Love at First Text
Do you believe in love at first sight? Do you believe in fate? If anyone ever asked me these questions, I'd have a simple answer for them: hell no. At least, that's the answer I would have given almost a year ago…in thirty-seven days, it'll have been a year. But you know…who's counting?
Alright, you know what? Love at first sight, I don't mind. It's a cute cliché. But what's with me? Love at first…what? Instant message? Oh, yeah. That'll be great to tell the family. "Mom, Dad. Sorry, but I'm a lesbian. Oh, and the girl I'm in love with…yeah…I've never actually met her." I'm sure that'll go over well. Great dinner conversation, don't you think? Perfect. Excuse me while I go slam my head into the keyboard.
Let's go back a few months – three-hundred and twenty-eight days ago – to where the whole situation began. I was on a forum – please tell me that you know what that is, because I'm in no mood to sit around and explain it. If you've never tried it…you have no idea what you're missing. You can talk about anything and everything and not have to worry because you have that screen protecting you. No one knows who the hell you are unless you tell them. Anyway…
Something about her caught my attention instantly. It couldn't have been her pen name, because I can't for the life of me remember it now. Something to do with singing, I think. Anyway…I think it was the way she wrote. Isn't that strange? Reading her messages, I felt like she poured her entire heart and soul into everything she said. I imagined her as a shy, sensitive girl.
I had to meet her.
I begged with whatever deity may be up there – I might not believe in every religion, but I prayed to any that I could think of…who knew which one would decide to help me? – that she would respond to even one of my comments. God knows I couldn't respond to her first. I read everything she wrote and tried to imagine what I thought she might look like. Yes, I idealized her. But what else could I do?
For the first time in my life, I cursed the screen that protected me from prying eyes. I wanted to tear it down so I could see her, the real her and not whatever portrait I had painted in my mind's eye. But you know what? I didn't care. No matter what she really looked like, I would think she was beautiful.
God apparently didn't know that I wouldn't respond to her first. She never crossed my path but she consumed my thoughts completely: the mysterious girl who wrote every sentence with her heart. I just had to speak with her, I couldn't wait any longer. A full two weeks after she first logged on, I sent my first message to her. Yes, I deserve congratulations. I lasted an entire two weeks.
Even better than the full satisfaction of having summed up the courage to talk to her? She wrote back. I practically jumped out of my seat.
And by 'practically jumped out of my seat', I mean I only just fell off the chair and started screaming. Is that subtle enough? I could just tell that she wrote to me with that same whole-heartedness that she used in every post, in every comment. She was exactly as I thought she would be. A shy, self-conscious girl. But trusting…so trusting that it made me want to cry. More trusting than I ever thought possible. How could she trust me – someone who she had never actually met before – so easily like that?
And if she trusted me so easily, what about everyone else? Who knew what sort of people she was talking to, pouring her heart to? It had to be me…I wanted to keep her to myself. If you ever had the feeling before, imagine that with someone you've never met – never even seen – and who bares her soul on the internet for the world to read. Can you even imagine how hard it was? How insanely jealous I became of everyone, of the world it seemed.
I decided I would protect her. I was going to keep that – my shy little angel – confined to our private messages and our messages alone. I didn't want her showing her heart to anyone else like that. It was because it was dangerous right? Right? Come on, people…speak up. I need moral support, here. Yeah, what use are you? Why do you think I'm writing something like this? For the fun of it? Of course not!
Whatever…I'll just keep going even without the moral support and emotional backing of some people who won't be mentioned but will merely be insinuated as conspicuously as possible through the limitations of the internet.
Where was I? Right…protecting her, sheltering her, keeping her to myself. Is that selfish? I didn't know it yet, but I had fallen in love. Alright, scratch that. I had a feeling that I was in love. But denial is a beautiful thing, let me tell you. But seriously…come on, people! Who falls in love with a girl she's never met before? Never even seen? Whose name she didn't even know?
Me, apparently. This idiot right here, the one with the keyboard who's telling complete strangers the way she feels for…you guessed it…a complete stranger. Oh, but she wasn't a stranger! She was my angel, my perfect little angel. I felt like I knew her better than I knew anyone else, the girl whose every word – in perfect typeset handwriting – radiated with her entire soul. And for me? I told her everything to make up for the lost time, for her disadvantage. I bared my heart to her.
Well…almost. There was one thing I couldn't tell her, the angel who floated perpetually in my thoughts. I couldn't tell her I was in love with her.
Technically, I could have, but I doubt that would have gone over well. Interesting ice-breaker, I suppose. "Hi. I've never met you before. I love you." Yeah, I'm sure that works well as a conversation-starter. If anyone out there is willing to try it, I have two requests: tell me how that goes, and don't blame me if you end up in prison for being a creeper.
No matter how much I told her, though, it never seemed like enough. No matter how much we shared, I always needed more. I needed her and suddenly I realized that her heart-stained messages, paragraphs of her soul, weren't enough. We set up times to meet online, our own private conversations. They were what I lived for, what I woke up for, and what got me through the day. I called them 'dates' and she always laughed.
But that was what I wanted, I realized. Even if she laughed at that, I didn't care. At least I was making her laugh. Me…I was the reason she was laughing. Or claimed to be laughing, because you can never really know that stuff when you're online, can you? Well, anyway. One day, she had to miss one of our 'dates'.
Guilt-ridden paragraphs took over the cursed computer screen which I had for so long thought of as my protective shield. Do you have any idea how much I wanted to leap through the computer and just…give her a hug? Does that sound crazy? Good, because for a moment there I was afraid I was starting to sound sane. As sane as a girl who fell in love with another girl who she never met can sound, of course. But hey, who's counting?
Well, as things turn out, the fact that she missed our 'date' worked out well for me, even though I was both devastated, paranoid, and worried out of my mind at the time. But we're ignoring that…we're ignoring the time spent pacing around the room wondering if she had caught on…had become scared of me. Wondering if she just didn't like me or didn't want to talk to me. Like I said, we're ignoring those minor details. Feeling like I was going to be torn apart…not important at all, right?
Like I said, the fact that she couldn't meet me actually worked out in my favor. Guess what I got? Her phone number! One step closer to her actually being here…one step closer to holding her and one step closer to having her all to myself. Who else had her phone number? Alright, all of her friends, but I still felt like this was one more sign that maybe she liked me. Maybe those soul-ridden phrases had some sort of secret message just for me.
Yes, I believe we've established my insanity before, thanks.
All I can say now is that I'm going to call her. I hope she hears it: how much I love her. I won't say it, I can't. But I hope she notices. And I hope that she never comes across this story. But if she does, I hope she doesn't realize that it's me and everything I've written here is just for her.
Author’s Seat: This story is also on my fictionpress account, so don’t think that I stole it or anything. I just wanted to put something up.