Illustration – Fiction


He keeps staring at his smartphone. I’m not sure whether he’s on the chat app with his colleagues, or his bos, or his mom, or his room-mate, or even only playing a game. Maybe there’s something urgent. New deadlines, choked cat, nuclear war, or perhaps his sister’s birthday.

“How was the new project?” I started a conversation. Just wondering if his mind is here with me, or not.
“… we are… still planning for it”, he replied, with eyes still gazing on the screen.
Nope, he is not here

Although he is there, sitting in front of me. In this fancy restaurant. For our anniversary.
Still scrolling on whatever on his phone. It’s weird that he is here, but at the same time he is not.

He was that person I met a couple of years ago at that vintage shop.
A part-time employee that helped me with things that I needed to bought. Seemed so awkward at first, but in the end smiled and said, “I’m sorry I was at the other store yesterday”.
“It’s okay, I needed to get the tripod so I would eventually end up in this store anyway.”
And we laugh.
“I’m Guy,” he said.

Not long after that, it was July two years ago, just a week before his birthday.
“What have you planned for the weekend?” he asked.
I don’t remember what I had planned, but I remember his reply when I asked, “How about you?”
“It’s my birthday, I probably would have some drinks with a few friends.”
And I also remember I sang ‘Sunday Morning’ for that Sunday.

I think dining should always involve conversation. Although it’s only a small little talk. It’s a statement of presence. There’s nothing more sad than making your beloved ones feeling lonely when you’re physically there. That’s why I rarely check on my phones when I’m meeting someone. Unless there’s something super important like someone is about to die. Because I’m genuinely interested in people I’m being with right there on the spot.

Or maybe I’m just being weird.

No. I mean, human is a social being right? We need interaction. Playing with your smartphone to avoid conversation is not a smart thing to do.

Or maybe I’m just boring. Do I make him bored?

No! Should I just ask him something? I can… I think…

maybe… but…

he’s here, but he’s not…


Just an illustration on how your smartphones can make someone you hold dear feel bad about themselves

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