The year is 1998.
It was just another lonely Friday night. Markus sat at his home office computer surfing the internet. Sitting alone and bored to death, all because his buddy Dean had called last minute to cancel their plans. Yes, he’d been dumped in lieu of the opportunity for his best friend to get some tail, long shot that is was. Dean was taking the hot new checkout girl from the local hardware store to tonight’s hockey game instead of him, bastard.
Markus shook his head. Staring blankly at monitor screen he had an idea, I wonder who’s online right now in town? The new email program he’d just installed had the ability to chat with others and see who’s online all over the world. Okay, first he would narrow the search. Typing with a single finger he punched in the search perimeters, one key at a time; female, 18-25, he paused. Chuckling to himself,
“Get real dude, you’re 37 and an 18 yr old girl is NOT gonna have anything in common with you!”
Slowly he hit the backspace key, and then started over: typed 27-35
That is at least doable”, he mused. He then entered his zip code and punched FIND.
“Wow” he smirked, “Seems I’m not the only one alone and surfing the net on a Friday night”.
Realizing the list was just too long and too much to attempt, he decided to narrow it down even more. He selected profiles with picture only and waited. This was definitely the best option to weed out the freaks, he thought. Scrolling through the pictures he mentally checked off the women online; too large, too old, too scary!, he breathed out a long sigh.
“Doesn’t anybody tell the truth on their profile?”
Most of the pictures didn’t come close to matching their descriptions. Running his hand through his hair in frustration, he retreated to the fridge for a beer. He glanced at the microwave clock, 11:00 PM, had he really been searching the web for 3 hours? “Crap” he cursed and moved back toward the office. Sighing he sat and looked at the screen. I’ll just take one more quick peek at the results, maybe I’ll get lucky?, a grin spread across his face as he resumed his search.
Kimberley, Kimber to her friends, sat on the edge of her bed re-painting her nails for the 4th time. It was a quarter to 11 PM and she was pissed! She had gotten all dolled up to go on an internet date tonight and it was a disaster. So she was holed up in her room dwelling on the worst night of her 30 years of life. Kimber met “Jeff” through an internet dating site and had even spoken many times to him over the phone. He had that really deep sexy voice of a phone sex operator; well it was what she imagined a sexy male phone sex operator would sound like.
They were to meet at the restaurant/bar for drinks, nothing to fancy for the first face-to-face. As she stood outside the bar’s entrance, she checked her watch. Kimber realized it was 8:30 on the dot. She was always on time and liked to make a good first impression. Retrieving her compact from her purse, she checked her reflection in the mirror one last time, perfect. Jeff should be arriving any… just then she heard it, the unmistakable growl of an engine and the blaring 70’s rock song “Turn me loose” coming from the vehicle that slowly rounded the corner. “Oh my god”, Kimber groaned as she nearly felt her heart stop at that very moment. Her eyes went wide as a 1979 Pontiac Trans Am, t-tops removed and giant bird emblazoned on the hood drove into the parking lot. She muttered a silent prayer:
“Please God, don’t let this be my date!” Like a bystander entranced by the twisted metal of a train wreck, she watched the driver slowly slide from the car and rose to the full height of 5’ 7”. What? His profile said he was 6 foot, she cursed inwardly. But the show apparently had just begun; Jeff, if that was even his real name, rounded the back of the Trans Am and gave Kimber the full frontal experience. His hair was feathered? And was that a mullet? His eyes found hers and offered her cheesy wink and what he must of thought was a righteous come hither smile. Eeeewwww, Kimber was now completely aghast. Jeff was rocking a white wife beater tank top complete with stains from what must have been a previous meal in the day, his Sunday “holy” jean shorts, black socks and sandals. No one but my dad wears SANDALS WITH SOCKS!, she was horrified.
As Jeff drew nearer, Kimber’s insides started to do flip-flops:
“What to do, what to do” she began weighing her options…
“One, he’s already seen me, so I can’t run quickly to my car and disappear. Two, It would be just cold-hearted to turn tail and walk away . Three…Oh, hell. I’m screwed!”
She knew that her only real option was to grin and bear it; How much worse can it get? she shrugged.
Arms extended, Jeff rushed to Kimber like a long lost friend and enveloped her tightly in his arms. Double Eeeewwww!
“Wow, I feel like I’ve known you forever, I’m so glad to finally see you” Jeff breathed uncomfortably next to her ear and held on to her way to long.
