Chapter 2:

I think we are more than friends now

Online Love

“Ha~”Bookmark here

With a big yawn, I propped myself up from the bed. It had been a long since I had a nice sleep.Bookmark here

I lazily dragged my body and brushed. I then took a bath to freshen myself up. Bookmark here

I went to the kitchen to make breakfast. There were some eggs in the fridge. I took one out and boiled it while I prepared some juice and bread jam. Bookmark here

I sat at the dining table, all alone. I could barely make out the figure of my mom and dad sitting beside me. Bookmark here

I am alone.Bookmark here

I am going to be alone from now on.Bookmark here

I had reminded myself of that fact more times than I could count. I had tried to get used to this feeling of solitude.Bookmark here

“But I can’t get used to it.”Bookmark here

It has been more than two weeks since mom had died. Ever since that day, I had tried to fit myself into this void. But, I couldn’t seem to be able to make much progress.Bookmark here

I took out my phone to hit up on some news.Bookmark here

“Hmm?”Bookmark here

There was a Swifter notification.Bookmark here

I immediately checked my Swifter and there was a message in my inbox. It was from the girl that I had chatted with for so long yesterday.Bookmark here

[Good morning!]Bookmark here

Again. Just two simple words, but it seemed to fill that feeling of emptiness that I had been feeling since my mom had died. Just those two simple words made my simple breakfast taste way much better than the other days. I almost felt as if there was someone accompanying me for my breakfast.Bookmark here

There were some other messages as well but I didn’t check them for now.Bookmark here

For now, I just wanted to enjoy my breakfast with this feeling of someone’s company, even though she was far far away.Bookmark here

I finished my breakfast and did the dishes before finally checking on the rest of the message.Bookmark here

[I will be going to school now! But I will contact you as soon as I get back!]Bookmark here

“Pfft.”Bookmark here

What the hell’s her deal? I mean, would anyone be so eager to talk to some random stranger whom you, by chance, happen to come across online? Bookmark here

“Seriously, something’s wrong with this girl.”Bookmark here

I was free for the rest of the day. Bookmark here

“I should check the date.”Bookmark here

I remembered something important and browsed the website of MYX to check for the date.Bookmark here

“Let’s see…January 4.”Bookmark here

That meant next month. I still had a month of free time. Bookmark here

I had applied to different universities in the US for abroad studies. I had already given the language test and the scholarship examination and the result for all that will be published on January 4.Bookmark here

Today was December 3. Bookmark here

“So, how should I spend this whole one month time that I have?"Bookmark here

I had nothing to do. My high school was already over. I had no part-time job that I did. I didn’t want to hang out with friends. Bookmark here

“Haah~”Bookmark here

With nothing to do I just lazily plopped down on my bed and clutched the pillow. I didn’t want to sleep though.Bookmark here

“Ah, that’s right.”Bookmark here

I got up from my bed and headed to the living room. There was a shelf on the far end. I couched down a little and looked through different book titles.Bookmark here

My mom said that my dad liked to read books. There were many titles that I found interesting.Bookmark here

“Beyond Einstein, The Future of Humanity, The War of the Worlds, Dune, Nineteen Eighty-four.”Bookmark here

I had no idea about these types of books so I didn’t know which one I should read. Bookmark here

I pulled out a book from the lower shelf at random.Bookmark here

“Crime and Punishment.”Bookmark here

The title was quite intriguing. Bookmark here

I sat down on the desk beside and started flipping through the pages. Bookmark here

When I finally finished the book it had already been 3 pm. Bookmark here

“I read for that long.”Bookmark here

Feeling satisfied with the story I gently closed the book and put it back on the shelf. Bookmark here

The story was about an impoverished ex-student in Saint Petersburg, Rodion Raskolnikov, who formulates a plan to kill an unscrupulous pawnbroker for her money. Then he is slowly crushed by the guilt of the crime and tries to alienate himself from the others. He is in a state of confusion, dilemma, paranoia, and is disgusted with his actions. He also fainted many times in the story because of all that weight of his sins crushing him. Finally, he does confess his sins.Bookmark here

It was a really good story. I haven’t read many novels. It might be my very first but after reading such a great story I was now getting excited to read other books as well. Bookmark here

“ Fyodor Dostoevsky.”Bookmark here

I made sure to remember the author’s name. This guy was a genius.Bookmark here

I ate a light snack and watched TV for a while. Bookmark here

It was around 6 pm in the evening when I was browsing the shelf to look for another book then I heard my phone vibrate.Bookmark here

