by Madeline Laughs
Darlene got up and walked away from her computer. What was she thinking when she decided to confide in Barney? Of all the people in the world! Why him? She sat in the corner of the sofa and brought her knees up under her chin. She had to give this more thought. Maybe stop being impulsive.
She knew Barney was a bad cop, if he even was a cop. Not from anything she could find on her own, but from scorned women online. They didn’t hesitate to send her private messages once they realized that Barney and she were close. She had heard some pretty bad stories about him.
Just last night she had fielded another suspicious woman away from her relationship with Barney.
Carol: hey fiona! i wanna talk to you about barney. gotta minute?
Darlene/Fiona: Sure! What’s up?
Carol: remember the other day when barney was online saying he was in the office?
Carol: you know i don’t live that far from barney. well, i was surfing on my phone reading his chat while it was going on and decided to go check it out. ya know, go down to the police station and check to see if he was really in his office.
Carol: yeah and guess what? he wasn’t in any office in that station! i asked to see a detective and they brought me upstairs to the detective division and sat me at one of the desks. i looked around first to see if i recognized him from his pictures, but most of these dudes were old. then i showed his picture to the detective i was talking to and told him barney’s name. the guy had never heard of him!
Darlene’s heart went straight to her throat. What was Carol telling her? Was she getting ready to tell her that Barney wasn’t a police detective? Carol kept right on chatting.
Carol: i bout fell offa that chair! so I told the dude what barney had been telling all of us and the guy laughed. i told him about that supposed meth lab bust too and he said that never even happened. he told barney was lying to us! i find it kinda hard to doubt a cop fiona.
Knowing the importance of maintaining a secret identity Darlene did what any good friend with a similar secret would do. She defended Barney.
Darlene/Fiona: Carol you do remember that Barney works undercover, right? Of course the detective is going to mislead you! He has to protect Barney’s identity!
Carol: okay you’re not listening to me fiona. barney was chatting even while i was sitting there with this guy. barney was telling us that a bunch of his colleagues were gathered around his desk at that moment laughing at some cartoon he had just pulled up. he wasn’t in any office fiona!
Darlene/Fiona: Hmm. Well that does sound strange, but I’m sure there’s a logical explanation. Maybe he’s in a safe house some place and he’s just calling it his office?
Carol: i don’t think so. i think he’s lying and i’m going to prove it.
Darlene/Fiona: Oh Carol, just leave him alone. So what if he’s not really a cop? Does it matter?
Darlene had gone around and around with Carol late last night, but she never could convince her that Barney might be telling the truth. She knew that he was lying about almost everything he said, but what was the harm? It was all online and it didn’t hurt anyone. Did it? Gosh if they knew all the lies she had told them they’d really have something to talk about.
She had also heard from the women that had come before her. A few of them were from his old Meetup groups.
When Barney had let it slip one night that this was his third Meetup chat group she had peppered him with enough questions that he ended up confessing the names of the other two groups. She then paid each group a visit, became a member and explored their archives for posts made by Barney. The guy was just stupid enough to continue to use his real name in every group.
The first group was definitely a meat market hookup. It was called Newly Single and Looking. In this group there were some lively posts archived that showed Barney flirting with just about every woman in the group until he settled on the one he liked best. You could tell from the flirtatious comments and compliments that this one woman had caught his eye. Then the threads were tamer and he became more and more scarce in the main group. She knew what that meant. Barney and this woman named Sharon were chatting privately.
She continued to follow the group history and about 2 months after Barney became more and more absent in the main group, he then disappeared entirely. What replaced him was a lynch mob made up of a bunch of very angry women. Barney was banished from the group and then everyone came clean with their secret online affairs with the notorious Secret Agent Man, Barney. It seemed just about every woman in there had maintained some kind of private online relationship with him and none of them knew about the other.
They all knew about Sharon, but according to Barney, she was nothing special! What the hell? How did he convince this many intelligent women to buy his bullshit?
Each woman had been sworn to secret allegiance and were told not to divulge the details of their relationships because it might jeopardize his life! He claimed to be working undercover for the CIA as a secret spy and his missions were covert and very dangerous. They had all agreed to keep his secret and his life safe from harm and then they had all agreed, unbeknownst to each other, to send him money when one of his “missions” had him stranded in a foreign country with no way to get back home.
Darlene couldn’t believe her eyes. Barney was a lot smarter and a lot more cunning than she thought he was!
Five thousand dollars later Barney had returned home safely, or so he thought. While he was pretending to be on a mission these women had all sought solace with one another and the truth had come out. Now they all wanted nothing more than to skin him alive.
He only lasted about a day in the group and fumbled horribly trying to lie his way out of his lie. He didn’t even have the good sense to leave the group on his own. The group’s admin had to throw him out!
Darlene wanted to know the rest of the story.
She checked the membership list and sure enough, Sharon was still an active member. “Penelope” sent her a private message asking her if she could enlighten her about a fellow named Barney. The message light emblazoned almost instantly. Sharon was online and evidently anxious to chat!
- Socially Distorted – Chapter 1 (madelinescribes.wordpress.com)
- Socially Distorted – Chapter 5 (madelinescribes.wordpress.com)
- Socially Distorted – Chapter 6 (madelinescribes.wordpress.com)
- Socially Distorted – Chapter 4 (madelinescribes.wordpress.com)
- Socially Distorted – Chapter 7 (madelinescribes.wordpress.com)
- Socially Distorted – Chapter 2 (madelinescribes.wordpress.com)
- Socially Distorted – Chapter 8 (madelinescribes.wordpress.com)
- Socially Distorted – Chapter 3 (madelinescribes.wordpress.com)