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"Our lives are a book that has already been written. The brilliance of the plan is that we are only given a chapter at a time..." ~A. Drayton Boylston

Monday, October 22, 2012

Chapter 20 Excerpt, In a Perfect World

Our first conversation lasted four hours. The conversations following the first lasted even longer. Our very last conversation lasted eight hours. None of our conversations were filled with fluff or mindless drivel... it was all about us. And we talked about everything.

With the exception of "basic facts" that would have lead to him figuring out who I was, I was honest with him about everything. My thoughts, feelings, advice and opinions were all my own. He talked about his dreams and his plans for the future. We wanted the same things... we had the same hopes and desires. All of those things were far from conventional norms...and we weren't just agreeing with each other... we were completing each other’s sentences and completing the big picture. We had more in common than I ever realized. And I found that I loved him even more than I ever did before, now that I knew so much more. There were a couple of times I actually cried... because there were things he said about his life and feelings that he never said to me in person. He was very authentic, and unguarded. He probably thought there was nothing to lose, as we were both hiding behind a computer.

It didn't take long for me to realize that the online discussions would have to end as much as I didn't want them to... I couldn't do this to him for long. I knew that the longer I waited to reveal myself, the more painful it was going to be for us.

Yet... at the same time, I was really enjoying our conversations. In person we had to be sneaky and our conversations couldn't be for very long. But on the computer we could talk for as long as we wanted and could say anything. And I really longed to have that kind of relationship with him.

I started getting anxious to talk to him on the computer, and I had trouble sleeping. He confessed that he was doing the same thing I was... waking up at odd hours thinking about someone he (thought) he had never met. Sometimes we would wake up at the same time (odd hours like 3am) and log in to find each other online. He would leave me messages saying he missed me when I wasn't on, and I would do the same.

For the first time since our online rendezvous, I saw him in person. And the shape he was in startled me. He looked as if he hadn't showered in days, and he was growing a beard... out of lack of maintenance, not because he wanted to. He appeared lost in thought and not really paying attention to anyone. Highly distracted, and not himself. He said he didn't feel well and went to bed early. For the first time.... he grabbed me and gave me a hug for what seemed like no reason.  His hug felt weak... the hug of someone who was ill, but it wasn't physical illness... what I was doing to him was taking a toll on him emotionally. I felt so bad... I wanted to confess everything. But I chickened out. And I feared the reaction.

When I got back to my room, I noticed he was online, waiting for me. I decided I was going to tell him. But I was scared, and I could only dish out the news in bite sized chunks, a little at a time.  I had hoped I was wrong, but I felt it was inevitable that my time with him would end.

Something must be understood here. He knew how to use a lot of technology... but he hated the internet and anything having to do with it. He would use it out of necessity and to get information he needed for projects... but he would not use it otherwise...and certainly not to meet friends. So the fact that I got him to the point where he was IM'ing me for hours on end and waiting for me online.... was an accomplishment. And kind of a scary one, because it was not like him to be this way and rely on that form of communication.

I realized how horrible what I was doing actually was.

I felt for SURE several times that he knew who he was talking to... I felt for sure my cover was blown, because I answered personal questions truthfully, even down to what I looked like. How could he not realize it was me?  If he didn't realize it, what did that say about me?

I messed with his head, I set him up to fall for someone who turned out to be me. I trapped him. I wish I could take it back, but it could not be undone.

I wasn't just angry with myself.... I found myself angry at the people who had hurt me so badly that I couldn't love someone in a normal way.  For a long time I wasn't even a whole person because of the trauma I had experienced in my life.  I needed help and had to learn to be whole.  I am whole now.... but no one can teach me how to handle being so madly in love that it terrified me.  I needed to learn how to love on my own, and was failing miserably.

Among everything else, I had to come to terms with the fact that it was my fault I missed him so much and felt like my heart had been ripped from my body. How the hell was I going to bounce back from this one?

If it is true that we always hurt the ones we love.... that was my equivalent to beating the shit out of him.  

"Digital Ghost" by Tori Amos

It started as a joke
Just one of my larks to see
If somehow I could reach you so

I swam into your shores

Through an open window
Only to find you all alone

Curled up with machines

Now it seems you're slipping
Out of the land of the living

Just take a closer look

Take a closer look
At what it is that's really haunting you

I have to trust you'll know

This digital ghost
But I fear there's only so much time
'cause the you I knew is fading away

Hands lay them on my keys

Let me play you again
I am not immune to your net

Find me there in it

I won't go even if in
Your heart only beats ones and O's

Switch you on my friend

Pull you from that rip current
But only you can fight against this

Take a closer look

Just take a closer look
At what it is that's really haunting you

I have to trust you'll know

This digital ghost
But I fear there's only so much time
'cause the you I knew is fading away



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