"Hi. How are you?" she typed. The text under the chatbox showed her that he was typing something in return.


She sat looking at her screen for a long time. She imagined him in front of his computer, tipping his chair back to the point of falling over, never really giving in to gravity.

"So, what are you doing?" he typed. She looked around her empty room. The pictures on the walls, the lamp by the bed. The chair with her clothes flung over the back.

"I have a couple of friends over", she typed back. Never a dull moment, she thought to herself, bitterly. She sat in her pool of warm light on the bed, laptop balancing on a pillow on her knees. The only sounds were her, typing, and the clock, ticking.

"And you", she typed. "What are you doing?"

"The guys are here, and we're having a few beer, watching the game."

"At this time of night?"

"No, the game is over. Now we're just drikning."

She smiled at his typo. He did that when he typed fast - or had had a few beers. And then her smile faded as she thought of him, getting all worked up over typos and misspellings. He sought perfection, always. The perfect evening. The perfect weather for boating or walking. The perfect girlfriend...

"Well, have fun. I'll head off to bed" she wrote. For a long while she sat watching the screen for a reply. But all she got was "Last message received at 01.26". He'd do that. Chat with someone online, and then forgetting, leaving them hanging. Infuriating.

Five minutes later she logged off, and turned off the computer. Putting it away on the table was hard. She wanted to open it, and turn it back on. Or pick up the phone and call him. But maybe she didn't want it badly enough... Whatever the reason, she never did it.


He kept looking at his screen for a long time. He had so much to tell her. So much he ached to write in that little chatty box. How he missed her. How he wished he had the nerve to call her, and ask her all the questions that were tormenting him. Ask her, if she had forgotten. But instead he just watched as the text on the screen informed him that she had logged off. "User is no longer online".

There was a small, very worn and shaggy teddy bear on his desk, right by the computer. It was staring at him, accusingly, with one beady eye, its mouth forever pulled up in a wry, lopsided smile (because of the stitches where it had been torn at one time). She had let him keep it, even though it had been hers. The only thing of hers, still in his apartment.

"It wasn't my fault", he said out loud and patted the bear's head. Then he switched off the computer and went to bed.

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