Tinder is a funny place. Not funny as in haha, but like… Strange, you know? People pretend to be so normal but normal people don’t need dating apps...
Take me for example, I was 29 years old and single for the first time since I was 11. Best believe I was fucked up. Me and my ex-wife got together when we were kids and finally had the balls to split up 17 years later. It wasn’t what you would call healthy at all. People grow apart, especially if you get together before you’ve grown at all.
You don’t really think about it but a lot of things change when you get divorced. Living alone is fucking weird, even more so sleeping by yourself after years of company, but the hardest thing is trying to adapt to the ever-changing dating world.
After some convincing from a friend, I decided to make a Tinder account. Why? I don’t know… I had the perfect dad bod, scruffy beard, and pickup truck. Why would someone pick me out of a million profiles? I guess I spoke too soon because soon after my inbox swarmed with messages. Apparently I’m exactly what every woman wants but one in particular stuck out.
Fiery red hair with these dimples. Her profile said she was an addict of horror movies and photography. This stuck out because my ex-wife HATED horror movies and I have an undying passion for them. Honestly, in some ways, it was the main factor in our divorce. I’m sure my horror fans understand.
So, I messaged her.” One two Freddy coming for you.” Oh, I don’t think I mentioned, my name is Freddy so I thought it’d be funny, ya know, the Freddy Krueger song… Anyway, she got the joke like I knew she would and we hit it off. After a few days I got her number and a week after that we went on our first date. We had talked so much through text I was afraid we wouldn’t have anything to talk about in person so I chose to take her to a movie. They also happen to be playing Lights out which looked and was fucking amazing! As the movie progressed we slowly got more comfortable and close, especially at the part where that creepy demon woman was scratching on the floor, Jesus!
It was around that time I decided to hold her hand. I just reached over and grabbed it. After a minute I look over at her to see her smiling. After returning a smile I looked back towards the movie screen. Just then a bright light flashed blinding my peripheral and causing the theater to fill with angry shouts. I looked over and she was sitting there with her phone up and took another photo of us not giving a shit about all the people yelling. She turned to me wearing the same smile from a moment ago and says, “Our first time holding hands.”
Honestly, It did weird me out but I just chopped it up to, she’s just crazy, but listen, all women are crazy, it's just to what extent? You have to choose your crazy. My ex-wife would make fake social media accounts to get me to cheat on her with herself. This girl likes to take pictures, I can deal with that.
The rest of the movie went fine. I purposely tried to avoid any dating milestones until it was over. I got her home and it was time to say goodnight and I thought long and hard about my next move? Do I try to kiss her? I mean, she’s gorgeous and was cool most of the night, but would our kiss just be interrupted by the flash of her camera? She stood there smiling at me and I knew what she was waiting for, that's when I looked down and noticed her phone in her hand. She was literally prepared to take this picture. I know I stood there for an abnormal amount of time but eventually I went in for a kiss and sure enough, I was blinded once again by the flash of her phone.
The kiss ended, a bit flat after the interruption, and she giggled while saying, “Our first kiss”, as she admired the photo. She told me to text her and went inside, leaving me completely speechless on her stoop. “What the fuck do I do now.” I thought.
Deciding such a flaw could be ignored, I continued to see her. After two weeks, her photo gallery had filled up with photos of things like, our first car ride together, the first cuddle session, and first dinner date, but there were a lot of stranger things too like the first time we looked at each other for longer than ten seconds and a picture of the first time that I took our picture, which she made me take so she could take that picture of me taking the picture. It was exhausting! Half of the time she’d take pictures for no reason. I would often catch her out of the corner of my eye, just standing there waiting for me to turn so she could take a picture.
I’d had enough. The day I decided to break it off with her we had taken the subway downtown to go to the museum. You can only imagine how many fucking pictures she took in there. I planned to do it on the way home when we stepped on the platform. At least there would be people around in case this crazy girl tried to kill me. Unfortunately, I’d never get the chance.
After having to wait and be the last people off, we rushed to slip through the closing door only to barely make it. That’s when we realized her long red curls were stuck in the door. I desperately tried to free her as I pulled on her hair and pounded on the window begging for someone to help. The people on the train tried to pry the door open but once the train started moving she lost her footing and was dragged the rest of the way, disappearing into the tunnel. I turned to the crowd that stared at the man who couldn't save the girl.
As you can imagine, it fucked me up a little. I didn't want to be with her but I definitely didn't want her to die. Even though we saw each other for a few weeks, I was only actually in her presence maybe 5 or 6 times. I definitely hadn’t met her family but still felt obligated to go to the funeral.
I had no clue what to expect but when I got there It seemed like a perfectly normal viewing. A sign-in book, arranged flowered the whole Shabang. I stepped up to the casket to pay my respects. Of course, it was closed, she had been dragged away by a train, there’s no way they could have it opened. My thought was interrupted by a blinding flash to my right. I turn to look out of reflex and there she was, standing with her phone out. Her gorgeous red hair draped down her body that looked as though it had been priced back together like a jigsaw puzzle. Some pieces, obviously misplaced. The camera flashed again and she was gone.
I’m not one of those people that believe in ghosts, but I also know that her death didn’t affect me to the point that I’m going fucking crazy. Yes, we were dating, and yes I didn’t save her but, I did try and it was in no way my fault so forgive me for not being messed up over a situation where I tried my best but just wasn’t meant to succeed.
The thing is, she never went away… I mean, there are times where I don’t see her, but if anything important happens she right there to take a picture. The call I received about my new job. She was standing in the kitchen with her phone up before the phone ever rang. Her body, disfigured and gray. When I met my new wife, she was there. Also, on our first date, and even the first time we made love she was right there in the corner, the flash becoming more and more, normal… When my son was born, she was in the room taking the very first photo.
Even though we never get to see the photos, it’s kind of like having our own family photographer. My wife can see the flash but she can never see the mangled form just to the left of her, setting up the perfect shot. My son on the other hand usually notices her before I do. Even when he took his first steps, he was walking towards her. One thing I'm sure of though, that had to be the perfect photo.