"No problem," I said, and that was the beginning of the biggest misunderstanding the world has ever known.
Everyone's heard horror stories about texting; how it can make you walk into manholes; how you can get mangled in a car wreck; how you can get a break-up message if you make the wrong move in a relationship. I'd heard about the nightmarish things that can happen, but I didn't listen until things went awry for me personally. I didn't fall into a sewer filled with rats, but something bad did happen--something much worse!
I'd been texting my friend for two years, TWO YEARS! But things had gone well; she always responded with hilarious things and I loved it.
"Lessons are today," I'd text.
"I still don't play the piano."
"I know. HA. HA," I'd respond. "That's why we need to get you some lessons too."
"So how are you today? I haven't talked to you all week."
"We're great." I smiled because we'd had some pretty funny texting sessions over the past years. I actually looked forward to Wednesday because it made my smile bigger than a crocodile on novocaine.
As I sat there grinning, my phone beeped with that happy little jingle I'd set. I looked at the screen on my phone and blinked hard. The message made no sense. I read it twice, three times. "I'm a hard one to convince," the words shot out at me. "But I've decided to take you up on your offer. I want to take piano lessons. Really, I just want to meet you in person."
What??? Didn't we see each other all the time, pulling weeds, driving the kids to school, at the gas station, in the bread aisle at the store!
"HA. HA," I texted back. "Sometimes you get me rolling, Mel."
"This isn't, Mel. I didn't know how to tell you. I tried at first, but then didn't want to ruin things . . . My name is Brian and I think I'm in love with you."
I could have peed my pants! I still wondered if it was a joke. That Mel, she's one funny lady. So I ran over to her house and thank God she was there. I showed her the last few texts. "Very funny, woman!" I scoffed. "You had me going for a whole sixty seconds. You really did."
"That's one Hell of a text session you got there, honey. Who's it with?"
"It's from you!"
"No, it really isn't." Amusement lit her eyes, like I'd never seen. Her irises twinkled like they could have been the reason kids always sing about twinkling stars and such happy things. She started giggling. "What have you done now?"
I flipped open my phone. I did it detective style, like I had a notepad and was preparing to write down some pertinent evidence. "Fine," I said. "Is this your number?" I pointed to the numbers parading on and off my screen.
"Nope, sunshine. I think you've been texting the wrong person. See that three? It's supposed to be a seven. Looks like you got yourself another piano student."
"Fine? You want to play this the hard way?" I called the number on the phone. It rang once, twice, but Mel's phone didn't ring. She held it up toward my face and I looked at her horrified. Just as someone--a man--answered the phone I hung up faster than a bald man picking up his fallen toupee.
I put my face in my hand. "Why do things like this always happen to me? Why?"
She laughed so hard, I thought she'd spit out some of the diet coke she'd just taken a swig of. "Only you, my friend. Only you. That's so awk--ward." She sang the last bit and grinned. "So, what are you going to do?"
"I have to let him down easy. I'm married for crying out loud." I flipped out my phone again--my weapon of choice. "What the Hell do I say? He's been a good friend to me?"
"Tell him you're a man." She sputtered the words, laughing so hard.
I snorted. "He sounded like a big dude. I don't want to make him mad."
I started punching buttons on my phone. "I'm happily married, really I am. And it's great that I've sparked your interest for playing the piano. Hopefully you can find a teacher near you." Then I hit send.
"Good for you. You show 'em." Mel nodded, still smirking
My phone beeped rather quickly. "I knew this was a mistake. I'll think of you every Wednesday," the words read.
"Good luck with those lessons," I texted back.
"I feel like an idiot!" I said to Mel.
"It's okay, honey. On a side note, do you want my real number, just in case you feel like texting someone you know this time?"
I turned red, like a big-fat, juicy apple. Then we both laughed. It was quite funny. I couldn't believe that had happened to me, but at least I'd inspired someone to start learning the piano.