A notification popped up on Jane*’s phone. It was from Tinder, the infamous dating mobile app, informing her that she just got a new match. Jane downloaded Tinder under the influence of her best friend and only went on it to pass time. She didn’t have that many friends due to her quiet, reserved nature so she figured that Tinder would be a great way to get to know more people from all walks of life.
She put the newspaper she was reading aside, unlocked her phone and went on Tinder to look at the profile of this new guy named Cedric* who just had a match with her. As she looked through his profile, she found herself blushing and ears turning red. Cedric is cute, incredibly good-looking, and an animal lover to boot. Just as she was imagining how he would be like in person, her phone vibrated.
“A new message from Cedric,” her phone said. Cedric had messaged her with a corny pick-up line and added that he knew that it sounded stupid but that he just wanted to know how she would react to it. Jane chuckled to herself. Cedric seems kinda weird but at least he is honest.
Jane hurriedly typed out a reply: “Hello. Yes, it sounds stupid but it made me laugh anyway,” and promptly kept her phone in her bag in preparation for her lecture in school.
Throughout the next few weeks, Jane got to know Cedric a little better – not surprising since they texted every day and even exchanged phone numbers. 22-year-old and still in the army, Cedric was looking to pursue a career in veterinary science due to his deep love for all things furry and four-legged. He has an older sister who recently got married and his parents had been divorced since he was 3.
“I heard somebody’s been on Tinder recently,” smirked Rachel*. Rachel was one of Jane’s very few friends and who was the complete opposite of Jane. Athletic, outgoing, and sometimes a little too loud, it is strange how the two even became such close friends.
Jane blushed and felt her ears turn as red as a tomato, just like how she did when she first saw Cedric’s Tinder profile. “Well, yeah…” she mumbled, refusing to let Rachel know anything about the attractive animal lover she recently met online.
“Hello? I’m waiting for you to tell me about your new guy?” Rachel waved one hand in front of Jane’s face while tapping her fingers against the table with the other, making loud clicking sounds repeatedly.
“Um, it’s nobody lah. We’re not dating or anything. We haven’t even met up,” Jane laughed nervously. The way Rachel questioned her sometimes made her feel as though she was a criminal being interrogated by a cop.
“Are you bloody serious? This will not do, okay? Go ask him out now. NOW!” demanded Rachel. Jane was never any good at rejecting people which is why she always find herself ending up in awkward, uncomfortable situations. Nodding meekly, Jane fished her phone out of her bag reluctantly and asked Cedric out as Rachel watched her craft her message.
As soon as the message was sent, Cedric replied. One thing she liked about him was that he replies at a lightning fast speed which made her feel as though she was of some importance to him.
The message from Cedric read: “Sure! I wanted to ask you the same thing but… I can only meet you on the 7th. Is that okay?”
“That is two weeks from now,” Jane thought to herself. “That should be enough time for me to physically and mentally prepare myself for the meeting.” Rachel, who was still reading Jane’s conversation with Cedric, smirked to herself and nodded, completely satisfied with herself.
Jane and Cedric met up at a rather remote location upon Cedric’s suggestion. When asked about her meeting with Cedric, Jane could not think of a single negative thing to say about him or anything else, for that matter. It was perfect, well, except for the fact that people kept staring at her and giving her concerned looks time and again at the cafe they were at. She knew she was slowly, but surely falling for him despite her reluctance to. She whipped her phone out again and texted Cedric again, planning the next meet-up.
“Cedric…” she thought to herself again. “What a pleasant-sounding name.” Jane was exhibiting all signs of a teenage girl newly in love.
Her phone vibrated. “I can only meet you next month. On the 7th,” the message from Cedric read. “That’s approximately a month from now… and why is it always the 7th?” Jane questioned, frowning.
Jane began to be concerned about this new friend she just made. She realised that she has never asked him if he was attached. She has heard of instances of people who were already attached, or worse, married, browsing Tinder just for fun. Could Cedric be an example of such a person? Jane was determined to find out the answer.
Opening her Facebook mobile app, she keyed “Cedric Chong” into the search bar, hoping that she would be able to find his profile. After a minute or two of scrolling past all the wrong Cedric Chong, she finally found him – his Facebook profile picture was exactly the same as his Tinder profile picture. Feeling relatively proud of her snooping skills and thankful that Cedric hadn’t had the foresight to set his profile to private, she clicked on the profile and scrolled through his wall.
“u were always supportive, encouraging, kind. it is sad tt you had to go so soon, cedric. we will miss u!” read one post on his wall.
As she scrolled further down, she realised that all the posts on his wall were written by his friends, all mourning the fact that Cedric is gone – he is not alive anymore.
* names have been changed to protect the privacy of those involved.