This is a work of fiction, a short story of 821 words.

Colin first noticed her online. She seemed like a free spirit, posting thoughts and photos on her site.

He read her posts again and again, looked at the photos, and imagined what it might be like to meet her. To actually see her. Talk to her as a real person, perhaps even touch her. But all of that seemed beyond reach.

He had enjoyed plenty of real-life experiences of course. But none had ever caught his imagination in the same way. A freshness, bordering on the ideal. Ideas and statements away from those considered to be socially acceptable to many, but he felt they shared the same sentiments. In his mind, he sensed an unspoken connection, a hint of something he could only imagine, knowing it was unlikely to ever happen.

After all, she was in another country. Colin had his life, his responsibilities, and various commitments that he could not ignore. But he came back to her more than he felt comfortable about, sensing a compulsion building, an addiction in the making. One that would never be fulfilled, nor made flesh. After all, he was ordinary. Unremarkable, easily passed in the street. Like so many men of the same age; past their best, and not considered worthy of attention. But he could hope. So he did.

Then she emailed him. Happy to talk, keen to chat about things. Always provocative, and very sure of herself. He was flattered at first, but a slow awareness told him that he was probably one of many. After all, someone such as her would attract a lot of people, both male and female. Hours were spent looking back at her photos, analysing her thoughts and personality. He thought she was brave and bold, amazing in fact. Unique. If only he could have been the same, his life might have been so different.

But he had never been so brave. He had settled for convention, a ‘normal’ life. A life that would not be normal for her, he was sure of that. Perhaps take a break. Avoid the site, do something else instead. Take his mind off of it. But every time he returned to the computer, he looked again. When no emails appeared, he was strangely bereft. Almost unable to comprehend why, he began to admit it had become a part of his life, in so short a time.

After too few days, Colin had to admit it had become an obsession. Only to himself of course. It was private, after all. Nobody else could know, because they wouldn’t understand. How could he have abandoned so much of himself to someone online? She might not even exist; even be a construction, an artifice. His emails became more and more personal, as he released himself to that growing desire within. He had stopped caring, given up all social restrictions, and opened himself up in a way he had never thought possible. Seeking words to explain his behaviour, he came up with ‘Reckless’, ‘Carefree’, and ‘Lost’.

It was time to take that break. Sit back, and reflect on what might be stupidity, and vanity too. This woman could not possibly be interested in him. She had an exciting life, and had made her decisions, all of which were made long before he had ever appeared on the scene. His rather pathetic adoration annoyed him, and he was in no doubt that it would hardly endear him to her, in any way imaginable. He would take some time, reflect on his enthusiasm, which may well have not been welcomed in the way it was intended. ‘Who do I think I am?’, he laughed. That was good advice, as he knew only too well what he was, and it would be nothing that she would want, he was certain of that.

A few hours passed, and Colin was relieved. It was the best thing, he was sure of that. No point deceiving himself; he had to face facts, and be aware of the truth. She was exuberant, vivacious, settled, and outwardly happy. He was just an email address, an unknown and unseen admirer. No doubt like so many others, a diversion at best. But was that all? He hoped not, deep down inside. Part of him desperately hoped that she understood. He ‘got’ her; he saw the reality, and so badly wanted her to know that, whatever the outcome. This was something different, something just for him, and she supplied the catalyst that he needed to break free of normality.

Later that night, Colin thought about getting ready for bed. But before he switched off his computer, he made one last check. No emails, no replies, no new postings. He sighed, and switched off the light.

Maybe tomorrow. There was always tomorrow.

63 thoughts on “Obsession

    1. Thanks for reading, and leaving a comment. If Colin made you feel creeped out, whilst feeling sorry for him, then you really got the story.
      And thanks for following my blog, which is much appreciated.
      Best wishes, Pete. πŸ™‚

      Liked by 1 person

  1. t’s scary when someone is so dependent on his computer!

    And for Colin, it’s better to live in another country, as mentioned, otherwise he would be a stalker!

    Liked by 1 person

  2. Very good, Pete….but sadly, I do feel there are plenty of ‘Colin’s’ out there who don’t separate online lives from reality, and get duped, big time….this girl may not be a girl, either….

    Liked by 1 person

  3. Thank you for another interesting story. What will happen next? πŸ˜‰
    Last week someone at a lifestyle blog at Berlin wrote about datings with the usage of WhatsApp. It started same ways as your story, but after the first exchange of fotos there was a break. The man thought he would date a celeb, but only got a normal wife. Sometimes social media are horrible. Best wishes, Michael.

    Liked by 1 person

  4. I like your open-ended stories. They always give me something to think about. In Colin’s ‘Obsession’ I found a parallel connection to my own story, which also started with a correspondence, but had a happy ending.

    Liked by 1 person

  5. Since Colin has nothing to lose, he might as well twist the wick and race full speed ahead! Go for the gold! But with no expectations. Just for the thrill of the chase. Like hunting quail with a rubber band gun…

    Liked by 2 people

    1. Life lived predominantly online is one also lived in imagination instead of reality of course.
      But every day the Colins of the world have to wake up and get on with real life, they have no option but to put away that online obsession, until the next time…Maybe he is better off never knowing?
      Thanks, Kim.
      Best wishes, Pete.

      Liked by 1 person

  6. Nice story pete,
    It is true, there is good and bad in internet, just like in every day life.

    Sometimes, sometimes it can help someone to do something for themself, outside of the everyday life, because it is impossible for them to do it in real life, Internet can help for that

    It is oleo nice sometimes to find an other routine and get excited by something or someone, as long as you are conscious that it is not real life

    Liked by 1 person

  7. This really made me think about the people I chat with and what they’re thinking! Ha ha! I LOVE YOU ALL BUT I’M JUST NOT THAT INTO YOU! πŸ˜‰ In all seriousness though, great story. This is my love hate relationship with blogging. I know that there are people out there who substitute it for real life. I know that some of us do make some honest friendships and connections with people, it’s lonely to chat and find common ground, but, GO OUTSIDE!! Find some real live people in your area!! You can’t spend your life “online” because, that’s not a real place. πŸ’–πŸ’–πŸŒ²πŸŒ³πŸŒ±πŸŒ΄πŸ

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Thanks very much, Nicole. I am often guilty of seeing too much in online friendships. At a time (and place) in my life where it is difficult to make new friends, I am all too aware that I might get too involved in the online lives of others. But then red wine always helps to clarify things, as you know! πŸ™‚
      Best wishes, Pete.

      Liked by 1 person

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