This guy never gives up.
I smiled to myself, closed my eyes and took a calming breath when he asked for my phone number, again.
“What’s the rush?” I typed. “I need to take our relationship slowly and I thought you did too.”
“I’m not in any rush, but I can’t wait to enjoy your lovely voice.”
“Let’s get to know each other better on here, first.”
Instant messaging was a blast. Once I found my way around the keyboard, my excitement grew with every word.
“Okay, Sweet Gal. How’s your day going so far?”
“1st Peter is a favorite of mine too,” he said.
“So, what’s your favorite time of year?”
“Fall is my best season.”
“Mine too, I love to walk.” Thoughts of wearing my denim jacket with the deep pockets, going outside for a stroll on a crisp, colorful day with leaves crunching beneath my feet, not having to fight the bugs, going back home to share hot cider and a doughnut with someone special was my idea of a good time.
We typed away the hours, only taking a short break when Lanny typed, “Brb, okay Wanda? I need to grab a bite to eat.”
“Okay,” I typed, then headed to the kitchen, made myself a chicken salad sandwich, and opened a bottle of Diet Pepsi before settling back at the computer.
Lanny typed, “I’m back.”
“Yippee,” I answered, and we were sharing words again.
“Your profile says you prefer to arrive at places early,” he said. “Same here. I hate to arrive late, you walk in and everyone stares.”
“You must read my profile every day, Lanny. You remember my likes and dislikes better than I do.”
“Yeah, I read it several times a day,” he wrote. “I want to learn all about you. If you won’t give me your phone number, will you at least tell me your last name? Or give me your email? I’ll forward funny emails—decent Christian ones. You can trust me completely.”
“Oh sure, as if I’ve never heard that one,” I countered.
“I’m not trying to pressure you, you’re too special of a lady to rush. Please forgive me if I’m being too pushy. I could certainly get hooked on you. You keep me guessing. You’re a mystery woman, a cute mystery woman. I like you more every day.”
“I’m beginning to like you too,” I wrote. “Probably too much.”
The dogs started barking and the garage door opened. I figured Alan must be home. The time had flown by. I needed to get off the computer and head upstairs to see if Lynn needed help with supper.
Before I had a chance to tell Lanny goodbye, he said he needed to throw a TV dinner in the microwave.
Buddy always loved my cooking, “Yum, Angel Face,” he’d say with his first bite, “you did yourself proud.”
Sharing supper with Lynn and Alan was always pleasant. Lynn was a good cook. I’d like to say she learned everything from me, but I used to make Buddy fried chicken and mashed potatoes, green beans, and apple pie, whereas she tended to cook more healthy foods. Mostly, she served skinless chicken, salmon, and stir-fried vegetables with fresh fruit or cheesecake for dessert.
With supper finished and dishes in the dishwasher, I headed back downstairs to wait for Lanny’s beep, which didn’t take long.
Beep. “Will you accept a message from Lanny?”
Of course I said, “Yes,” as I rolled my chair closer to the computer and leaned toward the screen.
“Hi Sweet Gal,” he said. “After I ate, I walked to the corner for a triple dipped waffle cone. I love strawberry ice cream. What did you eat for supper?”
“We had chicken stir-fry and strawberry cheesecake for dessert, but ice cream sounds better.”
His last card of the day told me I was becoming a dear, special friend. The next day found me back at my computer, and everything started all over. After only five days, he sent scripture cards about love being patient and kind, then cards about flirting.
“Hi Wanda. I’m not real good at flirting, can I practice with you?”
As I glanced out the window, I noticed the first purple crocus in bloom. I was ready for a fresh start. I had fun and flirted back with cards of my own.
“Amen, Sweet Gal. How nice. God always knows exactly what we need. You sure put it better than I ever could. You’re an intelligent person. I love the new pictures you uploaded to your profile. You’re beautiful. Your hair is longer in the one with the red blouse and dainty necklace. Red is a remarkable color for you. I like the picture in Chicago, too. The one where you’re standing by a Christmas tree with a red coat, and you’re holding a red purse. You’re gorgeous with that pretty smile. The weather must have been freezing because even your nose is red.”
“You sure have a way with words.”
“Yes, and you love my words.”
“Let’s talk health concerns, any problems?”
“Except for being slightly overweight, and a trace of high blood pressure, I’m healthy. How about you, Wanda?”
“I went in for my annual physical and the doctor said I’m good for another twenty-five years with occasional tune-ups.”
We talked about smoking and I told him I never picked up the habit. “My husband used to smoke, but one day he decided he wanted to stop, and he did. He quit cold turkey and never smoked again.”
“Wow,” he said. “To pull that off takes a real man. Your profile says you’re retired. Do you suppose you’ll ever work again?”
“No, money’s not everything. How about you?”
“I’d prefer to do volunteer work. Maybe teaching people to read or delivering Meals on Wheels.”
“Delivering Meals on Wheels sounds good. My husband and I thought about volunteering for that, with him doing the driving.”
“Yes, I read how you hate to drive. I don’t mind, as long as I’m not caught in busy traffic, especially in a strange town. I’ve been driving since before I got my license. I was in a quartet when I was sixteen. We sang on the radio and won several awards.”
“You must be good.” I wanted to hear him sing, but I wasn’t ready to give him my phone number.
Lynn came downstairs and peeked around the door. “On the computer again?” She walked closer and tried to peek over my shoulder, but I swatted her arm. She let out a deep sigh, shook her head, and went back upstairs.
“Cute,” I wrote. “I must admit, I’m a perfectionist.”
“Me too,” he typed, “like choosing the right words to say. More than anything, I’m careful not to offend someone with my words.”
“Talk about words. Do you get messages from many strange women on this site?”
“You mean other than you?”
“Very funny, but if I’m the strangest woman you connect with, then you’ve got it made.”
“I’m sorry, Wanda, just kidding. You are especially friendly, kind, considerate, sweet, not to mention easy on the eyes. Please forgive me, and don’t be mad at me. You’re not strange in the least. I won’t joke about things like that anymore.”
“It’s okay, I’m not that easily offended. A man sent me a message and handed me a line a mile long. ‘If you’ll give me a chance,’ he promised, ‘you’ll never love another man.’ “He must figure I’m either stupid, or a rich widow. Not! On both accounts.”
I wanted to let Lanny know I didn’t have any money, in case that’s what he was after.
“Wow. I wonder what makes some people tick,” he said. “I guess the saying is true—hiding behind a computer is easy.”
“What are you hiding, Lanny?”
“Whoa! Wanda. So far as I know, I’m not hiding anything important. Well, I’ll be honest, I need extensive dental work, but I can’t afford the dentist right now. I’ve grown a mustache partly to hide my mouth.”
“What do you mean by extensive?”
“My whole upper and most of my lower.”
“Are you saying you need dentures?”
“In a word, yes.”
“That’s okay. I can’t wait to see your sweet smile, even without a tooth in your head. But is there anything else you want to tell me? Are you hiding a temper?”
“The neighbor makes me mad when he lets his dog use my yard for relief, and this computer scalds my gizzard when it doesn’t work. Still, I’d never hurt anyone unless they tried to take my life or harm one of my loved ones. I like that you’re cautious. Your friendship is becoming special to me. Will you at least give me your email?”
If only I’d known…
Excerpt from the book: Lonely Heart Meets Charming Sociopath
To read More: Click Here