I almost knew what it was and with a smile, I opened Twitter.Bookmark here

[I am back! School today was quite hard!]Bookmark here

[Good work out there!]Bookmark here

I replied.Bookmark here

Hmm? Now that I notice. Isn’t she the one who has been initiating the conversation every time? I was just responding to whatever she was throwing at me. Bookmark here

“This won’t do, right?”Bookmark here

I felt like I should also start some conversation topics. But what? As I rummaged inside my brain searching through topics, I could only come up with this: [By the way, which standard are you in?]Bookmark here

I asked. Usually, she would reply immediately but this time even after a minute no reply came.Bookmark here

“Wait, did I ask something I shouldn’t have asked?”Bookmark here

“Oh?”Bookmark here

It showed that she was typing a message.Bookmark here

[Well…]Bookmark here

That was what she sent with two troubled emoticons. Bookmark here

I had just asked in which class she read. Was it something difficult for her to answer?Bookmark here

“No, wait…”Bookmark here

I immediately realized the word I had used while asking her that question.Bookmark here

Which standard are you in?Bookmark here

She must have applied another meaning to my question. In a hurry to clarify myself I texted at a speed twice as usual.Bookmark here

[Wait a second. By standard, I didn’t mean your family condition or something! I meant which class you study in!]Bookmark here

[Oh, sorry. I misunderstood that. My English is not that good. I am in the first year of high school at Izumo Senior High School!]Bookmark here

[I see.]Bookmark here

I heaved a sigh that the misunderstanding was cleared. After that we talked about usual pointless stuff like what do you do in your free time, do you watch movies and blah, blah, blah.Bookmark here

Though it was pointless, I really enjoyed the time I spent talking with her. And I felt like she did as well.Bookmark here

It had been now more than a week that we had started talking. I felt like we weren’t someone who had met online just a week ago but good friends for a very long time. I was almost too used to talking with her. Within a week it had almost felt like a daily routine to me. Bookmark here

And that was why when she stopped replying to my messages, I felt that something in my life was missing again.Bookmark here

The same emptiness that I had felt since my mom’s death started assailing me. I checked daily and texted her daily but no response came from the other side.Bookmark here

And after about a week, I had given up. I was now almost sure that I would never get to talk with her ever again. Bookmark here

In the first place, why was I so fixated on talking with her? It wasn’t like we were friends for a long time. We had just met-no-just happened to come across each other on Twitter by chance. I don’t even know her and how she looks like. She must have just talked to me to pass her time. Bookmark here

I was clearly at fault for getting too fixated on this small happenstance.Bookmark here

And just when I had given up, my phone vibrated and despite myself, I immediately jumped at the phone.Bookmark here

[Sorry I didn’t reply for so long. Kinds of Stuff happened so…]Bookmark here

[No, I totally understand.]Bookmark here

I was about to text that but immediately erased it. What did I totally understand? Bookmark here

She said some stuff happened, right? What stuff happened that she couldn’t use her phone for a whole week? I knew I had no right to infringe upon others' private life but I wanted to know.Bookmark here

I wanted to know what had happened. And what was happening? She might not know but she had been a lifesaver for me. When I had been down and feeling lonely her words had made my day. For her, Good morning and Good night might have been just two simple words but for me, at that time, those were the words that I most needed, that I most wanted to hear. Her words had saved me. And I felt like I had to do something as well.Bookmark here

But what? I just ask her directly what had happened? No. There was no way she would answer me with just that. So, what should I do?Bookmark here

A sudden idea hit me and I began texting.Bookmark here

[I am going to send you a message. It will probably be long and please don't bother to read it all.]Bookmark here

[What are you talking about?]Bookmark here

without answering her question, I began writing my long message.Bookmark here

[When I was five years old my father died, you know…………………………………………………..]Bookmark here

And then I texted everything about my life. How my father died, my grandfather, and now even my mom was dead. How I suffered. How I hated people using my mom’s death for increasing their social media influence. Everything. Everything that I couldn't tell to my friends and other relatives. Bookmark here

“Wow. It became quite lengthy.”Bookmark here

It was so lengthy that you could fill at least ten pages with this text. Will she even read all this stuff? I questioned myself but of course, I didn’t get any answers to that.Bookmark here

