by Madeline Laughs
Was she mad at Barney because she might find out tonight that he was a liar?
Was she mad at all of these women that believed everything the louse told them?
Or was she mad at herself for getting sucked into his game?
Penelope/Darlene: Hi Sharon! I’m online. Are you still there?
Sharon: Yes I’m here. I got your message about Barney. If you don’t mind before we start talking about him can I ask you some questions?
Sharon: One thing Barney was also known for was making fake login names to fool people and find out what was being said about him. Is this Barney? Because if it is I’ll know soon enough and I’ll report you to the board owner and have you kicked off.
Penelope/Darlene: I can assure you this is not Barney. Are you telling me that he would spy on people using fake profiles?
Sharon: Yes. He did it all the time! The problem is he’s such an airhead that he always gave himself away and got busted.
Penelope/Darlene: I am in another group with him and he uses his real name, or what I am assuming is his real name. I read some of the history here in your group and saw that he got himself into big trouble on here with a lot of women. I’m not interested in being his next victim.
Sharon: Is he pretending to be a secret agent/soldier of fortune war hero in your group like he did in ours?
Penelope/Darlene: In our group he’s an undercover narcotics cop. Though one of the ladies just figured out this is all a big fat lie.
Sharon: Unbelievable. Does everyone believe him? That’s the worst is when he has everyone fooled and you’re the only one that knows the truth. It’s a great way to make a lot of enemies…until they figure out he’s lying and you were right all along. By then it’s too late though because heated exchanges have taken place and it’s hard to go back to being friends. He ruins it for everyone and he just doesn’t care. In our group he conned a bunch of people out of money too. The worst part is he doesn’t care because he’s a sociopath.
There was that word Darlene did not like…sociopath. How many times had she looked up the definition for that and read the horrifying descriptions and warning flags wondering if that was what she was becoming? Now she was seeing it describe a man she had almost started to fall in love with.
What was she thinking talking to this woman? Who the hell was she to tell her who Barney was anyway? Stupid woman! Just like all the other stupid women! They didn’t know him at all! She knew Barney! She knew he was telling the truth about being a police detective! He wasn’t a liar!
She looked down at her hands which were now clenched tightly in her lap. She could feel her ragged fingernails digging into the flesh of her palms and it hurt. She couldn’t relax them. It was as if she were possessed.
Sharon was sending her another message asking if she was still there.
Was she still there?
Was she in here somewhere?
Sharon: Penelope? Did you take a bathroom break? I have to run, but I’ll be back online later tonight if you want to finish our conversation. Stay away from Barney! He’s bad news! Ttyl!
Darlene sat starring at the last message and watched as Sharon’s chat light dimmed on her screen. She wouldn’t be back to finish her chat with Sharon tonight or any other night. She couldn’t face it. She couldn’t face knowing that everything she had pinned her hopes on once again was vanishing right before her eyes.
She opened her Favorites folder and surfed over to a website she hadn’t visited in a very long time. It was one for her online therapist and she clicked on the Chat Now button and waited patiently for someone to come online and talk to her.
She needed someone to talk her down and to let her know she wasn’t going crazy again.