“Ready to grub?” he motioned to the door and walked in ahead of her, the door nearly slamming into her face.
Chivalry is dead, beaten and buried in a dark alley somewhere apparently, Kimber mused.
She followed Jeff as he made a b-line for the small corner table in the bar’s darkest corner. She was thankful to be sitting across from Jeff and the table acted as a furniture barricade between them. Conversation was slow and choppy, it appeared that Jeff had trouble making clever conversation and watching sports on the bar television. The glass of wine she ordered form the bar couldn’t get to her fast enough, she should have gone with tequila. Good ‘ol hind sight, twenty-twenty and all.
Suddenly Jeff’s expression changed to serious and he focused intently and gazed into Kimber’s eyes. She tensed, not know what was about to come out of his mouth. Jeff didn’t waver from his task and began to speak; he reached across the table and took Kimber’s hand in his:
“Kim” He paused for dramatic effect.The only thing she hated more at this moment was him, until he called her KIM!
“I feel that I’ve known you forever after our phone calls and I think we have a connection, can you feel it?”
Dumb founded is what she felt, Kimber stared at him unable to speak. He continued,
“It’s not that I expect you to take care of all five of my kids and be their Momma, but I think we should move in together right away”
At that very moment Kimber must have looked like a large mouthed bass, her mouth gaping in shock. Now her Flight or Fight defenses weren’t just tingling, they were actually screaming;
GET OUT! GET OUT! GET OUT!
Breathe, she told herself because she was starting to panic. Rising slowly from her chair, she slapped an entirely plastic smile on her face and patted Jeff’s hand and said
“I’m a little overwhelmed Jeff, I think I need to go to the restroom and freshen up”.
Jeff beamed and watched her as she moved to the restroom door.
Inside the safety of the female only area, Kimber grabbed her cell phone and dialed frantically,
“pick up!” she whispered.
“What’s up?” came her roommate’s voice from the other end of the line. Kimber blurted out,
“Oh my God Shannon, I’m in BIG trouble. Remember the code red plan? Well I need it stat. Give me three minutes.” Then she broke the connection.
Kimber stalled as long as possible, and then washed the grime and clammy Jeff sweat from her hand. She closed her eyes and took a deep cleansing breath. Well, let’s get this over with, she prayed to herself and headed out the door.
Jeff sat lounging in his chair, the Cheshire smile of satisfaction plainly written on his face. He was quite happy with his prior smooth moves directed towards Kimber just moments ago.
Kimber moved to the table to sit down, smiled and proceeded to make small talk with Jeff. She was mentally counting the seconds for the three minutes to elapse. The shrill of Nokia ringtone sounded and she nearly jumped out of her seat, she fumbled for her phone answering it on the third ring.
“I’m sorry Jeff, it’s my mom’s number, I have to take this” She flipped open the phone and said, “Hello?”
Quickly masking her face to reflect shock and panic, she muttered;
” yes, what? Oh no, when? How bad is it?, I’m coming now”. She tossed her phone into her bag and apologized to Jeff as she rushed towards the exit.
“Wait”, Jeff said.
“What’s going on?” he rose from his chair.
“There’s been an accident, a family emergency. I have to go right now” never stopping her stride and nearly ran over a waitress as she yelled over her shoulder, “I’ll call you!”
Freedom! She thought as she burst through the exit and headed to her car. She had to get as far away from Crazy Ass Jeff, as soon as she could.
Just recalling the evening’s events sent a shiver down her spine.
“Damn internet dating!” she cursed as she re-filled her glass of wine. Flopping on her bed, she reflected; spending a Friday night alone wasn’t all that bad; sure beats the alternative, Eeww. Glancing at her computer from across the room she noticed an instant message blinking on the screen, she’d forgotten to close her chat program. Who would be trying to reach me at 11:15 at night? Kimber crossed the bedroom, her sock monkey slippers scooting across the plush carpet. Reaching her desk she grabbed her chair to sit down.
“Shit! Damn static electricity, plus having a metal desk chair, Duh” she dropped into the chair with an exasperated thud. She stared at the blinking message:
Hey there! My name is Markus, looking to chat with some normal people in town. You there? Want to chat?
Not really in the mood to chat right now, send me a pic and I’ll look you up next time I’m online.
The last thing she wanted to do was get involved with another internet creep. She shut down her PC and decided it was time for bed, Maybe tomorrow will be better, she thought. Anything would be an improvement on today.
Don’t be shy! Tell me what you really think??
Please comment below