After about five minutes she shoots me a text.Bookmark here

[Why tell me all this?]Bookmark here

She asked that simple completely expected question.Bookmark here

[I just wanted to get all these feelings of me. That’s why.]Bookmark here

I replied. And I knew what her response to this would be.Bookmark here

[If so, then why tell me? We don’t even know each other. We live miles apart. Our friendship is just related to this online one. We will never meet each other nor see each other. So, why?]Bookmark here

[That is exactly why.]Bookmark here

I answered quickly.Bookmark here

[Huh? What do you mean?]Bookmark here

She must not have understood what I was saying.Bookmark here

[You just said that our friendship is limited just to this online platform and we wouldn't be able to meet or see each other ever, right?]Bookmark here

[Yes.]Bookmark here

[That is the main perk of this relationship!]Bookmark here

I declared.Bookmark here

[Sorry I didn’t get that.]Bookmark here

[Our friendship is merely an online one. We don’t know each other and we won’t know each other as well. This means you can say whatever you want to me without any risk.]Bookmark here

There was no response from the other side so I kept on adding to my point.Bookmark here

[No matter what you say to me, I can’t do anything to help you with your problem. But I can at least listen-no-read your problems. You can let it all out. All that you have been bottling up, all that you have been dealing with. You can’t live alone. I don’t know what you are going through right now but no matter what you won’t be able to overcome that hurdle alone. You will need someone’s support. All while saying this I know I couldn’t be that support. But I could still hear you out. If you were to tell me all you have been shouldering, it will at least help you relieve some of your problems, won’t it?! You can think about solving it later. What you have to do first is let it out! I will be that outlet for you!]Bookmark here

And send.Bookmark here

I don’t know what I had written in there. I don’t understand what I have written there. But I just wanted to get my point across. Just like how she helped me, I wanted to do the same for her.Bookmark here

I won’t be able to lend my back but I could be the outlet for her to vent out. And it was not just for her. I can do the same. We can say things that we can’t say to others. We can express our beliefs and thoughts to each other without any restrain about what will the other party think. After all, there is no way we will meet each other. We live countries apart. What we do here won’t be affecting our real life in any way. You could say it is the perfect sort of relationship that I had hoped for.Bookmark here

There was no response from here.Bookmark here

Five minutes, ten, fifteen, and when exactly twenty minutes passed a response finally came and a really long one.Bookmark here

I couldn’t suppress my smile.Bookmark here

She texted me and continued texting me. There was really a lot going on in her life.Bookmark here

All of those messages she sent, I didn’t read a single one of them. There was simply no need to. I was just an outlet for her to vent her anger, frustration, and suffering. There was no need for me to read and give her suggestions, console her or offer her sympathies. It won’t do any good. What mattered was that she felt like I had read all of that. Just the fact that someone is out there who listened to all of your complaints will help a lot. It would make her feel like a burden's been lifted. I had felt the same when I had said all that. Bookmark here

[Ah, I feel refreshed! It almost feels like a weight has been lifted!]Bookmark here

I was about to text her back but she again beat me to the punch.Bookmark here

[Thank you.]Bookmark here

With two heart emoticons. Bookmark here

[Welcome.]Bookmark here

[By the way…]Bookmark here

[Yes?]Bookmark here

[Is your username your real name?]Bookmark here

[Yes. What about that?]Bookmark here

I know most people use pseudonyms in their social media accounts but I always used my real name.Bookmark here

[Ah, no, nothing. I know your real name but you don’t know mine so I thought it was a bit unfair.] Bookmark here

She followed with another quick message. [Yuki.]Bookmark here

[What?]Bookmark here

[Yuki. That’s my real name. Thank you, Sam!]Bookmark here

I wonder what this feeling is. My heart was beating fast like never before.Bookmark here

She had finally revealed her real name to me. I don't have any means to confirm whether her name was actually real or not but I felt the honesty in her texts. I can conclude that she has more trust in me now, right? Bookmark here

[Don’t mention it, Yuki!]Bookmark here

After about two weeks of this relationship, I finally got to know the real name of the person on the other side. Bookmark here

“Yuki, huh?”Bookmark here

I felt like through this online medium we have established a bond between us. And I think we are more than just friends at this point. Bookmark here

Although I say more than friends, I don't know whether we could call this relationship as being friends. I mean, we haven't met in real life and I don't think we will ever be able to. If we do end up meeting in real life it would be nothing short of a miracle.  Bookmark here

So, can we call someone whom we have never met, friends? 
Bookmark here

“I wonder what should I name this relationship.”Bookmark here

You can resume reading from this paragraph.