To Love...

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AOL

“So have you thought about what we talked about yesterday?” the doctor started the next session.

“I have, but I could only really think of one thing that I did to keep my mind off of what happened.”

“What would that be?”

“I started spending more time on the computer during my lunch hour and study hall, rather than sitting with my friends.”

“Did your friends ever ask you why you didn’t sit with them? What about Zach? Did he ever ask?”

“The first week or so, Zach would ask me why I was avoiding him, but I told him that I was working on a project and wanted to work on it every chance I could. He believed me at first, but the more he pushed me outside of school, the more I tried to avoid talking to him in school, until he finally stopped seeking me out.

And my friends, they believed my story of the extra work, since I have had a history of working ahead in some classes before. This was nothing new to them. After time, they stopped asking me to join them.”

“What did you do on the computer that helped you cope?”

“Well…”

******

During my computer class, we were introduced to various software that allowed us to write papers, design computer images, and create spreadsheets to name a few. We were also introduced to the internet, that allowed us to research things on the computer instead of using encyclopedias or other books.

As I mentioned earlier, we were taught a couple role-playing games to connect with students from other schools, so that is what I started doing during my free time. I would log in to the server, hosted by AOL, and talk to others while we played the games. I met a few girls my age, as well as a couple of boys. We would talk about almost anything, and it helped me keep my mind off Zach.

After a few weeks of this, I was invited to a chat site that wasn’t connected to the game. It allowed people to come in and talk to each other as a group, or you set up a private chat with one other person. It was exciting, yet I was nervous about it, because I really didn’t know who I was talking to as there were no pictures or names provided…just a handle that you created; mine was JPres77. There was no guarantee that there were only students on this site, so there could have been older people there as well.

One day, I received a message from someone named Angel76 asking me to join her in a private chat. So, I joined her, but wasn’t overly fond of our conversation.

Angel76: Thank you for joining me.

JPres77: You’re welcome, why did you ask me to join you?

Angel76: I know who you are and wanted to give you a heads up.

JPres77: A heads up to what?

Angel76: I’m pretty sure your boyfriend is cheating on you.

JPres77: Why would you say that? How do you know who I am?

Angel76: Let’s just say that I’m nearby.

I started to look around the computer lab, but there were several other people in the room, and no one gave any indication that they were talking to me.

JPres77: Are you in the lab here at school?

Angel76: Maybe, but don’t try to find me, I won’t tell you who I am.

JPres77: Why do you think my boyfriend is cheating on me?

Angel76: Because I saw him with another girl at lunch.

JPres77: Yeah, he usually eats with our group of friends, that does include a couple of girls.

Angel76: I know, but they weren’t in the lunchroom. They were in the girl’s bathroom.

JPres77: Why should I believe you?

Angel76: You don’t have to, but I wanted you to know what I saw.

Angel76 has logged out…

I was left with more questions, but she disappeared from the chat room. I didn’t see anyone leave the computer lab, so I don’t know if she was still there or not. When the bell rang for the next class, we all got up and left, but again, no one stood out to me.

I didn’t know if I should believe her or not, and part of me didn’t really care anymore if he was cheating on me. Maybe this would be a way out of our relationship, but did I want it to end? I really don’t know at this point.

Now you would think that the conversation would have pushed me to be with Zach more to keep an eye on him, and I did start eating lunch with my group of friends again, but that was about it. I never asked him about what I was told, and he never led on that there was someone else.

I continued to visit with people I had met online during my study halls. I met some people from all over the country, and we usually had a pretty good time talking about anything and everything. Sometimes, people would flirt with me, and I admit, I flirted back.

It was easy to be myself, because no one knew the real me and didn’t have any set expectations. It didn’t matter if I was rich or poor, if I dressed in designer clothes or hand-me-downs from a thrift store, if I was a straight-A student or did poorly in class, and so on. I really loved the fact that there was no peer pressure to be like everyone else.

******

“Did you feel a lot of peer pressure in school?” the doctor interrupted my story.

“Of course, I did. If you wanted to fit in, you did what everyone else wanted you to do. If you didn’t, you were the outcast and left alone in the lunchroom or never invited to a party or dance.”

“Is that why you let things continue with Zach? Were you afraid that if you ended things, you would be left out of the ‘in-crowd’?”

“Possibly,” I answered. “I mean, as the weeks went on with he and I being more intimate, he seemed to lose interest and …”

“And what?”

“Oh my God, he was cheating on me already at that point. I should have believed Angel when she told me, but I didn’t want to see it,” I mumbled more to myself than the doctor.

“How did you come to that conclusion?”

“It’s pretty obvious, isn’t it? I mean, it was around the same time that she told me that he stopped pushing me to sleep with him. He had to be having sex with someone else.”

“I see, so when did you find out the truth?”

“A month later,” I stopped talking, closed my eyes and my hands immediately went to my belly.

“OK, I think we are going to stop for now, but this is where we start next time.”

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