Hey Mark,

I’m so psyched that we matched on Tinder! But I noticed that for some weird reason you haven’t asked me out yet.

We’re obviously both pretty busy with our work on this Martian colony. These collective efforts represent the absolute pinnacle of human knowledge. Everyone back home is waiting and rooting for us to succeed. Earth won’t be around much longer and literally everything depends on us being able to setup a workable society here.

So, I get that you’re a little swamped…

Speaking of which, how’s your botany project coming along? I hope you’re able to sow the seeds of a sustainable ecosystem. That way, we can get a breathable atmosphere, complete the terraforming process, and we won’t die or whatever!

But all that aside, I want you. I want you, Mark. Like, now. Why haven’t we gone out yet? I keep checking my phone for notifications and guess what? Nothin’. Not even a “hey Nicole, neat-o that we like each other” message or an animated icon of a puppy with floating red hearts.

Maybe you’re just not that into me? I dunno. Maybe you want to play the field… metaphorically speaking. I know that your actual field was destroyed by an unexpected and devastating dust storm. Hmmm. There are only four other women dwelling within our thin and partially breached oxygenated bubble. Maybe you’re more into one of them?

Anyway, I did some scientific research. I read through a bunch of lifestyle articles in the colony’s archives of Earth publications (well, listicles, if I’m being honest here). The listicles provided me with some helpful, enumerated tips regarding the various “signs that he’s into you.”

According to Cosmo, the number one sign is “his pupils are huge.” This is the definitive sign that he’s into you. And the last time you met my lustful gaze, your pupils did seem huge, Mark. But that might also have something to do with the fact that we’re living on the surface of a hostile planet. And NASA has observed that astronauts returning from the space station often need to get glasses because micro-gravity causes pressure to build up in the optic nerve.

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So who knows, right? Maybe it’s just a space thing with you! Maybe you’re not really crushing on me, you’re just going blind! lololol

Sign number 7 from Cosmo states: “He takes a deep breath when he sees you.” You did take a deep breath the last time you saw me, but the atmospheric dome had just shattered at that time. Red lights were flashing all around us and a totally distracting robotic voice kept saying, “Warning! Warning!”

So yeah, um, I don’t think this Cosmo listicle is relevant. We’re in a unique romantic situation, you know? And there’s nothing wrong with that! It’s kind of sexy, being so far away from the sun, isolated from meaningless pop culture, bundled together in a flimsy dome, immersed within a planet-encircling dust storm, with all available food supplies slowly dwindling. It makes me want to cuddle up against you!

Where’s that blushing emoticon? I can’t find it, so here’s a random GIPHY. And yes, it’s the puppy with the hearts.

If you feel the same way, Mark, just shoot me back a message and ask me out for a cup of coffee or sand at the Red Rock Café. I’m free most days! I’ve been taking it easy lately. I understand that as the sole surviving engineer, it’s my job to fix the damaged return shuttle, but instead of doing that I’ve just been binge-watching Netflix, lol! Maybe if you come on over, we could totally “Netflix and chill.”

I think you’ll have a good time 😉 I’m doing fab and lookin’ great! I’m not sure if you’ve had time to check out my Instagram lately. Due to the fact that surface gravity on Mars is about 38% of what it is on Earth, I only weigh 48 pounds. I’m in the best shape of my life. Haters gonna hate, but I look good.

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And lucky for you, you’ve got no competition. Tom is always playing with that little rover toy of his and he barely says anything. You’d think a guy who subspecializes in communications relay equipment would be more talkative.

Anyway, Mark, this planet isn’t as wet as we’d hoped, but I sure am. Maybe I shouldn’t have typed that out… Kinda corny, huh? Oh, and sorry about your failed corn-growing experiment, btw. I know I should have noticed that fire a lot sooner, but I was checking my Tinder to see if you’d replied yet. So honestly, that’s kind of on you.

And look, if I’m going to try out this radical honesty thing or whatever, I may as well just tell you… I created the dust storm. I started the fire in the ship’s hull. And yes, I even caused the breach in the dome.

Mark, I want you. I want to be stranded here with you. Damn the rest of humanity! We can start over. We can rebuild, Mark! Entwined in your arms, we will be fruitful and multiply! Omigod I’m so glad I swiped right!

Xoxo,
Nicole

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