Just a little one-shot. Complete fluff and randomness. A look at how friendship online sometimes can become more. I don’t plan on writing more of this but I thought it was cute enough to post.
It had started innocently enough. Aleksi had always been a small, he was not particularly loud and he didn’t draw attention to himself. Technology was intriguing to him and so it would have been no surprise to anyone to find him sat in front of his computer trying to think of a username. Chat rooms sounded like fun and everyone else was doing it. It was a way to meet people without the pressure of them having preconceived notions about you.
So it came to be that ‘LittleIcicle’ signed on for his first foray into a chat room. At first, it was a confusing jumble of in-jokes and acronyms he didn’t understand. Then the conversation turned to popular culture, something he could at least grasp. Tentatively he typed his first letters ‘moi’. A flood of people answered instantly, they sure were friendly. A number asked a/s/l and after his initial confusion, he was able to answer them. This was fun.
Soon it had become a habit for Aleksi to pop in every day at some point to see what his new friends were doing. Over time they spoke of everything from the sports teams they liked to the kind of music the listened to. Personalities began to form behind the usernames, and Aleksi would imagine what they might be like in reality.
There was one person in particular though that intrigued Aleksi. ‘DenNord’, 21/male/Denmark. For some reason, it seemed as though he never quite fit in with the general stereotype of chat room users. Den, as Aleksi had taken to calling him, was gregarious, humorous and seemed to have no place being online as much as he was. Often Aleksi verged on asking him why he wasn’t out somewhere having fun rather than sitting at home talking to him.
It was about 5 months into their friendship when Den signed in drunk. Aleksi smiled as the little icon for a personal message popped up next to the Danish man’s name. The more they spoke the closer he felt to Den, so close he had begun to tell him more personal things, discuss his job, his family, his life. Still, he was not prepared for the words opening the message revealed.
“I’m lonely Icicle. No one likes me. Everyone’s left me.”
“Den, are you ok?”
“Lucas, my name’s Lucas. I did a bad thing and now no one wants me near.”
Fingers froze over his keys, a swell of warmth and fear simultaneous as he found out his friend’s name for the first time. What could Lucas have done that was so bad? Still, he couldn’t turn him away now he knew he needed his help.
“I’m Aleksi. Surely whatever you did it can be that bad?”
“I’m drunk, sorry. M’ going to bed.”
With that DenNord signed out leaving Aleksi to fret. It was two days before Lucas signed in again, enough time for Aleksi to worry himself into a panic. The relief he felt when the Dane said that he was all right almost came as a surprise. Easily they fell back into their rhythm, spending long hours talking about random things, everything and nothing all at once. Still, that relief stayed with Aleksi, making him wonder at his own emotions. Was it normal to react in such a manner towards a friend? No matter how he justified it he could never quite explain the long hours he’d spent trying to guess where Lucas was.
It was nearly a year into their relationship when Lucas offered to add him on Facebook. A tingle of excitement flooded into Aleksi’s abdomen as he hit search under the Dane’s email. What if after all this time he was nothing like he imagined, what if he was disappointed? A shock of blonde hair and a clean jawline were his first impressions and then bright, clear eyes. Lucas was handsome, very handsome and Aleksi felt his heart rise into his mouth as he clicked his profile. Single.
Why did that one word please him so much? Occasionally they spoke about women, actresses they both liked or people in their respective offices. Lucas had never mentioned that he was dating and for some reason, Aleksi was pleased to find out he was not. The sudden shock of his realisation made him log out for a few days, too nervous to face the Dane. What if Lucas hadn’t felt the same when he’d seen his picture? What if Lucas had been disappointed?
The next time they spoke was awkward, stilted almost and Aleksi’s shoulders slumped as he leaned over his computer. They’d blown it, he’d blown it. All that time they’d invested. If only they’d remained anonymous. At length, when he had given up waiting for a reply the icon flickered. It said only a few words but they were enough to make his breath catch.
“Aleksi, I’m sorry if this makes things awkward. I’ve never had a long distance relationship before but… I think I like you.”