Chapter Twenty

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Starting over.

From scratch.

With no more ocean of conflict.

To my surprise, I was mildly excited. The idea of searching for someone, where I wouldn’t be restricted to the Internet and the telephone? Hadn’t that been my goal all along? To find a three-dimensional man?

Then again, how sad was it to know that I’d never meet the man behind the Internet legend? The man who made me so much more of a writer, and the man whose pictures I was skimming through again, even though it was eleven days and counting since the “break up.”

Sunday night and nothing to do but pine.

I zoomed in and out of the pictures I had saved in my special “James” folder. This folder contained all the very best shots of James, but in case anybody should ever get a hold of my laptop, I’d labeled it as “Q3 ‘11 Results Analysis.”

It hadn’t been hard to compile all these photos, as I’d copied and saved them from Facebook. I’d refrained from telling any of my friends I’d done this, but deep in my heart I knew it wasn’t crazy at all. He did give me access to his profile after all.

Depending on the quality of the picture, if I zoomed in enough his face on the screen was practically life-sized. Which meant that if I raised my laptop to eye level, it was almost like he was sitting right in front of me.

Oh my god...what have I become?!

I set down the laptop in disgust, whilst suddenly feeling sweaty in this otherwise airy T-shirt. And much like my friends who had felt this way already, I was starting to worry for my sanity.

I need to forget that face!

It was only a two-dimensional face after all, how hard could it be to forget a flat face?

I selected the folder and hit “Delete.”

But it wasn’t so easy.

“Are you sure you want to remove the folder “Q3 ‘11 Results Analysis” and move all its contents to the Recycle Bin?”

Why did my laptop always have to be so specific? Couldn’t it make its own decision just this once?

I hit “No” and decided to delete the pictures one by one.

Baby steps.

Much to my surprise, the beach pictures weren’t the hardest to delete. But the close-up shots, where he was staring right into the camera? Those were the heartbreakers.

DELETE.

Before I could even hesitate, I also deleted all the pictures from the “Recycle Bin.”

In reality, this exercise wasn’t as sad or as liberating as I’d imagined. Maybe it was because all the pictures I’d lost to oblivion, were not really lost at all. They could be easily accessed again through the powers of Facebook.

But had I ever really claimed that I was ready to move on for good?

Baby steps…

***

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Subject: Coffee Break? My treat...

Location: The Usual

Time: 9:30am

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I made it official to Eleanor with a meeting request. I always felt like it was harder to “decline” or ignore a meeting request than it was to dismiss an e-mail. Besides, I’d had enough of being “declined” lately.

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