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PlentyOfFish

Bullard Bidelspach was an idle office employee who felt revulsion towards his workplace and his boss, the beer-bellied head of Bull’s department. His job as a tax consultant entailed providing counsel or services related to tax matters, such as filing claims, calculating premiums, or preparing reports. From week to week, he had to deal with a lot of bureaucracy, paperwork, and regulations, which were all too dull and frustrating. He began to worry about being a victim of attention deficit hyperactivity disorder (ADHD) caused by stress via overload. As a tax consultant, he also had limited opportunities for growth or advancement in his career. He had no friends, no hobbies, and no love life, at the age of 32. He spent his days staring at his computer screen and wishing for something unfettering to happen, though he was used to not being in a relationship since he was 24. However, what broke the camel’s back was when his colleague who had been single for six years got a charming lady via a blind date on Valentine’s Day that year. Six weeks later, Farney’s relationship was waxing stronger than ever.

Bullard was so desperate for a change that he decided to sign up for a dating app that promised to find him the perfect match. “On what app did you say you met Lindsay?” Bullard inquired from Farney, in a whisper. They were both seated next to each other’s desks. “PlentyOfFish,” Farney replied, “I already told you this a dozen times before, Bull.” “Oh,” Bullard nodded, “okay.” Five seconds later, he heard Farney snickering. “Why?” the 33-year-old asked teasingly. “You wanna date somebody finally?” Of course, why not? “Let him be, Farney,” the chubby middle-aged lady seated opposite Bullard interrupted, but her eyes and hands were glued onto her monitor and keyboard respectively. “Everyone needs some loving, even the most cold-hearted and grumpy people,” she continued. “That's why my sister decided to start that new business: Hug-a-Mug.” “Oh, Madelyn,” Farney sighed, “here we go again.” “For a small fee, you can get a warm and cozy hug from a friendly mug of your choice,” Madelyn went on. “Whether you prefer coffee, tea, hot chocolate, or soup, we have the perfect mug for you. So, if you go on a date, make sure you visit that place.” “Okay Maddy,” Bullard replied with a wide smile tugged across both commissures of his mouth.

******

Meanwhile, on the other side of Greenville, South Carolina, April Amspoker was a cheerful waitress who loved her job and her customers. She had many friends, divertissements, and admirers; the latter of whom she found no interest. April is what you might say, the polar opposite of Bullard. She used up her days ladling out delicious food, making people smile, and getting tips in return. She was a laissez-faire libertarian, non-sensual bon vivant, and a frolicsome epicure. She believed so much in the importance of holidays that she celebrated almost every non-vacation date set by the United Nations, from International Women’s Day to World Water Day, and even World Food Day. It was the last week of March, and trust April, she did not take the Week of Solidarity with the Peoples Struggling against Racism and Racial Discrimination for granted. Of course, her day was coming up in two days, and she would…

“Prank someone?” Abigail questioned, unsurprised. “Again?” “Yeah,” April replied wholeheartedly. “I’m tired of pranking my best friend.” Yes, she had kept the April Fools Day tradition alive in her world. “I need suggestions.” “You don’t ask me for such when you prank me, sis,” Abigail sighed, “so why asking now?” They were both in the open-concept kitchen of the apartment they shared, back from a long night at work. “Because it’s not about you this time around,” April answered. “Remember when you swapped sugar with salt for some coffee customers last year?’ Abigail recalled. “Yeah,” April chuckled, “a tastebud surprise. They enjoyed it tho. One even tricked me with a one-dollar coin as a tip.” Abigail feigned a smile, but it was weary enough for her best friend to notice. “The year after we got employed at Sassafras,” she recalled once more, “you filled out some job search Mad Libs and sent them to our colleagues as advice.” They both chuckled at that. April Amspoker was mischievous whenever she wanted to, though her pranks were only carried out once a year, on the day reserved for the tradition.

After half a minute of chortling, the open room was silenced. “You know,” Abigail spoke up, “I’m moving in with my fiance next month, April.” “Yeah, Abby,” April sighed with a duchenne smile. “I know and can live here all alone.” Abby shook her head. “You need to have someone at this age, April,” she spelled out, “not play tricks on someone. You’re 30 already.” Well, no lies were told. “So what do you want me to do?” April asked, tired of the conversation. “I haven’t found anyone who can love me for me, yet.” Abigail looked into her eyes and Amspoker snapped her fingers as if some inspiration had landed upon the stairs of her mind. “I have a pranking idea.” “What?” “Come closer.” The light at the entrance to the apartment flickered. “Oh, c’mon!” Abby’s voice echoed. “It’s a good idea,” April’s chuckle followed, “isn’t it?”

