"What are you reading?"
The blood rushed to my face as I tossed my phone face down on the bed. I tried to cover my embarrassment with a smile, but guilt forced the edges of my mouth into a trembling quiver.
"Nothing!" I sat up in bed to hide my obvious arousal. Realization dawned on Rick's face as he raced to snatch my phone.
"Porn?" he snickered caustically and reached for my device. In haste to hide the evidence, I realized that I hadn't closed the tab. Rick was making a move to appease his curiosity. Moving fast, I reached to snatch my phone back, but Rick was faster. Holding my phone at arm's distance, he performed a mini-victory celebration. Dancing like some hungry stripper, he gyrated his hips and popped his pelvis in my direction. I mentally prepared to be mortified.
Turning the screen over and entering my password (reminder: change my password) his shoulders slumped in disappointment.
"What's this? Where's the skin! I want sex, dumbass. Not words!"
"Gimme that!" I snatched the phone back out of his hand easily. "This is better than any sex you've ever had."
Rick covered his crotch with his palm and opened his mouth wide in mock horror. "Don't offend, little Rick! He has had PLENTY of amazing sex!" Opening his pants and peeking down, he spoke quietly. "Don't listen to him, little Rick. Words don't compare to what I get for you!"
Pushing off the bed and knocking Rick (and little Rick) back with my shoulder, I wondered how I was still best friends with a man who had the mind of a 13 year old boy. Sex was on his mind constantly. It wasn't even real. He chose the most plastic bimbos I had ever seen. At the rate he had sex, he should have just installed a revolving door to his bedroom.
"Listen, I like sex as much as the next guy."
Rick interrupted. "That" he pointed to the black text on white screen "ain't sex, buddy."
"You're right. It's more real than the orgies you have nightly."
"Alright, alright. Sorry for chapping your ass! Shit, you're such a girl sometimes." He punched my shoulder, exuding all the typical traits of testosterone. "Tell me about your sweet online romance. Wait!" He dove onto the bed, cradled his face in his fists, and batted his eyelashes. "Should I get the nail polish first and we can give each other manis while you share?"
I glared at him, considering several targets to punch.
Instead, I decided to go with full disclosure.
"So, her name is Isla."
"So preeeeeeetty." He mocked in his "valley girl" voice. "I'm tots listening, continue!" he pretended to toss fake popcorn from the "box" to his mouth.
Undeterred, I continued. "Dude, you have no idea. She's pretty, but it's not even the way she looks. She's got this style. She's so smart, but she doesn't need to prove it."
Rick nodded. At the mention of her looks, he morphed back into a jock. "Oh, yeah. Sexy librarian stuff? Keep going."
"So much better than sexy librarian. Like girl-next-door, meets one-of-the-guys, meets sexy librarian, meets rocket scientist."
"So hot. I'm tracking. Alright, I'm seeing it. But - still ain't sex."
"I read one of her posts, right? It was funny. The funny got me first. You know how people write LOL but they aren't really laughing? I was actually cracking up on the train as I was reading her stuff. Seriously laughing out loud. So I went back and read a few more things. Sometimes she's funny. Sometimes serious. Sometimes smart. So I'm kinda getting hooked on her." I looked up at Rick, and his fake popcorn had disappeared. He was listening intently, but trying to play it cool.
"I decide I want to get to know her better. She showed some pics in her posts, and they seem like her in real situations. Candid stuff. Not taken from the internet. Could be? But they seem real. She's really pretty. Not like model pretty. But that real kind of pretty."
Rick nodded wistfully. If I didn't know better, I would think he was reminiscing about the past, fantasizing about the one that got away. I would have to ask about that later, but for now, I was on a roll.
"So I want to introduce myself, but how do you do that? I didn't want her to think I was a creeper! So, I trashed the obvious approach. I just kept reading her stuff, seeing different shades of her, getting to know her. The first time she replied to my comment, dude! It was like my childhood crush finally recognized me!"
Laughing with me, Rick was perched on the side of the bed. His eyes were alive with wonder. He spun his hand in circles, egging me to continue my "sweet little online romance".
"Months go by. We're going back and forth. Followed each other, read each other's posts. Hers are incredible - so easy to enjoy. Mine? I know it has to be painful for her to stick with them, but she does! Every time I put some bonehead post out, she comments and makes me feel good about it! So one point, we're joking in the comment section - like twelve replies deep into the thread, and we mention old, random nicknames that we both have. I laugh. We move on. Or so I thought."
I paused, just to confirm Rick's interest.
"Yeah! Go on! What the hell, man! Why are you dragging this out? Get to the good stuff!"
Hook, line and sinker. I smiled and rushed forward, "Sorry but this is what it was like for me too! Every day, every moment, waiting for a new comment, a new post! And then it got better!"
Rick's pupils dilated a bit and then tightened, just like a camera lens. His focus and attention zoomed in on my mouth, hungry for every morsel.
"She writes this story- like, a series? And the two characters have our names. The nicknames? Yeah, she used them. Kinda like this little signal to me. First, the story is just this sweet little budding friendship story. But every day, it gets more intense."
"Dude. Kiss her yet?"
I doubled over in laughter. Rick was as caught up in the story as I was. I imagined that all her readers were loving the romance, but for me? It was us. She was writing us into reality, and it was more real than any other relationship I had ever experienced.
"Yeah. We kissed two posts ago, and I swear I felt her mouth. Today, we were making out on a camping trip and she had me running my fingers "tentatively over her exposed waist", just an inch under her shirt? Man. It's like I'm being seduced one post at a time, and I've never even touched her."
Swallowing hard and adjusting himself on the bed, Rick was entranced. It was clear that the story wasn't only having an affect on me. She had lured him under her spell too.
I snapped my fingers twice sharply in front of Rick's face. "Still with me?"
He rubbed his hands vigorously over his face, as if that would help to break the trance. "Mannnnn, you gotta get me a sexy librarian rocket scientist author seductress too!"
I slapped him on the back, smirking. "No problem, bud. First things first." I waited for the tackle that would follow my next sarcastic dig. "Authors use words, so let's teach you how to read."
This post was just an idea sparked by a comment I read this morning. I was going to tell the commenter that I would meet him again between the sheets (meaning - pages of our stories) and then I realized how it could be a sexy double entendre. My mind began wandering, and out flowed this story. I'm not sure if I'll continue it. Seems like it works fine letting the reader imagine what comes next. I just really wanted to show the contrast between a shallow, physical offline relationship and a deep, emotional online one. I enjoyed writing it from the perspective of two boys (I am female). If you've ever experienced intense emotions online (doesn't have to be a romantic relationship - can be anything) that felt more real that the offline world - do share it in the comment section! Would be grand to hear your stories. :-)