Suddenly, a message popped up on her screen. Unbelievable! There was a man interested in contacting her. Wow! And according to his profile picture, he was incredibly attractive. Although, perhaps, he had used the same ploy as she had and none of what appeared before her screen was true. And what did she care about that? They didn’t need to see each other. They say that one lives by illusion too, so there was no reason to break the spell.
Before his mind wandered any further into the quicksand of imagination, he decided he would read the message she had left him. He wanted them to talk and get to know each other over chat, but he wouldn’t rule out seeing each other someday. “What time is good for you if we connect?” the attractive stranger asked her. “For you, I have all the time available. I’m looking forward to meeting you. I can’t wait.” Unbelievable. She had him eating out of her hand.
Suddenly, her computer seemed to go crazy. Multiple messages kept popping up from different networks: Ray Loco and you are now friends; Rubén Sánchez has written on your wall; @lovers is now following you… There were even invitations to events and friend requests. How could he have been missing out on such an exciting life for so long? Compulsively she started replying to all those who had contacted her. She sent them stickers and emoticons of all kinds. She followed the conversations and pretended to be interesting to keep them hooked. Were they all loners like her? Maybe they were. A bunch of loners who, navigating the boundless ocean of the internet, managed to get afloat and find an escape from their loneliness.
She hadn’t even realized that it was already the wee hours of the morning. And the next day he would have to get up early for work. Or maybe not? He had always been punctual. He had rarely missed work, as he was extremely responsible, and only when he was really ill and the illness on duty prevented him from even getting out of bed, had he been absent. Who would suspect that it was a lie if she called in sick? Worst of all, in reality, unbeknownst to her, she was actually starting to get sick.
What would she tell them? What excuse would she make? It would have to be something that was believable and not one of those lies that you get tangled up in and don’t know where to get out. All right, then. Something simple, then. Maybe indigestion. That was a common and relatively frequent occurrence. To be perfectly honest, it wasn’t a one hundred percent lie because what he was finding indigestible was the internet and its wide range of possibilities, its endless menu of opportunities to meet people from every corner of the world. He had a self-esteem problem, as he had never tasted this exquisite delicacy that has accompanied others almost from the cradle.
Finally, he didn’t even get to sleep all night. It occurred to her that it was easier to stay awake than to try to get up when the alarm clock went off, which would happen a couple of hours later. Her ritual of compulsive interactions, some even to some extent risky, continued relentlessly. She was out of her mind. He hadn’t even noticed that his legs were slightly numb from lack of movement until he got up to make himself a strong black coffee. While the coffee pot did its work, she called the office. She had to put on a sick voice. I hope Lucia didn’t answer because I couldn’t stand her. Always so sure of herself, with her perfectly combed hair, her intense makeup that hid any hint of imperfection on her face, her miniskirts and her impossible heels.
Two rings rang and Silvia answered on the third. Thank goodness! She felt a great relief. Surely Lucia would have given her some inopportune and unpleasant comment. However, Silvia had always been very kind to her. It could not be said that they were friends, although she considered her a good companion. She helped her in any way she could and always came over to invite her to take a break when several of them had arranged to meet for coffee in the break room. Despite this, she had rarely gone because she was so embarrassed that she felt her legs were weak. So, most of the time, she saved herself the embarrassment and took the break alone.
- I’m so sorry to hear that you are sick! -Silvia replied. Don’t worry about anything, just take care of yourself, okay? I’m sure tomorrow you’ll be as happy as a lark. My sister was like that last week and the doctor told her there was a virus that lasts twenty-four hours and attacks mainly the stomach. Maybe it’s the same thing. Well, in any case, I hope you feel better very soon.
TO BE CONTINUED…
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