2,000 words, 7 pages (8 ½” x 11”)
Everything up to and including “The Boast”
just some crazy idea that I decided to type out, just for the
fun of it. Don’t expect anything literary. So, this hasn’t been
beta-read, either. Sorry for any mistakes.
Global Village Chatroom
Horseshoe says: Hi, anyone there?
Upandaway14 says: Yup.
Horseshoe says: Hi. Anyone else?
*** [30 seconds pass.] ***
Horseshoe says: Okay, so it’s just us. You still there?
Upandaway14 says: Yup.
Horseshoe says: I’m a newbie here. I’m more into emailing. Got no
flat-rate at home, you know. So what’s chatting like?
Upandaway14 says: Need to find out.
Horseshoe says: You’re no fun.
Upandaway14 says: Why would I be? I don’t know you.
Horseshoe says: Touché. What’s your name?
Upandaway14 says: No names, no addies, no hard facts. For all I know you
could be a chainsaw murderer.
Horseshoe says: So why go chatting in the first place?
Upandaway14 says: *chuckles* Point taken. I’m fourteen, and you?
Horseshoe says: Hey! Me, too! Umm... male or female?
Upandaway14 says: Female. You?
Horseshoe says: Me, too. Where are you?
Upandaway14 says: Washington D.C., staying with a friend for the holiday
and the weekend.
Horseshoe says: Wait a minute – you’re kidding, right? Me, too!!!!
Upandaway14 says: Cool!! Seems I’m not the only one who’s got no big
family business going on.
Horseshoe says: Eeeeyop.
*** [Another 25 seconds pass.] ***
Upandaway14 says: We need a topic. Any suggestions?
Horseshoe says: Dunno... music?
Upandaway14 says: Okay. What do you like?
*** [They talk music. 12 minutes and 38 seconds pass. Then silence
lingers for a minute.] ***
Horseshoe says: This chat thing is dull.
Upandaway14 says: Depends. Sometimes there are quite a few people out
here. I spend a lot of time here. It’s just that no one’s crazy enough
to go chatting on Thanksgiving.
Horseshoe says: No one but us, apparently.
Upandaway14 says: LOL! I forgot...
Horseshoe says: Why are you here anyway? That friend of yours bore you
Upandaway14 says: God, no! He’s great. Kind of a surrogate family of
late, you know? He’s just got too much work to do, even now. So I’m on
my own until he comes back. He’s out on a last-minute assignment with a
colleague. But he promised that he’d be free all day tomorrow. So that’s
Horseshoe says: *VBG* Wow, that’s explicit. Getting sociable, are we?
Upandaway14 says: Warming up to you, gal.
Horseshoe says: Good. ‘Cause it’s the same for me, too. My friend needs
to work late as well. But she promised we’d do something special
tomorrow. I’m really glad she’s there, you know? My dad’s a... oh,
sorry, I forgot. No hard facts. Anyway, my dad’s away a lot. Luckily
Gram doesn’t mind if I go see my friend. She’s really cool.
Upandaway14 says: Who? Your gram or your friend?
Horseshoe says: Both, really. But I was talking about my friend. She’s
gorgeous and tough and kicks ass if she has to.
Upandaway14 says: Sounds cool. Age?
Horseshoe says: 36. And your friend?
Upandaway14 says: 40. But he looks younger. And he’s a guy that makes
you drool. I swear.
Horseshoe says: Whoohoo... What does he look like?
Upandaway14 says: Tall, sportive, lethal smile. Dark hair, blue eyes.
Horseshoe says: Yum!
Upandaway14 says: Uh huh... And your friend?
Horseshoe says: Tall, slim, sportive. Dark hair, olive-tanned skin, dark
eyes. Supermodel. *g*
Upandaway14 says: *giggle* How about we hook them up?
Horseshoe says: Yeah, sure. I know someone who looks like your friend
and he’s got leggy blondes lining up in front of his door.
Upandaway14 says: Not him. Believe it or not – but he’s on the market.
Horseshoe says: Uh oh, then there’s some serious heartache involved.
Upandaway14 says: *shrug* Guess so but I don’t ask and he doesn’t tell.
Horseshoe says: Aww, come on. You’re his friend. I’m sure you know
something. Spill it!
Upandaway14 says: Okay... you know, might be nice to get some of it off
my chest. He hasn’t told me much but I can see he’s hurting. Big time.
But no names, no hard facts, remember?
Horseshoe says: You’re on. I’m all ears. (Eyes?)
Upandaway14 says: *sigh* There’s that friend of his. I haven’t known her
yet but it seems they were really close. For years even. They’re
colleagues, you know? From the little he did tell me, I think I gathered
that he loves her. I mean, really loves her. He’s in head over heels.
Horseshoe says: How would you know?
Upandaway14 says: He’s got that funny look on his face when he talks
about her. He’s miles away. He worships her. And they seem to have been
through a lot together. But recently she apparently did something that
really hurt him. If you ask me, whatever that woman did devastated him
emotionally. He won’t let it show. But I can see it. And it’s hard to
Horseshoe says: Sounds tragic. Any idea what she did?
Upandaway14 says: Not really but it seems he thought she’d love him back
and he gave up his career for her. And all she did to thank him was
start a relationship with someone else!
Horseshoe says: Oh, man... Apparently she didn’t know what she had all
the time. People can be so dumb sometimes.
