eyes must have misread her text last weekend. How could he admit this in the least embarrassing way? His fingers danced frantically across the screen, but he was drawing a blank. Could he just admit what he'd done, or would she feel awkward that he'd rushed to meet her? Another horn blasted at Kyle, but when he looked up, he saw only the blur of headlights.
Glass shot into the car, as an airbag punched the glasses off Kyle's face. He felt as though his heart could fall out of his mouth, then he felt a buzz in his hand. He couldn't bring himself to check the screen, but it read, “You know our date is on Thursday, right? =P”