This would be our third tea “date” since we met online six months ago.
We met in a thread for fans of Stephen King. My handle is @Kings#1Fan. I’ve read everything he’s ever written except for Carrie. Allison never read Carrie either. Both of us were avid King fans, but neither read Carrie before; now’s that’s Kismet! I suggested we each read it and then talk about it on JustFriends.com. That was the beginning of this great friendship. Since then we ‘spoke’ every day. We even emailed each other; long emails full of information about each other’s lives.
@Kings#1Fan: Alli, I’ll be thinking of you this week. It would have been your tenth anniversary, right? ☹
Minutes passed, then….
@IAmAlli: Yeah, ten years this Thurs. I’m going to the cemetery every day this week. I know it’s crazy, but it’s something I have to do.
@Kings#1Fan: It’s not crazy. It’s something that makes you feel better. I wish you’d let me come with you. It wouldn’t be hard. I can drive out and help you deal with it.
@IAmAlli: That’s okay. I’d rather be alone right now. But, hey! You and I will meet up soon. You’re my best friend and I don’t know what you look like. Pics never show the real person, right?
@Kings#1Fan: No, they don’t. 😊
Three weeks later I had an idea. This coming weekend there would be a book festival in town. We could browse thousands of books; first editions to complete our libraries!
@Kings#1Fan: Ted’s away this weekend. There’s an awesome book festival on Saturday! It would be great to finally meet, right? My house is huge; you can stay here. That is, if you want.”
@IAmAlli: Oh, Pam! That would be the best time for us to meet! I couldn’t stay at your house; it would be a bother to you. I’ll check out Motel 8s in your area.”
@Kings#1Fan: Cool! That’s fine. Oh, Alli, I can’t wait! 😊
Now here we were three days later, sitting in my kitchen, sipping our favorite tea. Earl Grey had no competition, we agreed. We always agreed!
“Allison, would you like another cookie? I know I shouldn’t have another cookie, but you only live once. Allison, would you like another one?”
“No, thank you, Pam. But I wouldn’t mind more of that soup you gave me yesterday. Do you think you’ll be going to the store today?” she asked. “You said you would buy more.”
“No, I have other soup I know you’ll like,” I said. I thought her idea was suspicious. She might be thinking of running away again.
“All finished?” I asked.
“No, I’m still drinking my tea,” she said. Her voice seemed to go up an octave. This part of our tea time was the worst.
“Well, I’m done,” I said. “It’s time for you to go back downstairs.”
“Pam, please let me go!” she sobbed.
I hated when she pleaded like this. We were best friends! Okay, so I lied a bit when I told her I was married. It had been part of my backstory. I wanted to appear completely normal to everyone on JustFriends.com, so I created a little fiction. My profile read I was fifty-two, married, a college professor, and avid Stephen King fan. Well, that last one was absolutely true! My handle was no fiction. I chose the name of his “number one fan”. In truth, I was fifty-nine, divorced (his idea, not mine) and a retired truck driver. I had a little weight to lose, but I was still in pretty good shape. I still went to the YMCA every day; lifting weights was my passion.
“Allison, don’t make me angry, ok?” I pleaded back. “I don’t want to hurt you, but I’ll have to if you don’t go to your room. Really, why all this negativity? You have no one to go back to. You’re all alone in this world. I know because you told me, ‘Annie, I have no one.’ You said that to me months ago. I thought you would enjoy living here. We could be best buds living together and doing anything we want.”
“Pam, you have to know that somebody will notice I’m gone. I have a job for God’s sake!”
“Whoa, now,” I said. I didn’t like her tone. Friends don’t talk to one another like that. “They’ll think you took off, wanted to start life somewhere new. In every email you sent me you told me we were besties. What changed?”
“You’re keeping me in your basement!” she yelled.
At that moment I had a great idea that I was sure would brighten her mood.
“We’ll have a horror fest tonight! I’ll bring out the DVDs of all my King movies and I’ll make popcorn! Allie, we’ll have a wonderful time!
“Oh, Pam,” she said. “You’re sick. You need help.”
“You’re just being a negative Nancy, silly! You can take a nap and I’ll bring you up later this evening. I’ll have to put your collar and chain on you, but we’ll have such fun!”
After I finally got her downstairs, into her room, I started thinking. I didn’t believe Allie would last as a bestie for very long. I’d have to take care of her like the last two and continue my search for that perfect BFF. I got on my laptop and accessed JustFriends.com
@Kings#1Fan: Hi all! Where’s all the King fans tonight? Anyone wanting to discuss Carrie?
@Joanne10/64: Hi Annie! Since you raved about it, I had to read it. 😊 I loved it! What’s going on with you? How are you?
Maybe this time would be different ……