Nothing Comic Anymore

“I… I… I thought we had something. I believed in you! I loved you, dammit, I loved you! But you kept this from me – you lied, lied about the most important thing… all those times you looked me in the eye you knew what you’d done…”

I could barely speak anymore – great waves of horror kept building, bigger and bigger, and then smashing over my head until I was struggling just to stay standing. She was still sitting on the sofa, motionless, frozen, numb from the shock. When I think back I imagine her eyes as pleading with me, apologising, begging for me to forgive her, but they weren’t – they were just lifeless. Dead. All so suddenly it was over, and we both knew it.

Please! A little background.

We met on Omegle: a beautiful union of You and Stranger, or Stranger and You, depending on which way you saw it. “Hi!” – the exclamation mark did it at once – that effortless burst of joy which came so naturally to her. I signed off with my Facebook page, just in case, and the next morning there she was, new friend request, new lives together. She posted on my wall. I liked. She tweeted, I retweeted. Tagged you in a photo. Tagged you in a note. In a relationship? (I became mayor of her bed on foursquare.) In a relationship! Lots of love, xxx.

By the next iPhone release cycle I had moved into her place for real. It was a perfect little flat, just off Swiss Cottage, cosy, homely and with an unsecured wireless network from that nice Mr. Papucci next door. We would spend whole evenings together just snuggled up on her sofa, planning our futures together – and then our future together – feeling utterly safe from the bustling world outside. We had each other, and that was the only news feed story that mattered.


My phone flashed lazily with a new message. I paused from my current task – stroking her beautifully long hair – just long enough to lean over to the table and pick it up.

“Hey, do you sometimes think we’re too dependent on technology? xxx”

I laughed. “Nooo…”

She turned round smiling. “Well of course, I don’t really. But sometimes I think it might be nice to try living without it all for a day or something, y’know, like our ancestors did.”

“Yeah, that could be fun actually. If we went really primitive, just for a day, as an experiment.”

“I mean, obviously I’m not saying go crazy.”


“Not kill ourselves doing this!”


“But like, there’s something quite noble about the old days really. Take phones. We take this all for granted, but in the past people had to cope with much lower screen resolutions…”

“God yes. No HD screens for them – nothing even close. Sometimes they weren’t even full colour! And polyphonic ringtones…”

I felt a little shiver of excitement run down her spine. “Y’know, my grandfather had one of those phones, or something even older! It was a Nokia, a 3310, yes that’s right, and before he died he gave it to me to keep!”

“Do you still have it?”

“Of course! I think it’s over in that box on top of the wardrobe somewhere. Y’know, the one I need a stepladder to reach…”

I laughed. “Aha, but I don’t, shawty. I’ll go get it for you.”

The box was pretty heavy as I lifted it down, and covered in dust, so I put it down and began rummaging through it in the corner rather than spreading the dust all over the living room. It seemed to be a wonderfully eclectic collection of stuff from over her life: photos from her childhood, a signed Ethereal Fire gig ticket, a human skull from her gap year in Tyrgyzstan. (“It was all so exotic!” I remember her saying to me about it, “and like, so interesting! We got there just as the civil war was really breaking out, so there was so much to do – in their culture when there’s a civil war it’s traditional for the different groups to really go for each other, like really brutally, so there was always room for volunteers to pitch in, laying mines, shooting, executing prisoners of war… and they were so grateful, those guys we were with. It felt like we really made a difference to their world, y’know?”)

Aha, there it was! Laying right at the bottom: a battered old Nokia 3310 lying peacefully at the bottom of the box, frozen in time. I reached in to pull it out, but then something else caught my eye… a little piece of card, tucked neatly between some photographs. There was nothing remarkable about it, and it looked innocuous enough, so I can’t explain why I pulled it out other than idle curiosity. But I did.

And then my life fell apart.

Fade out. Background over. Back to the start.

