Connect For Love: Part Four

This is the fourth part of a fiction serial, in 1025 words.

Kevin woke up earlier than usual, still worried that Alice hadn’t replied to his last message. He checked the site, but there was nothing. Work was busy that day, and he sneaked into the staff room to check his phone a couple of times. Still no message. At the lunch break, he considered sending her a new message, using his phone. But he had promised not to be pushy, so had to let that thought go.

At the end of the working day, he almost ran home, eager to get onto the laptop. Mum called out “Dinner at six-thirty love” as he rushed up the stairs. Food was the last thing on his mind.

Logging on to the site, he was almost irritated to find five new matches had been notified. He didn’t bother to open any of the profiles, and went straight to his private messages instead.
The first was from Hayley.
‘not 2 nice to ignore me, K-man. Whasup wiv U? Lurve Hayley XXXXXX’

It was the second message he really wanted to read. The relief that Alice had finally replied overwhelmed him. He pulled off his work boots, and rested back against the pillows to read it.

Dear Kevin,
I don’t really know you well enough yet to discuss what is wrong with me. It is rather personal, and not something I want to reveal at this stage. You are right to presume that I am not working at the moment, due to illness. However, I assure you that I had a very good job, and will no doubt return to it in the future. One of the reasons why I stopped contacting many others on this site is because they wanted to know everything about me from the start. That may be the way things work here, but as far as I am concerned, good relationships need to be built up slowly, and not hurried along.
You obviously want to know more about me, so I will tell you that I no longer live in the same town as you. In fact, I moved away after the problems I suffered with my previous partner, and now live almost two hundred miles from you. But I kept my profile local, as I decided that anyone who really liked me would not be concerned about distance. It also makes me feel safer, as nobody would recognise me in the town from my profile photos. I have a fear of being stalked, or followed. I hope that you will understand that.
If this is still acceptable to you, please continue to message me.
Affectionately, Alice. x

That made Kevin do a double-take. Two hundred miles! How was he supposed to have a relationship with a girlfriend who lived that far away? She didn’t drive, and neither did he. That left coaches or trains, and maybe having to stay in a hotel too. But he really liked her honesty, and another look at the photos confirmed that he thought she was gorgeous too. He replied quickly, hoping that she might be still online.

Dear Alice. I’m sorry if I was rude to ask about personal stuff. I won’t do it again, promise. You tell me what you want, when you feel ready. The distance doesn’t matter to me, though it might take some planning to meet up. But I have enough money for trains and hotels, so let me know when you feel ready for that to happen. I am very interested in you, and not messing around. You seem to be exactly the sort of woman I am searching for, with your honesty and nice manners. I will stop asking you any more questions, until you tell me that you are ready to answer them.
Kind regards, Kevin. x

Mum was shouting up the stairs. “Dinner!” He yanked the door open, and called back. “Keep it warm, Mum. I will have it later thanks”.

Alice had already replied.

‘Dear Kevin,
It was very flattering of you to say such nice things to me. I am unsure about when we could meet up, as I do not really have the spare funds to pay for tickets and hotels back in your town, and you naturally wouldn’t expect to stay here in my flat, would you? I suppose you could travel up here and stay locally. We could arrange to meet in a public place at first, just so I feel safe. But I have to say that you seem to have very nice manners too, and that is rare on sites like this one. When we eventually meet, I will happily answer your questions face to face. But until then, I need to keep some things personal, as I don’t really know you.
Don’t doubt that I do like you very much though, dear Kevin.
Affectionately, Alice. x

He ignored his rumbling stomach, and wondered how far he dared to push it.

Dear Alice, I would happily pay to travel to where you live, and of course stay in a hotel when I was there. And you wouldn’t need to answer any questions, as I would just be happy to sit with you, and chat about anything. If you preferred to come back here, I could send you the money for tickets and book you into a guest house locally. You could meet my parents, and get to see Wilbur and Blackie too, then you would know I was genuine. Of course, I know that cannot happen yet, but it’s just a thought for the future. You really are the type of woman I want to be with, and I don’t want to say or do anything to spoil the chance of getting to know you better. But I think you might agree that it would be lovely to meet up soon. Let me know what you think.
Kind regards, Kevin. x

After pressing send, he was afraid that he might have been too forward, so started to read his message again. But Mum was shouting from downstairs. “Come and eat this, before it is ruined!”

He had to go down for dinner.

29 thoughts on “Connect For Love: Part Four

  1. I love how Kevin’s inner monologue differs from his online dialogue with Alice, at least at first. Then he is pulled in even deeper into her presumed vulnerability which is really her web, I’m beginning to fear. Nice writing, Pete.

    Liked by 1 person

  2. ‘He ignored his rumbling stomach…’ no wonder Kevin didn’t seem to mind the red flags…Alice is not well, lives 200 miles away and most alarming is she did not update her profile. 🙂

    Liked by 1 person

  3. “…I will tell you that I no longer live in the same town as you. In fact, I moved away after the problems I suffered with my previous partner, and now live almost two hundred miles from you.”

    Before he pondered the distance involved, Kevin’s first thought was, “Alice doesn’t live here anymore!”

    Liked by 2 people

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