My smart phone pinged alerting me to the fact that I just received a text. It wasn’t just any alert; it was Marie’s special text alert I made just for her. Anything from her demanded my immediate attention.
Thanks for the note…you are so sweet. Going to bed, catch you in the morn.
I smiled as I read it, recalling the short little email I sent her at lunch.
Sweet dreams my love.
I sent and dropped my phone on the table knowing it had nothing left to offer for the remainder of the night. I went back to my recliner, snatched up my tablet and opened my email. I tapped my sent emails and opened the one I sent Marie during my lunch break.
It’s hard to believe it’s been six months already. Seems like just yesterday you sent me those five questions. Our relationship is nothing like I have ever experienced before. You are warm, caring, patient, and understanding. Your texts, emails, and notes are the highlight of my day.
Very much looking forward to the next six months.
Six months, I reflect. I met Marie the same way I met Ashley, via eHarmony. It’s funny because the circumstances for me signing up for eHarmony were identical. A little too much rye whiskey resulting in me feeling sorry for myself, and next thing I know, I am building an eHarmony profile.
Ashley sent me five questions before I even started paying for my subscription. Which was fine. You could interact back in those days to a certain point without paying. I took it as far as I could go, which was direct messaging, and being able to see her photo’s. I really wanted to get to know her, so I spent the money. We later joked that I bought her for six easy installments of $79.99.
From the day we met in person, things sped right along. Within six months, we were living together, and within a couple of years, we were married. It was a nice relationship. We never fought, and disagreements were handled like adults.
Then, just over a year ago, I came home, and she was gone. Seven years of happiness ended without notice. The house was empty, and later, a letter came from her lawyer telling me to sell the house and send her half the proceeds.
Not willing to fight for her, or the house, I complied and for the seventh or eighth time in my life, I started over.
I was not a young man when I met Ashely and was almost a decade older when she left. Starting another relationships was the last thing on my mind. Then a couple of drinks with dinner, followed by a few more afterwards, and I found myself repeating the process.
The next morning, I got out of bed filled with regret. It didn’t take long for me to decide that I was going to dump my eHarmony profile. However, as soon as I logged in, there was a message.
Marie sent you five questions.
I stared at that message for a long time. My finger hovering over the settings icon, telling myself this wasn’t good for me. I was pushing sixty, too far into this life to start over one more time. With a huge sigh I clicked on the message.
That was when I learned her name was Marie, she was from Bangor Maine, and worked in journalism. Bangor Maine, I thought. That is a hell of drive for a weekend together. Even flying from Sioux Falls South Dakota to Maine was an all-day thing. Then I saw one of her questions was, How do you feel about long-distance relationships?
I read the rest of the questions and loved how this woman thought. The questions were canned, so there were only so many you could choose from, and I liked the ones she picked. My attention returned to the one about long-distance relationships.
“Maybe she just needs someone to share things with?” I remembered saying as I tapped the icon that allowed me to answer her questions. I did so as openly and honestly as I could.
As I mentioned before, that was six months ago. Since that initial contact, our relationship has continued as a purely digital existence.
We swap morning and bedtime texts and several more throughout the day. We exchange emails daily. My personal favorite way to share daily events and stories of the past. She is a journalist, and I, a writer want to be. Her writing is fantastic. Full of color and carefully described detail. I swear she can spit out three pages of text in half an hour.
“I love that woman’s brain!”
Once a week is date night…if life doesn’t get in the way. We make ourselves dinner, set up the cameras, and have a device free face to face. We talk about a movie to watch, or something the two cities might have in common, and agree to watch or do them the next day. We then share our experience via instant messaging.
Not once has the subject of getting together been broached. My hope is it doesn’t happen. This is where I want to be at this point in life. I love that woman. I love her mind. I love her words. For me, that’s enough.
“Maybe I’ve outgrown the physical aspect,” I mumble to myself.
She has her job, her grandkids, her friends. I have my life here. But we still get to share.
“Ain’t technology great,” I say as I stand, knees popping loudly, set the tablet on the coffee table and head to bed.