"I am so sorry Mon Cheri" the deep male voice
apologized. "I will make it up to you tomorrow night I promise. Just a few more of these dull business meetings
and it will all be over. Then I can spend all the time in the world with my lovely fiancée. We can finish
making wedding plans..." She angrily pressed the button on the answering machine cutting off the message in
"How could you Jean-Luc?" She asked out loud. Sheridan Crane let out a frustrated sigh as she tossed
her Gucci purse on the sofa next to the telephone table. Walking off in the direction of the bathroom, Sheridan
continued to vent her frustrations.
Refusing to deal any longer with the harsh reality she’d been stood up for dinner by her fiancé again, she
stripped her clothes and climbed into a steaming hot shower. Try as she might, forgetting about her anger and embarrassment
was easier said than done. It was bad enough she was left alone for dinner by a man who claimed he loved her, but
this was the second time in a row he’d not shown up at this restaurant. She shuddered as she recalled the sympathetic
look the waiter gave her when she realized Jean Luc wouldn’t be arriving.
"I’m glad I couldn’t talk Ethan into coming to Paris" she said as she poured soap in her hair. "He
wouldn’t have been too happy with the situation, had he been here." Sheridan recalled her talks with Ethan
over the past few months, ever since she’d met Jean Luc. She wanted Ethan to meet the one man she believed loved
her for her and not her name or money, but Ethan wasn’t able to get away. Instead he’d talked her into buying a
computer. Ethan explained they could keep in contact all the time through email and Instant Messenger thus, it
would be the next best thing to being there.
She was hesitant at first, but finally agreed. It was the best decision she ever made. She and Ethan emailed each
other nearly every day and despite the time difference, managed to IM each other often. Ethan was right. In a way,
it was almost as if they were living near each other again. Not only did she now have daily contact with her favorite
nephew, but she’d also made several cyber friends and was enjoying all the internet had to offer.
Images of Jean Luc’s smiling face raced through her mind. "Damn him!" She mumbled as she rinsed the soap
from her hair. "How could he do this to me? No, I don’t want to think about this anymore." Jean Luc was
the one who would finally be different from all the other men in her life. "He must have a good reason for
this. He loves me, I know he does." Sheridan tried very hard to think positively. "It’s business, that’s
Even with the spray of warm water on her face, Sheridan could feel the tears begin cascading down her cheeks. She
willed them to stop, determined she wouldn’t let this get to her anymore. "No, I won’t let him get to me like
this. I promised myself I wouldn’t." Turning the water off, Sheridan stepped out of the shower and dried off.
Dressed in a pair of sweats feeling somewhat refreshed, Sheridan walked into her living room and sat down at the
large oak desk in the corner. She pressed a button on the keyboard of her computer and immediately heard the familiar
sound of a dial tone followed by beeps and scratches. She waited patiently while she connected herself to the rest
of the world via cyberspace. This was her new best friend. A way to lose herself in fantasy, talk openly with people
who wouldn’t judge her and forget about all the hurt she was feeling.
Sheridan starred absentmindedly as her computer went though its motions until she finally heard those three words.
"You’ve Got Mail." She clicked on the mailbox icon revealing she had three messages, two from her favorite
cyber pal Godis and a third was from an unknown person who apparently had read one of her message board posts and
was responding. Curious as she was to read the message from her apparent fan, she decided to leave it for last.
She opened the first of her friend’s notes.
So how did dinner with Jean-Luc go? I always love hearing about your experiences in those quaint little Parisian
cafés. I can’t wait to hear all the details. I should be on later tonight and you can tell me then. If not
e-mail me and let me know. I’m dying to find out!
Sheridan let out a sigh and clicked on the next message.
You’ll never believe this, but remember that hunk I told you about that works at my father‘s newspaper? Well, he
asked me out tonight! We’re going to that new club that opened up last week. Should be great! I’ll check to see
if you’re on line later tonight and tell you all about it. This time difference is tough sometimes! LOL.
"Good for you Godis" Sheridan smiled as she read
the email. She quickly hit the reply button and responded.
Great news that you’re going out with Ben. I hope he turns out to be as nice as you imagined. Looking forward to
hearing all the details. As for me, Jean Luc was a no show. He had business to attend to.