Upandaway14 says: Yeah, dumb and cruel. He’s so sweet! And he’d go to
hell and back for anyone he cares about. And that... no, I won’t get
rude here. Anyway, she broke his heart. He just doesn’t deserve that! He
deserves someone who cares the way he does! I mean, he and I were
totally unconnected but he saw I needed help and... well, let’s just say
he went farther for me than anyone would for a girl they barely know!
Horseshoe says: Boy, you’ve got me hurting for him, too! That’s so sad!
But that’s another thing we have in common: you know, my friend’s
unhappy, too. She’s just been through a lot of rough stuff,
professionally, I mean. The man she’s involved with isn’t the one she
loves. The one I suspect she loves (she won’t tell) apparently doesn’t
love her. She’s told me very little, too, but she mentioned that she’s
given him more than enough openings to get the words out in the open.
But that jerk never did! He keeps beating around the bush, drawing back,
assuming she should know. But she just doesn’t! How would she if he
doesn’t tell her? So I guess she’s accepted that he doesn’t really love
her. Now she’s together with a... okay, I’ll stay civil. Anyway, I don’t
like him at all.
Upandaway14 says: Whoa, must be hard... That’s a sad one, too. Why’s
love that complicated anyway? *frowns*
Horseshoe says: Frustrating as hell.
Upandaway14 says: Yeah... oh, wait, my friend just got home. I’ll get
back to you in a minute, okay?
*** [Two minutes pass.] ***
Upandaway14 says: ‘Kay, I’m back. You know, that friend of
Horseshoes says: What???
Upandaway14 says: Hi, this is “the friend”. Sorry to interrupt, but I
wanted to know what this girl here was doing online at 0012, so I read
parts of your dialogue. There’s one thing that intrigues me: why does
your friend need that man to say he loves her? If she loves him she
should know him well enough to be sure, right?
Horseshoe says: Hi, “the friend”. No, not so! Not so AT ALL! I think she
was just too damn afraid to trust her gut feeling. And she was right,
wasn’t she? He doesn’t love her. It’s painful as it is! Wouldn’t it be
harder still if she’d spilled the beans and had her heart trampled on??
Upandaway14 says: And what if he does love her but is afraid to tell her
for just the same reason? Ask your friend what she’ll say to this one,
missy. Might come in handy for me to know. Been there, you know...
Horseshoe says: You’re such a coward, you know that? Ask the one *you*
Upandaway14 says: Power down, okay?! What would you know about such
Horseshoe says: Oh, she may be a teenager but she knows more than you’d
think. No need to be rude. BTW, this is “the friend” on this side, too.
And she’s right now curious to know why that lady of yours turned you
down. If you’ve “been there”, as you put it, I can only congratulate
her! Do you have any idea how this eternal insecurity can tear you up
from inside? Just imagine you love someone, right? You love that person
more than you’ve ever loved anyone or anything in this world. And for
years you’re oscillating between elation and despair, just because one
moment you think your dreams will finally come true and the next moment,
everything falls apart! How could you possibly know what that can do to
Upandaway14 says: Easy, lady! Believe me, I know exactly what you’re
talking about! And as we’re having this absurd virtual discussion, how
about we try being civil?
Horseshoe says: Okay. You were saying?
Upandaway14 says: You say you love that man. You love him “more than
anyone or anything in this world”, just quoting. Well, I just hope you
made sure he knows, right? ‘Cause if you didn’t you needn’t wonder why
he never came forth. Do *you* have any idea how much it hurts handing
your heart to the woman you love more than anything, only to see her
choose someone else right under your nose? God knows I’ve loved that
woman for years and I thought with all we’d been through, my
difficulties to open up might be of minor importance, given what I *did*
for her! That should have told her everything she ever wanted to hear.
Instead she never even thanked me for throwing away 22 years of
outstanding service in the Navy and coming after her to save her life!
The only thing she did was rub in my face everything she thought would
never work between us. Now tell me: do I have a right to be angry and
hurt or what??
*** [3 minutes 12 seconds pass.] ***
Upandaway14 says: Hello? You still there?
*** [36 seconds pass.] ***
Upandaway14 says: Hi there, me again. My friend would appreciate an
answer, you know. He’s really beside himself. I think your friend hit a
Horseshoe says: So did he with my friend, apparently. Now she’s crying!
Horseshoe says: “The friend” again. Sorry. Sir, did you say Navy? And
that you resigned your commission to save the woman you love when she
was about to be killed by her kidnappers?
Upandaway14 says: Kidnappers? How do you
*** [Another 23 seconds pass.] ***
Upandaway14 says: Meet me at the Wall in 30!!
*** [Upandaway14 leaves the room.] ***
Chloe Madison and Mathilda Grace Johnson had unconsciously grabbed each
other’s hands as they stood side by side and watched in silence,
mesmerized. The moon was shining bright on the long, black wall that, as
always, was lined with tiny flickering candles. But what was bringing
tears of silent joy to Chloe’s and Mattie’s eyes wasn’t the impressive
sight – it was the couple standing a few yards away from them, engaged
in a passionate kiss that told of yearlong painful longing that had
suddenly been fulfilled. Tonight, for Commander Harmon Rabb, Jr., and
Lieutenant Colonel Sarah Mackenzie, the world had finally started to
Swallowing, Chloe turned to Mattie and said in a low voice, “I guess
chatting is pretty cool after all.”