One late night when Keri was up in her study working on her book, she heard an Instant Message notification and switched her screen to the Internet and saw Jack’s name and an invitation to chat. Keri thought for a minute. Face book messages and emails seemed harmless but there was something so much more personal about Instant Messages, it was almost like a phone call. Keri leaned her head in her hands and then looked up again and without really thinking it through typed back “Hi”
At first the conversation was formal and then slowly they started a back and forth banter asking each other a lot of do you remembers. And then Jack talked about his work and shared that he attributed all of his success for the foot in the door her father had given him all those years ago. He said he’d never even known about computers and how they were his life now. He shared how successful he was and Keri’s heart felt a tug and typed back; “He would be so proud of you.” And Jack shared about how he called when her father died and Keri typed back “Really?” I never knew!!” Jack replied, “Yeah you were married by then, and your mom answered the phone and was pretty distraught and the conversation was just short and sweet. But I got the message.” Keri sat there as her mind re-winded. So many emotions filled her at that moment. And then Keri typed. “I’ve always felt guilty about your mom.” Jack shot back, “Why?!” Keri shared how she always felt that he’d felt that she’d caused him not to go and save her, that if he went sooner, he would have found her in time. “Oh baby, he typed, I never felt that way! Years later my dad shared with me in a counseling session that mom attempted suicide seventeen times!” Keri felt a flood of emotions and a rush of relief. It was almost as if a physical weight lifted. Tears filled her eyes. She’d carried this burden for all of these years and she could finally let it go.
Jack typed. “Can I call you?” Keri froze. And typed back. “Jack, what are we doing?” But then typed in her phone number. And then her phone rang. “Hi” Keri answered. “Hi” Jack said in a rich male voice that gave her a funny feeling. “You sound so different but the same!” Keri said. “You sound exactly the same.” He replied warmly. “I was never going to give you my phone number she said.” He smiled and said “I already had it. You forgot to erase one of your signatures in the very beginning of one of our letters to each other but then you started erasing them so I figured you’d forgotten to erase the one I saw.” She felt her face grow red. “Well yeah, I guess I needed to trust that you weren’t going to do something crazy.” He laughed.
Soon they began texting and he began calling her regularly. She never called him nor initiated any of the texts at first but she’d answer and somehow convinced herself that she was just answering him and doing anything wrong. But she knew that she was stretching boundary lines and it had all become addicting. She’d been caught off guard for this need for the attention he was giving her. Though, she knew that it would take only one more step to fall down the rabbit hole and she was holding on for dear life.
To be continued….