“I haven’t heard from him in three days,” she told her coworker, scooping up the stack of invoices with a practiced hand. She clipped them together and flipped them onto the growing stack.

Noticing her mother’s screen name on her IM buddy list, she typed in “Mr. Almost Perfect is breaking up with me,” as she sipped coffee from a hand-thrown mug. “He has decided he doesn’t want an intellectual girlfriend after all.”

“Does he know this?” came the response, with the silly grinning beach ball her mother used instead of the unavailable sarcasm emoticon.

“Your mom has a point,” said her coworker, peering over her shoulder. “You seem to have all these fights in his absence without ever letting him in on it.”

She snapped open her phone and heard her sister’s voice. With her eyes on the screen and her fingers tapping briskly on the keyboard, she related the latest in the saga of Mr. Almost Perfect.

“You either need to stop being mad at him for being as busy as you are,” her sister said, “or admit that you don’t have time for a relationship right now.”

She ended the conversation curtly, but the phone buzzed back into life almost immediately. It was Mr. Almost Perfect, texting her sweet nothings.

She crossed her slim ankles, started in on the next stack of invoices, and considered the possibility that everyone else was right about the relationship.