He met her online, through her blog, actually … so he never really met her. Never even saw her picture, but it didn’t matter. He was sure she was lovely because she wrote beautiful posts.
She wrote poetry, and music. She put her perspective on history. She told wonderful stories of how things were and could be and should be.
It was obvious that others were enchanted with her, too, from their comments. She had done sweet and thoughtful and sometimes extravagant things for them.
He put some friends onto her blog, just to be sure he wasn’t reading too much into it. They were all quite taken with her, too.
He contacted her by e-mail, and the relationship began. He wanted to meet her, and it would have been fine with her, but he never asked for a date or time or place. Finally, she did. And she offered to drive and meet him where he was.
The promise elated him for days. But the day came … and went … and though he checked his PDA’s e-mail record from her to ensure he was at the right place at the right time, she wasn’t.
Heartbroken, he sent e-mails that were not returned. Her blog entries stopped; she was a consistent – almost daily – blogger. It wasn’t like her. He feared something awful had happened, and his suspicions proved true when a search engine turned up her obituary.
And her story. The article quoted witnesses say that she had seen a semi-tanker rig plummeting driverless down a hill at a truck stop and slammed on her accelerator to interpose her car. It deflected a collision with a busload of elderly tourists, saving them from fiery doom.
He mourned. His friends supported him. They supported each other. They talked about her often. They found other groups online who did the same. They wrote blogs about her. They pored through her archives. They remembered.
Sometimes they wondered whether she had been a teacher, or a doctor or a counselor, because she had written about teaching and healing with obvious experience and passion. Sometimes they wondered if all her entries had been written by her. Because some days she seemed to have been in a different mood and had been writing in a different style. He did a careful language study, counted the characteristic words, and published his controversial findings.
Other times his friends quibbled with her other fan clubs about the blogs they had written about her. She had never mentioned anything but vocalists among her favorite music, and yet some were convinced she must have liked instrumental music too. He became a strong proponent for one of the views.
The quibbles became online slugfests, and more time and pixels were spent arguing than remembering … or doing any of the things she had enjoyed doing … or helping any of the people she had loved to help. He was taking and delivering potshots in the fanblogs and by e-mail and it was just all emptiness to him.
Finally, he decided that he was was wasting his time; he should forget all of his misguided friends and forget her and get a life.