To promote my latest story about love flourishing in impossible circumstances I’m putting out a big, ol, excerpt for you to read.
The airport lounge was a combination of high-tech gloss and Vegas kitsch. Huge metal archways overhung garish vinyl gardens. I stood there, expectantly, as airplanes rumbled overhead in long, loopy, circles.
I was holding a flattened cardboard box with the word “night_elf_avenger64” scrawled on it in black permanent marker. It was the handle of a girl I’d met on the Internet four years ago. She used that name on all the boards we frequented and in the games we played. She’d recognize it for sure.
She told me that she lived in South Carolina and had lost her job, so I had suggested buying her a ticket to LA in order to hunt for a job. In retrospect I wasn’t serious about the job part. It was just a ploy to get her to visit me where I lived.
“Why don’t I pay for half of a flight?” I’d typed into my keyboard. “You can sleep on my couch while you go looking for your dream job.”
“Sounds like a good idea,” she replied. “I’ve got some money saved up. I’ll even help you pay rent.”
I have a confession to make: I didn’t really want to help her find a job. I had planned this entire thing out because I wanted to fuck her. I had visualized our entire encounter in advance. First we’d get something to eat, then we’d go to my apartment, then we’d spend the evening laughing, talking, and playing games. Then, maybe, I’d put my arm around her and then I’d kiss her.
I’d visualized in advance, usually while masturbating, all the things I was going to do with her after that. I was going to fuck her from the front, from behind, and she was going to suck her cunt juices right off my dick afterward. Then I’d start ejecting ropes of semen all over her face and hair. It was either that or I’d get her to become my girlfriend and I’d do that to her later. I could wait. I was patient.
Despite all that I’d kept it strictly platonic on the Internet. I thought that maybe there was a secret spark between us. We had so much in common. We played the same games and trolled the same forums. Sometimes we’d trick each-other into opening a link to something disgusting or disturbing. It was a little juvenile, I guess, but it was sort of fun to find a girl who really shared my weird sense of humor – especially on the Internet.
I mean it wasn’t just that I wanted to turn her into my own personal whore. I’d also told her all of my deep, dark, secrets about how I was frustrated with women. I told her about how I was constantly rejected. I’d share my tiny stories of defeat and failure but she never faulted me or complained about how I was a pain in the ass. She’d sympathize instead. That made me like her. She’s cool like that. I couldn’t wait to meet her. I hoisted the sign higher.
Then, suddenly, I felt someone wrapping their arms around me from behind. They had sneaked up on me. It was her! I felt a rush of excitement.
“Surprised?!” Said the voice.
My brain hadn’t quite processed this person’s voice when I turned around to greet them.
She was a dude.
I tried not to act shocked. I searched my memory for a time when I had asked for her gender. I had always assumed, for whatever reason, that she was a woman. She, they, had played a woman on the Internet. They had seemed enough like a girl, so I had always just assumed that they were a woman. I swallowed. My blood ran cold. My brain was full of static. I think a droplet of sweat ran down my forehead, but I wasn’t sure.
It wasn’t like I could just turn him around and send him back home. I couldn’t just say “uh, sorry, I was planning on having sex with you because I thought you were a girl and now that I realize you’re a dude I want you to go home because you’ve dashed my dreams of fingerfucking you on the couch and blowing my load on your face while pulling your hair so hard that it makes you scream. Get back on the plane.”
I decided to play it cool. Maybe if I just let him stay over until he got settled everything would be fine. We could still have a good time playing games and watching movies. I’d forget about my plan. That’s it. I’d make a new plan. They’d never know. I knew this person. Nothing was wrong. They’d be out of my life and back on the Internet soon enough. Everything would return to normal.
“Hey-o,” I said while trying to hide my disappointment. “It’s you. Look at you. I haven’t talked to you in what? Ages?”
“Days are ages on the Internet, my friend,” he said while shaking my hand.
I looked up his arm and my eyes met a face with green eyes and black hair. He was wearing a shirt with a video game character on it and had been carrying two suitcases.
