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I read the message and could already envision her speaking to me as if she were in my room sinking into my bean bag chair. Her font colour in the chat box was a light pink with an italicized style. A standard butterfly appeared as her display picture — one of the default selections when creating a new account.
Hey Natasha! I'm doing well, how are you? How has summer been treating you?
It's been alright. My grandfather passed away a couple weeks ago so it's been a little rough.
I'm sorry Natasha. I can't imagine what you're going through.
My approach in the conversation transitioned from “cool, calm and collected” to genuine compassion and sympathy.
Thanks Michael there is actually something I wanted to ask you.
At this point, I figured there was a specific reason why she added me. The small talk was unusually quick and she seemed eager to ask me something. I was out of my chair pacing my bedroom as I could see at the bottom of the chat box she was typing a message. I picked up a hand-sized rubber basketball from under my computer desk and lobbed it towards the basket clipped to my bedroom door. My heart began to slam against my chest the moments before her next message.
Michael I want to know if you want to go out with me?
It was rare moments like that which made being a teenager fun. It did not happen very often, but the unknown was exciting. I was genuinely confused and uncertain how to respond. Was I ready for a girlfriend? Why would she randomly ask me out with no prior acknowledgement of my existence?
Natasha, I don't know if I'm ready to date someone. My parents are really strict. I can hardly go out as it is lol.
A minute passed with no response. Most of what I said was true. I was rarely allowed to go out with friends, not to mention my grades were mediocre. I continued to wait and was hitting myself over the head wondering if I made a terrible mistake.
Are you kidding me!?!? I broke up with my boyfriend to be with you and you say no!? Wow whatever.
My mouth instantly went dry in panic. I was desperate to redo the last two minutes.
Natasha I'm really sorry. I just need to focus on school right now.
Within moments, the worst possible message appeared that left me to “sit in my shit” and worry for the remainder of my summer.
Oh yeah there was something I forgot to say: GOODBYE! BLOCK! DELETE!!!
She went offline and never signed back on.
“So I sent an apology letter to her email,” I told Kurt later that evening.
“What!? Wow what are you doing man? You need to let this go.” Kurt looked at me with a prayerful expression.
“Do you think I should call her?”
“No! Just leave it,” said Henry. “Trust me. If you bombard her with more shit you’ll look like an ass and it’ll be worse when school starts.” Henry always had a very relaxed and rational manner for a teenager. He could handle any typical “teenage issue” like it was no big deal.
“I’m just worried. Look at it this way, she left her boyfriend for me.” I was actually feeling a bit cocky at the time. Both of my friends had been in similar situations where their girlfriends had left ex-boyfriends to be with them.