“I… I… I thought we had something. I believed in you! I loved you, dammit, I loved you! But you kept this from me – you lied, lied about the most important thing… all those times you looked me in the eye you knew what you’d done…”

What could she do? I mean, what could she do? Eventually, after what seemed like an eternity, she did at least try and make a go of it – taking the card weakly from my outstretched hand and trying, at least, to feign ignorance.

“Look, it’s nothing… yes, it is a wedding invite, and yes, it is my wedding invite, and yes, Dave and I were engaged once. But you knew that, or near enough: I told you all about us, remember? I don’t know why I kept it really, but it doesn’t mean anything, I promise…”

She trailed off. I stared at her. She stared at me. I started to well up, and tried as hard as I could to stop the tears from coming as I forced out more words.

“Please. Don’t do this. You know as well as I do that this is nothing to do with Dave, nothing to do with you being engaged… fuck it, I wouldn’t mind if you had forty two children living in a shoe somewhere. This isn’t about that. This is about you.”

She looked down.

“Look, I just need an answer to one simple question.”

She said nothing, but nodded slightly.

“This invite…”

It was so hard to speak. So hard.

“You… designed it?”

She looked up, avoiding my eyes.

“Well, um, I mean, I can’t remember exactly, I think, maybe, maybe Dave did some of the work, I don’t…”

“It was you. I can tell. It’s you all over. Look, you’ve even included your website on it. This was you.”


“But… but…”

“STOP IT!” she yelled. “Yes, it was me. YES, OK, IT WAS ME. There, I said it, I confessed, I’m guilty. I designed that invite. I designed that invite down to the very last pixel. And I…”

I took a deep breath, and then finished her sentence for her.

“…used Comic Sans MS?”

“Yes. Yes. I used Comic Sans MS.”

“For your wedding invitation.”

“For my wedding invitation.”

I breathed in deeply, again.

“And the WordArt?”

“At the time, it just… seemed… so… zany…”

By then I was already backing out the door, re-arranging the furniture of the flat in my head to be without my stuff, mentally packing up my Blu-ray discs and USB cables.

She remained still. And then…

“So, this is goodbye, I guess…”

“Yes. The end.”

Now she was crying too.

“Look, I hope we can still be friends. Y’know, on Facebook and stuff. LinkedIn.”

“We’ll see.”

It was all I could manage. My voice was cracking. I had to get out of there.

We was over. Finished. Sans serif, sans us.

And then I was gone.

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11 Comments on :
Nothing Comic Anymore

  1. Lucy says:

    You’re so weird. xxx

  2. Saoirse says:


    Although now I am wondering whether anyone has ever started a relationship on Omegle. I did once talk to someone who was working a ten minute walk away from me, or so she said.

  3. Red Dalek says:

    I think I remember someone on Omegle claiming that he had met his girlfriend on there – although I share your ‘…allegedly’ attitude

  4. Saoirse says:

    Wow, what did she think of him keeping on going to his equivalent of a singles’ bar?

  5. Samantha says:

    The Comic Sans thing was hilarious. And it’s nice to think that I inspired you, just a bit. I’m really glad you enjoyed the story. And that you got the ending. xD

  6. Amber says:

    hahahhahaha xxx

  7. Abbi says:

    This is brilliant!!!! I particularly like the signed Ethereal Fire ticket

  8. Haha, brilliant I’d definitely end a relationship if my partner were to do something as ghastly as that.

  9. Alexander says:

    Goodness me, this was good! The wonderful thing is that you kept me guessing for such a long time…

    ‘Shawty’ did even make me wonder whether you might me translating some sort of vapid song into this long-form format, but the conclusion was just perfect

  10. Andy says:

    Andy’s list of things to do before he dies:

    #56:<s> Hear Dom use the word Shawty</s>

  11. Red Dalek says:

    @Alex and Andy – it’s a subtle nod of respect towards Auto-Tune the News, really

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