“What say we skeedadle?”
“Yeah, uh, let’s go.”
We piled into my car and, because we were hungry, decided to go and buy sandwiches on the way to my apartment. It turns out that his name is Anthony. I asked Anthony why he played a woman on the Internet while driving home.
“I guess I pretend to be a woman because it just makes everything easier,” he said in between bites of pastrami. “Whenever there’s a game where there are lots of lonely, single, guys it’s a lot like playing on easy mode. It’s the positive side of what I call the ‘girl on the Internet effect.’ You just flirt a little bit and people will bend over backwards to give you what you want. Whatever it is: gold, magic items, mod status, anything. They pay a lot of attention to you. There are a lot of lonely guys on the Internet.”
He was right. I had fallen for the girl on the Internet effect too. I had been stricken by his avatar’s impossibly large breasts. I had paid for his ticket. I’d been gamed. I didn’t tell this to him though.
I was starting to have a weird kind of double vision. The way he talked was so familiar, but I had never heard his voice before. It was like a stranger was reading something my best friend had written. Like he was giving some kind of a performance, but he wasn’t.
When we got to my apartment we finished our sandwiches and made jokes about the other players we knew. I was starting to feel comfortable with this person. We talked a lot of game. We made plans for raids and discussed conversations we had on particular forums. That’s when I asked him about his trip.
“I’m actually sort of jetlagged,” he said. “I think I’d like to go to sleep early.”
I glanced at the clock.
“It’s so early though! It’s only four thirty.”
“Yeah,” he said. “I’m tired anyway. Let’s set up the couch. I’m ready to sleep. I’m sure that I’ll feel a lot better in the morning. Then we can spend the whole day raiding.”
I set up the couch for him while he brushed his teeth and then I brought him some blankets. He nestled in and closed his eyes.
I went back to my room and began to work on my homework. I had a test in a couple of weeks and it never hurt to start early. I finished up, surfed the Internet, lifted some weights, looked at porn, showered, and I threw on my pajamas and went to bed.
It only took a few hours before my stomach woke me up. I flicked on a light and crawled out of bed. When I walked out into the living room to get something to eat I noticed that Anthony was awake and quietly typing on his laptop. He closed it halfway and looked up at me. His eyes twinkled.
“Just getting something to eat,” I said. “Want something?”
“Oh, cool. I’m hungry too. I just woke up, but I’m having lots of trouble getting back to sleep. I feel wide awake. Jetlag is pretty crazy. Let’s make some sandwiches or something.”
He followed me into the kitchen. I opened my refrigerator and began to get the fixings to make a sandwich. I was just laying them out on the counter when I felt him start to hug me from behind. He was hugging me like he had hugged me at the airport, but more urgently. I was surprised again. I turned around and we were face-to-face.
He was so close that I could feel his breath on my neck. His eyes were half-closed. He bit his lip. He was just centimeters away. A tiny bit of hair tickled my forehead.
“Please, please,” he said as he ran his hands up onto my chest. He began to unbutton the top of my pajamas. He was begging like a kid asking for a piece of chocolate.“Please.”
I put my hands on his face, but I didn’t push away. I felt like I should recoil, but something held me in place despite his shocking sexual aggressiveness.
I remembered how much I liked him on the Internet, but that was something different. I told myself that I wasn’t attracted to men. I liked him as a woman, but that was just an imaginary woman.
Suddenly I remembered that I had told this imaginary woman all these deep, dark, things about myself. They were probably the only person on the Internet who knew I’d never had sex. (I lied about it constantly on games servers to make myself seem more macho.)
I was suddenly reminded that I had brought this “Internet girl” to my apartment just to fuck. I’d thought about her while stroking my hot, hard, cock up and down in the shower. I had even jerked it while typing to her. She didn’t know this, but I did. I guess my plan had worked out even better than I had expected.
“Please please,” he repeated.
It just didn’t work the way I had hoped.
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