******

Stressed, as usual, Bullard loosened the crook of his tie and threw his coat on the comforter of his queen-sized bed. Placing his briefcase in front of the nightstand, he sat down in the comfiness of his bed, soon after retrieving his phone from his pocket. He checked his messages and found no new text, and that was perfectly normal. Oh, he remembered. “It’s Thursday. I have to create an account tonight.” Standing up with the phone in his hand, he walked over to the galley kitchen and backed his hindquarters on one of the base cabinets. He opened the PlentyOfFish app and filled in all the requirements, he remembered that the reason why he was lingering in the kitchen was that he was hungry. Placing the iOS device on the countertop, he reached his hands out to get some pasta from the shelves. Then a notification dropped, and so did his hands.

“I can’t believe I’m doing this,” April heaved, logging into her friend’s account. “Me neither,” Abby concurred, shaking her head. Soon enough, after gaining entrance into the account, Amspoker sighed when she saw Abby’s bio that read: ‘I’m in for anybody sexy, witty, not clumsy.’ “How long has your account been inactive?” April asked. “I don’t know,” Abigail shrugged, “but I’ve never opened it since Ford and I got into a relationship six months ago.” Wow, that’s a long time. “Since it’s now mine,” April said, “I’m changing the bio to something that sounds like me.” Go, girl! “I don’t mind that at all,” Abigail smiled. “As long as whatever you do leads you to the right person, that’s alright and fine by this seggsy queen.” “Quit praising yourself, Abby,” April chuckled. “Let your man do that.”

After editing the profile, Amspoker scrolled through matches generated via an algorithm and swiped on almost everyone she saw. At this moment, Bullard got a notification that he had been matched with someone. He found a profile that read Abby Avalanche, and she looked prepossessing and around his age, so he checked her profile. What he found was what he was looking for… his dreamgirl. Her bio said, “I'm looking for a soulmate, not a playmate. I want love, not your body. I want to connect with you on a deeper level, like your bank account and your Netflix password.” This caused a smile to creep up on Bullard’s face. She lived in Greenville too and sounded like a fun person, so he checked her photos. She had 13 of them on display and none were taken indecorously. She looked so pulchritudinous and he liked six of the pics and decided to chat her up. “Hey,” he texted, hoping to get a reply as quickly as possible.

April saw Bull's message and decided to have some fun with him. “Hey there,” she texted back, “good evening.” “Yeah,” Bull typed. “Hi, I’m Bull, 32.” April and her friend looked at each other. “He’s so direct,” April said. “And why is his name Bull?” she snort-laughed. “Just reply to him the same way,” Abigail advised. “Hi, I’m Abby, 30,” April replied. “You’re pretty,” Bull complimented. “Thanks, Bull,” she appreciated. “Is that your nickname?” “Yes,” Bull responded. “My name is Bullard, but my colleagues call me Bull even when I act like a sheep.” Oh, that was funny. At least, to April, it was. “Oh wow,” she typed. The conversation went on for three hours at a stretch, but Abigail went to bed some minutes after they started the chat. Within those three hours, they had established a connection between themselves, but Bullard was not aware this was all another antic of his new online friend and possible future girlfriend. “Do you do April Fools Day?” she asked and got an immediate answer. “Sometimes,” he texted. “I did it a lot back in high school and college. I guess as we get older, some things just change.”

No, not for April, but she did not tell him he was on her list. He showed her photos of his cooking, heeded the voice prompt the app gives from time to time, and sent her pictures of himself. However, when Bullard asked for a video chat, she informed him that she wanted him to see her physically first, and he still had no doubts about her. “It’s nice meeting you,” Bull commented when they were about to end the conversation at midnight. “Same here,” she texted back. “I hope you don’t mind if I say you’re the most attractive person I’ve seen today. And I’ve seen a lot of people today. I mean, not in a creepy way. I just have good eyesight. And good taste.” Bullard smiled at the long message. “Can we meet for coffee on Saturday?” he replied. “I can’t wait to see your pretty face.” “Me too, Bull.” April smiled. She thought seeing his face would be farcically rib-tickling when he realized she was nothing like her profile.

31 Mars 2023 19:01 0 Rapport Incorporer Suivre l’histoire
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