A Gap Between (part 4)

As with some others I’ve posted, I’m not sure how I feel about this story, but I’ve posted it regardless. I wrote it a few years ago in an attempt to capture a scene of strangers separated by space and age having a flirty and dirty chat. This is the final piece. I ended the way I figured a relationship like this would end. Read parts 1 through 3 if you haven’t.

Part 4

What followed was nothing short of afterglow. Each of them really had come, but neither had the energy for a second round. The sun had risen and birds were singing in their respective neighborhoods. Her family would be up soon. She hoped none of them had heard her, although worrying about this was a bit late. He wanted to take advantage of the morning and ride his bike. He wanted this, but he didn’t feel like he could move.

They typed sweet nothings and shared electronic pillow talk. She thanked him for helping her have such a strong orgasm. She told him she felt humbled by how much control he seemed to have and how she marveled that he could type in complete sentences through that. He told her she had him so turned on he needed everything he had to not burst all over his laptop before she could climax. His legs had been shaking. His back had been soaked in sweat. Both went on about how much they wish they could have played in person. Both meant it.

Before they parted, they exchanged email addresses. Neither had felt comfortable doing that with other chat friends, but this felt right to them. They said goodbye for five minutes like a pair of new lovers. She needed to sleep and she swooned in a dreamy exhaustion. He needed to clean up a mess, but he delighted in having made the kind of engaging, if distant, connection he had sought. They logged out, each relieved and feeling warm.

 

They did keep in touch. Each wondered if that would happen. He sent her a message just a day later to verify the contact. She responded gratefully. They soon moved to using instant messages.

New conversations were different than they had been that morning on the chat site. In most ways, they were better. Every few days, one would email the other. They’d arrange times to chat in real time. They confided in one another, shared stories about life, and grew fond of and accustomed to the ongoing banter. Private jokes evolved. A history developed. If a few days passed between conversations, catching up always felt refreshing for each of them. Through all the emails and chats, they never seemed to get back to the hotness they had shared that morning. He wondered if they would. She wondered if they should.

The dynamic between them was complicated. He was more than twice her age. She was at a wildly different point in her life. They discussed this. A friendship had grown, but distance in space and age tested it. In some respects he mentored her, offering advice about this and that, lending his perspective to her insecurities. In other respects she rejuvenated him, taking him through her college experience vicariously.

This dynamic wouldn’t be balanced, though. His longing for the passion and carelessness of her youth didn’t meet with her desire to have her own life without a tourist following her. Gingerly, he tried to nudge the two of them back to those fantasy moments on the futon. He knew this was dangerous territory, and he didn’t want to push her away. He valued what they had created. Having a deeper connection than what he typically got through chat felt surprisingly right. He relished and wished to preserve this sweetness. Despite this, he also wanted that heat to be part of what they shared. She sensed him trying to push this piece in place. It hurt. She liked him, but didn’t want that from him again, at least not anymore. To her, he had become something more than just one of those faceless screen names who took her through the motions. As he pressed, she balked. The conversation stopped. She stopped it.

 

Although she hadn’t thought about doing so for a long time, she logged in once again as “18 f likes older.” The morning was much the same as the morning they had met months earlier, but this didn’t dawn on her. With her birthday later that week, the “18” wouldn’t be true for much longer. She was back in her room that wasn’t her room. Summer was busy, but somehow boring. The routine was what she wanted now. She waited for the messages. Several appeared, but one stood out. The screen name was “all alone 40m.” He said he recognized her name and wondered if she was who he thought she was. She didn’t respond. Another message from the same guy asked how she had been lately. Still another asked if she wanted to talk. She closed the window. Just briefly she pictured him slumping on the couch, sighing in disappointment, which was exactly what he was doing. It saddened her, but she moved on.

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