It was the fourth selfie they had taken in thirty minutes. They were sat in one of the shiny red leather booths in the corner, sharing a large pepperoni pizza, and in order to fully utilize the lighting from the sunset which was taking place outside the window and whose optimally tan-orange glow fell mostly upon his side of the table, she had scooted over so that she was sitting next to him and could take the photo, the photo, the one that might just be good enough to attain the highest and most coveted rank: Ellie Gray’s profile picture.

Obviously Ellie did not like to appear vain. The ratio of candid shots to selfies that she used as her profile picture was a steady 3:1. It always helped if she had someone in the selfie with her, she figured, as the reason behind taking it would be rooted less in vanity and more in ‘capturing the moment’, as well as proving the existence of good times being had. And she had been dating Tim for more than a month now, so using a selfie of the two of them as her new profile picture would not only seem less vain than uploading a solo selfie, but would also send a crystal-clear message to any of Tim’s prospective love interests that they should keep their dirty and poorly-manicured hands well and truly off. Two birds with one stone.

After using her phone to stage, take and adjust the selfie (using the requisite image filters), she slid back out from his side of the booth and returned to her side. He picked up another slice, folded it in two and stuffed it in its entirety into his mouth all at once, before retrieving his own phone and resuming the typing of a WhatsApp message in which he was discussing the best isometric exercises for building upper-body strength.

Due to a brief disruption of the pizza restaurant’s internet service, meaning that a wireless connection was temporarily unavailable to patrons, Ellie Gray was not immediately able to upload the new profile picture, and this resulted in her throwing her plastic tumbler of Diet Coke at the head of a waitress who happened to be passing by the booth at that moment. Ice chips scattered across the restaurant’s linoleum floor, the waitress slipped, and Ellie continued to nibble at the same slice of pizza that she had been nursing since they’d started eating. She was inspecting the phone’s screen closely.

“Y’know what, my nose looks too big in this one. Let’s do it again,” she said, sliding back out of the booth and over to his side, as the waitress lay motionless on the floor.



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