It was early March 2000. I was basically living with my ex boyfriend.
Although we were still friendly with each other, the relationship was a
long time over. After countless failed relationships, (some women just
sleep with their mistakes, I married mine) I had come to the conclusion
that love did exist, just not for me. I figured the best I could hope
for was to raise my sons and my nephew into fine young men, and someday
enjoy my granddaughters. ( If our sons are reading this... Get Busy!)

The internet had become my escape from the hum drum routine of daily life.
My favorite online hangout was the now defunct MPlayer. One night, as I
was getting my butt paged off, I received a page from one very special
man. At first I thought 'oh great, another loser'. But, then I looked at his
nick, hopefuldreams, and my concerns dissolved. I felt a man that would
choose a name like that had to be alot deeper than the usual MPlayer fare.
He didn't ask what I was wearing. He didn't want to get me into a
private chat room. He simply wanted to know how I had chosen my nick,
Subtle_Whisper. We chatted for hours in pager that night. I found myself
opening up to him about everything. That surprised me. I have
always been friendly, that comes with working with the public, but
I rarely give anything of myself away. He came across as such a gentle soul.
A poet. A dreamer. An honourable man.
I just instinctively trusted him from the beginning.

Everyday, when I would get home from work he would be waiting for me. My
online friends thought it was quite something that he refused to go into a room
unless I was in it. He would sit in the 30's lobby until I logged on. That made
me feel very special.

Our initial connection just kept getting stronger and stronger. I felt myself
needing him more and more each and every passing day. We spent every available
waking moment with each other. And when that wasn't enough, we started spending
our sleeping hours with each other. We would go into a private locked room in the
60's lobby. He would then scroll lock, and gently talk me to sleep. There was
something so comforting in hearing his voice, hearing him sleep, knowing
we were going to meet each other in a dream, in our waterfall.

In May that same year, my nephew cleaned me out. Stole my jewelery, my computer,
even my youngest son's bike. I was devastated. I couldn't afford to replace any of
it. So this wonderful man, sent me his laptop. When it arrived, lo and behold, there
was the most touching gift I have ever received from a man. It was his high school
ring. I had known before that that this was the man I wanted to spend the rest of
my life with. But seeing that ring confirmed what I already knew... this man was my
heart. [ Your turn Douglas Aaron]

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