An Immigrant’s Eyewitness Report from the Streets of Dating Apps
When I packed my one suitcase to come to America, I put everything I thought I needed inside and romance wasn’t in it.
One quiet Saturday night in my Las Vegas apartment, I was casually strolling the streets of Instagram when I arrived at the page of a couple I’d never seen before. I stopped to ogle at their unabashed display of affection and their poses that seemed stenciled from a perfect fantasy: Forehead kisses, kisses underwater, date nights, and tables splayed with food that I’d never eaten in my life. Then I found more kisses: underneath the sunset, on the neck while posing for mirror selfies, love bites.
I have everything I need in this life of sineverything but what this couple has
So you think you are the only one that can dream? You think we don’t have dreams of our own?
I like youI want to fornicate with youYou are like a sister to meJust here for the weekend, looking to suck toes.
The Jungle Book
If you were a musical instrument, what would you be and why?
Better know your order before we get to Starbucks; Short girls stay away. Swipe left if you are looking for something serious ’cause I’m not. Can you cook?
How are you?
So what are you looking for, or are you here to collect data for your stories?
That won’t be such a bad idea
Give me your number. I want to call you on video. I don’t have time to waste.
No, I won’t give you my number just yet
Where did you learn that?Who taught you Yoruba?
Married to a Nigerian for 15 years.
Are you still together?
Very much so and I’m not looking to change that. Haha.
Then what are you doing here? Does she know you are on Tinder?
Of course, she knows. This is my last night in Vegas. Wanna grab a drink?
Ucheoma Onwutuebe is a Nigerian writer. She is the recipient of the 2022 Waasnode Fiction Prize and has received residencies from Yaddo, Art Omi, and the Anderson Center. Her works have appeared in Prairie Schooner, Off Assignment, Bakwa Magazine, and elsewhere. She is currently an MFA student at the University of Nevada Las Vegas.
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