I’ll be surfing for awhile before I turn in, but I really don’t expect to hear from you
tonight. :) Going to my favorite place after I finish reading mail.
Having finished her friend’s messages, Sheridan clicked
on the greeting from this stranger. She couldn’t imagine what she’d posted that would warrant a response by e-mail.
Hi KC Girl,
I just wanted to tell you how much I enjoyed reading your description of Spain on the travel message board. It
has always been a dream of mine to visit Spain and after reading your beautiful description, it only makes me want
to get there sooner. I’m from a small town and for now most of my traveling is done via the internet. I’ve haven’t
traveled the world as you have (I’ve read other posts by you), but enjoy reading your vivid details of the most
exotic places in the world.
I’m not sure why I am even sending this message to you, but for some reason I haven’t been able to get your words
out of my head. Every time I read your post I feel as if I am right there, though I’ve never even been out of the
States. Thank you for brightening this hometown boy’s day. I look forward to your next recollection.
For some unexplainable reason, a huge grin formed at the
corner of her lips as she read this email from a total stranger. It’s not as if this were the first time she’d
received mail from someone she didn’t know, but there was just something about this message that gave her the strangest
Luis leaned back in his chair as the realization of what he’d just done settled in. "I can’t believe I just
did that" he said to himself. "I’ve never emailed a total stranger in my life." Without a moment’s
hesitation, Luis pulled up his address book and clicked on CAdreaming and began to type.
You’ll never believe what I just did. Remember that poster I told you about? The one who writes the synopses of
her travels? Well, last night I read her latest and she wrote about her travels to Spain. When I read it I felt
as if I was there, it was the most amazing description I ever read. I couldn’t get it out of my head and I emailed
the poster and told her what I thought of it. Why did I do that? I could have just posted a response.
"What’s up buddy?" Sam asked interrupting Luis’
train of thought.
"Sam!" Luis said in total surprise as he looked up to see his boss standing over his shoulder. "I
was just emailing Jay." He then looked at his watch. "I still have ten minutes left on my lunch break."
Sam shook his head and grinned. "It’s OK Luis, really. Say hello to our valley girl and tell her, her job
is always waiting for her when she decides to come home."
"I’ll tell her Sam" Luis smiled in return, "But somehow I think we’ve lost her to the lure of the
West Coast. She’s a hot shot detective now in Beverly Hills. She gets to arrest the rich and famous while we’re
still trying to figure out how to bring the Crane Family down."
Sam chuckled and walked towards his office. "We’ll get the Cranes someday Luis. That I’ll promise you."
Luis frowned and returned to his email.
Sam says "Hi" by the way and told me to tell you your
job will always be waiting for you when you come to your senses! LOL. I told him you think you already have come
to your senses, but you and I have discussed this at length, haven’t we? Now it’s my turn to discuss this with
Beth. She’s on her I want to move to a big city kick again. This time she’s even gone so far as to send out resumes
to the finest restaurants in New York and Chicago. She’s after me to do the same thing but I keep telling her Harmony
is my home.
Well Jay, I’ve bored you enough with my problems today. Check out that post on the travel board when you get a
chance. Maybe you can figure out what has me so intrigued.
Take care of yourself,
Luis hit the send button and sat back in his chair, closing
his eyes. No matter what he did, he just couldn’t forget about that description of Spain.
Sheridan stared at her computer, reading and rereading her email from PezzMan. Finally she decided to go back to
the board and read what she’d written that had intrigued him so much. When she got there she saw that several other
posters had made comments under hers. Most were the usual, "Great post!" "I love your description",
stuff like that. None however left her with a feeling of anything like what she felt when she read her email.
She reread her post and nodded as she went along. Nothing out of the ordinary she thought, except maybe she told
about the small out of the way places that most tourists never saw. She described sunsets she’d seen, walks along
the beaches and what the life was like in small communities. In essence, Sheridan had described the parts of Spain
she’d enjoyed the most.
Still not knowing what to make of all of this, she decided to return his email, maybe just to find out what it
was that fascinated him so much.
After composing her letter, Sheridan hit the send button and her email was gone. She felt a wave of excitement
when it dawned on her that she’d actually responded to his mail. "Get over it Sheridan, you’re just thanking
him for his response to your post. He’s just a screen name in the midst of the billions of people who cruise the
net every hour."