In the same way that you might wonder why you always get a ferocious hangover while your mates wake up feeling bright, I wondered why this particular nuance of other peoples' relationships never extended to me.
Why did they always get noise, when all I got was silence?
And then as I blinked awake on Saturday morning, too early, there it was.
The familiar double buzz beside me, the name on the screen, the clock stating 06:54am, the sinking thump in my chest, and the first post-break-up-statement-of-regret of my relationship career.
Long time no speak, how are you? I hope you're good. I miss hanging out with you x
My brain picked up the words I'd been waiting for, and ran with them.
It ran into the future and back into the past, and woke up all the possibilities that had been slowly melting away over the last couple of months.
My thoughts flipped around, got lifted up and carried away which meant it was a good few minutes before something obvious dawned on me: the time.
It was now 7am, which meant that these weren't the realisations of a man who had come to his senses in the bold light of a new day.
No, no. They were the emotional, needy, drug-fuelled, drink addled words that came at the end of a long night.
And they were words that I shouldn't have replied to, but I did.
Of course I did.
(You can't wait four relationships for something to happen, and then not act on it when it does.)
So in a gesture that was half clinging onto a thread of hope, and half curiosity: what would happen if I introduced a very un-modern, sober dose of honesty into proceedings? I sent a response.
I can't tell you what the messages that followed said, partly because they happened over a course of weeks, partly because it's done now, finished, and looking back seems something worse than futile.
But I can tell you about the Saturday night when I went out, hours after receiving what would be his final message, and sat at a bar next to The Lawyer.
Around three or four Surprise Tears had begun their descent, so I pulled my hair in front of me to shield my face from the barman and she said "Will it make it better if I put my arm around you and give you a hug, or worse?" and I said "Worse", and so we sat there, separated, and she said "Well, just so you know, I really want to hug you. And also, it won't feel like you're better off, I know it doesn't, but you are." and I said "I know, I just feel so sad. Again." because sometimes, that's just all it is.
It took two days for the perfect reply to shape itself, and then there it was: everything I wanted to say in a box on the screen.
I am having a lot of fun. And it's a shame you're not going to be a part of it as I'd hoped you might. I wish you all the best anyway.x
And with the realisation that noise is good if it's final and purposeful, but silence is better if it's not, I pressed send.