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Free Short Story

My Cyber Lover by Yvonne Eve Walus

I know what you’re thinking, and you’re right. It’s totally crazy to be in love with somebody I’ve never met. It’s even more crazy to be wheelchair-bound and in love with somebody I’ve never met. But then, I don’t get out much. I’m in love with Andy1980. Cyber-love has its merits: you get to know the other person. I mean, what do you know about your boyfriend’s first puppy? Andy’s first and only dog was called Tigger and he saved Andy’s life. I feel for Tigger. When I saved somebody’s life, I received this wheelchair in exchange, but at least I got to live. You might say it’s not much of a life, but I like it the way it is. Which brings me to the dilemma at hand: Andy wants us to get married. The first time he proposed, we were in bed (metaphorically speaking) doing the horizontal (cyber) tango. “Wow,” he typed at one point. “I really fancy your fingerwork. Very, um, fast ;-) .... Will you marry me?” “LOL,” I typed back, laughing out loud, laughing it off. We got back to business. When your cyber lover is as good at cyber sex as Andy1980, you don’t waste time on talking marriage. Andy was perfect. But then many guys seem perfect online. It’s easy to dazzle in cyberspace. You have all the time in the world to think up the best lines and you don’t have to worry whether your breath smells of garlic as you deliver them. I’m not sure when I fell in love. One moment I was only playing around, confident that I could keep it fun and light, cyber and sex and no strings. I mean, Andy’s on another continent and not in a wheelchair. How practical would it be? No. I was a twenty-first century girl who didn’t want a relationship. I kept my emotions to myself. The second time Andy popped the question was a double-barrel effort. We were in a private chat room, and Andy was pretending that he was my soul mate and that he could ‘feel’ me across the oceans. “You’re drinking red wine,” he typed. I was. “So? You know I always drink red wine on a Friday night.” “And you’re wearing something black.” “Andy, come on. Half of the lingerie I own is black.” “You are rolling your eyes now, aren’t you? And before you can roll them some more, answer that phone of yours. It’s ringing.” Now that was a little spooky. My mobile had just played the first notes of “Moonlight Sonata”. I was so surprised I didn’t check the caller ID. “Gillian Moore speaking.” “Will you marry me?” said the voice in my mobile phone, just as the chat room exploded in pixels of fireworks surrounding the typed words “will you marry me”. “You know I’m only in it for the fabulous sex, right?” I asked. “I’m commitment-shy.” “That’s ok. I’m not.” That was all Andy had to say on the topic. But I couldn’t stop thinking about it. If, and it was a very hypothetical if, if I said yes... well, what would happen then? Would he come to New Zealand? Would I emigrate to the States? Big wedding, small wedding, no wedding? Would I take his last name? What was his last name, anyway? I kept inventing small obstacles where there was one big one, with wheels and a built-in engine to save my arms from growing biceps. So, the third proposal. Well, the third proposal arrived this morning. After the long warm foamy bath (and the long process to climb out), tea at the ready, I opened my subscription magazine that arrived in the post earlier in the week. I’d been saving it especially for that first Sunday morning cup. I always do. This morning, however, the magazine’s editor leapt out of the page and punched me in the stomach. Well, that’s what it felt like anyway. If your name is Gillian Moore, the editorial said, please turn to page 16 now. I did. Well, wouldn’t you? And there it was. Page 16 and 17, actually. A photo spread of Andy, down on one knee in the style of those 19th century gentlemen. A bouquet of orchids (my favourite flowers) in his one hand. A velvet box with a sapphire engagement ring (my favourite colour is blue and I don’t like diamonds) in the other. And next to him - the most gorgeous little dachshund puppy. A speech bubble, a regular comic-book speech bubble, hovered over the dog’s snout: “You may not want Andy (who, incidentally, is fully house-trained), but how can you say no to me?” This time I was the one who called. My hands were shaking. It was time to end another cyber fairytale. “Andy, hi. I’d like to speak to Bubbles, please.” “He’s listening on the other extension.” “Bubbles, there is one thing I have to tell you. About me, I mean.” “It’s ok,” Andy interrupted. “Bubbles knows about the wheelchair. He’s cool with that.” “How on earth -” “I told him, Gillian. I pieced it together ages ago, from all the things you said. And didn’t say.” My mouth was salty with tears. “In that case, my answer is yes, Bubbles.” “He’s wagging his tail,” Andy said, “but he’d like to know more details. Are you coming here? Are we moving there? Big wedding, small wedding?” “I’ll move there. New Zealand has these stupid quarantine laws for animals. Also, a small wedding. Dogs prefer small weddings.” It’s amazing how easy decision-making became once there was Bubbles to consider. We talked for ages. I talked, anyway. Bubbles panted. “See you soon, Bubbles.” I whispered when it was time to hang up. “I love you.” I know what you’re thinking, and you’re right. It’s totally crazy to be in love with somebody I’ve never met.

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