Short Story Series- You got Scammed – Chapter 9

They had just reached the food court and had put in their orders and were waiting for their food. She had offered to pay as it was a habit of hers to treat her friends, and plus she figured she had chosen this ramen place. He hadn’t even offered to pay… but ohwell.

“Soo…you said you worked as a chef she asked?”. Trying to break the awkward silence. Both of them had their masks on still.

“Yeah. Well, I am training to become a chef.. So I am just a kitchen-hand at the moment. But due to Covid-19 I think they will be reducing a lot of the staff, so I have a feeling I will lose my job soon”. He said sadly.

“Oh, sorry to hear that, do you have any ways of supporting yourself if you do lose your job?.” She asked.

“Well my mother has been sending money to me from Japan to support me. But I don’t want to rely on her so much….My lease for the apartment in the city will end at the end of this month as well, so I also need to look for a cheaper place to rent.”

“Oh..I. see… so no plans to go home? Do you like living in Australia?” She asked. She tried to sound as sympathetic as she could, but a part of her felt like he wasn’t telling the truth.

“Yeah, I want to stay here…but I can’t with no job and no money to pay rent.” He said somewhat sadly.

“Oh…is it hard to find another job at the moment?”. Lilly asked. She didn’t really know much about the hospitality industry, just that it had taken a huge hit because of Covid.

“Yeah it’s really hard right now. A lot of my friends have already lost their jobs and gone back to their home countries. I am really lucky to have had a job for so long. But I don’t think I will be able to stay when I lose my job too.”.

“Ahh that sucks”. She really did not know what to say or how to respond.

“I am also planning to go back to Japan for the death anniversary of my ex-girlfriend too, it might be hard to come back to Australia after that” He said.

“Oh, I see..yeah that’s true. There are limited overseas flights in and out of Australia at the moment and it’s so expensive!” She said.

Just then the food vendor shouted the number for their order and they went to get their food to eat outside as indoor dining was not allowed. They found a table and bench outside and sat down.

This was it, she was finally going to see his face.

“Well I guess we can finally see each other’s faces! Or we could eat with the masks on I guess..” She said jokingly.

They both went to remove their masks and put it on the table….

Short Story Series- You got Scammed – Chapter 7

Saturday rolled around faster than she expected and now she was getting ready for the date. She was tossing up between two different dresses, one was a low cut sexy black mini dress while the other one was a cute long green dress which didn’t show her body shape at all. In the end she chose the green dress, she didn’t know who this guy was and he could turn out to be a creepy stalker after all. She put on some make up and straightenedd her hair, smiled at herself in the mirror, grimaced at herself and then grabbed her keys and went out.

She had just parked her car at the station when the message alert rang out on her phone. It was Hiroshi….

“Hi Lilly. Sorry, I am running a few minutes late today because the train was delayed :(. Just to let you know I am wearing a maroon backpack and wearing a brown jacket. See you soon!” He then also sent a photo of him in his mask sitting in the train…

Damn, she had time to kill, time to do more investigating. If Hiroshi didn’t have social media accounts, he might still use things like LinkedIn or surely she would be able to find some information on him, Hiroshi didn’t seem like that common of a name. As she didn’t know his last name, she typed in his first name and changed the location to “Melbourne, Victoria”. She then tried with the keywords, “Chef, Japanese, Hiroshi, Melbourne”. There was absolutely nothing. It was like this guy really did not exist. Who was he? Was she safe? Should she back out now? Now she was somewhat afraid, this was a complete stranger that seemed like he had something to hide…She rubbed her temples and thought deeply, she could leave now, but then she would never get the answers she wanted to find out. Before she could come to a conclusion she heard her phone alert go off.

“Hi Lilly. Are you here already? I see a girl in a car that looks like you. Look out the window to the right.”

Short Story Series: You Got Scammed – Chapter 1

Lilly looked at the photo…contemplating whether she should request to match with him. He was so good looking…he could easily pass off as a celebrity, a rock star, or a model of some sort. There was no way he would be interested in a plain, boring, average looking girl like me. Heck, Lilly thought…What do I have to lose anyways? There was only a limited amount of match requests you could do each day, but more often than not she never used them up. She wanted a relationship, but at the same time she was too tired and lazy to put much effort into it. Lilly felt relationships were so hard to maintain. Her last relationship was probably over 4 years ago? That ended pretty badly and she still had dreams that haunted her showing alternate endings to her relationships. It was like an unhealed trauma that left her feeling hesitant to believe in love again.

As a teenager, Lilly believed love was something that she felt certain she would never experience…She was never one of those popular pretty girls back in high school and no guys had every asked her out…and if they did it was as a joke. Back in high school Lilly had crooked teeth, acne, glasses, and was super self-conscious about showing any skin at all. Her secondhand high-school skirt was almost down to her feet and she always wore long sleeved shirts no matter how hot it was outside. She didn’t think any guy would ever be interested in her….not until she was able to transform herself into who she was now. She had gotten braces during University, finally managed to be brave enough to get contact lenses, and she slowly outgrew her acne. She had grown more confident in her body as she started to work out at the gym, followed fashion bloggers, and learnt how to style her hair and do basic make up…she looked nothing like her old self, yet despite her appearance changing, her confidence in herself and finding true love was dim.

Lilly was afraid. Afraid that the other person would find out what kind of person she really was. Without all the make up, the facade that she tried to put up. She felt she was just an ugly duckling that was pretending to be a swan…Dating was about pretending to be a perfect swan to attract a mate. WOW. When was life so primal? She believed guys were shallow, they just went for pretty, slim, and cute girls. Then again, she felt she was shallow too…she also went for handsome, tall, and fit guys…She too was not attracted to guys who didn’t look after themselves. Too bad most of those handsome guys turned out to be pricks who only wanted one thing. Sex. But she wanted more than that, she wanted a connection, a relationship, and maybe a husband…dating in this time and age was really really HARD.

Well whatever, Lilly thought, it’s time to sleep. Lilly was about to head off to sleep when the a notification flashed across the screen of her phone…”Hiroshi has sent you a message”…