Me: Hey, it’s me. Is this thing on Saturday going to be really fancy? I don’t know if I have anything to wear.
It’s not raining today, which means Reed is most likely at work. He might not have his phone on him. I could be stuck making a judgment call on this, but I don’t want to buy something I’ll only wear once if I don’t even need it.
Reed: Who is this?
I stare at the screen, mouth falling open. Really? Who is this?
Me: Beth Davis.
Me: From McGill’s.
Reed: Sweetheart, even if I didn’t know who this was, which I did, you could’ve stopped at Beth. I would’ve figured it out.
Me: You’re hilarious.
If there is a way to text sarcasm, I pray I just nailed it.
Reed: I thought I was funny. So did Connor.
Me: Who is Connor?
Reed: One of my workers. I asked his opinion. He laughed.
Me: He’s sucking up to you. You sign his paycheck.
Reed: Technically, my mother signs his paycheck. She runs the office. I just tell him what to do.
Me: Like laugh at your poor attempts to be funny.
Reed: Hold on. I’m programming your number into my phone, Beth Davis from McGill’s.
Me: You aren’t seriously putting me in like that, are you?
My phone beeps as a photo message comes through, a screen shot of his contacts opened up to my name, Beth Davis from McGill’s. I keep my laugh subdued, okay, that’s somewhat funny, and decide he isn’t the only one out of the two of us who can crack a joke.
Me: You could put me in under the nickname I went by in high school.
Reed: What was that?
Me: Beth Deep Throat Davis.
Holy shit. I cannot believe I just typed that.
I have never texted anything that… filthy before. Ever. Not even a few words that hinted around to something sexual.
What possessed me to pop my dirty-texting cherry with Reed Tennyson? I was going for funny. Maybe that wasn’t his kind of humor. Shit. Shit! My throat suddenly feels tight, my tongue too large for my mouth. What was I thinking? I could’ve used my actual nickname growing up. It isn’t funny, but it’s at least a word that wouldn’t make my insides feel like they’re being held over an open flame.
My thumbs move frantically, trying to undo my error.
Me: Sorry. I don’t know what made me send that. I’ve never been called that before. My momma always called me Bethie when I was younger. That’s the only nickname I’ve ever had. If you could erase what I’ve sent you prior to this message and never speak of it again, I’d ap-preciate it.
I’ve never been the type of person who recovers well from uncomfortable situations. If anything, I’m usually making it worse on myself. Case-in-point.
Me: I’d never be called Deep Throat. I have a really sensitive gag reflex. When the doc-tor does that strep test with the long Q-tip and scratches the back of your throat, I almost throw up.
Me: Luckily, I don’t get dick very often.
I nearly swallow my tongue.
Me: OMG. Sick! I meant I don’t get sick very often!
Me: Ducking autocorrect!
Me: What the hell is dicking?
Me: OMG. What is happening?
I’m a second away from hurling my phone against the nearest hard surface, or dropping it into the pot of steaming chowder Riley is carrying my way.
Reed: I think your phone loves dick.
Some of my embarrassment subsides as I read his cavalier response. The hand covering half my face slides down and resumes typing.
Me: I am so sorry if I made this awkward.
Reed: Not awkward for me. You’ve kept me amused on my break, which is now over. Text me your address. I’ll dick you up at 5:30 p.m. on Saturday. (See what I did there?)