by Madeline Laughs
Barney pulled his big self through the door, gasping for breath and wiping sweat from his face. He tried not to slam the door behind him. He tried to play it cool like he ran all the time. He pushed the door gently until it clicked and then leaned against it and heard the flimsy wood structure groan behind him.
He saw her!
She saw him!
He was remembering the day she moved in. The pretty girl with the nice clothes and the leather furniture. He had spent so much time that day peeping that he had to move a stool closer to the window so he could rest there, with his eye practically glued to the tiny slit he made in the blinds with his fingers. That was the day he had decided to take down all the blinds and make his new peeping flaps. The day she moved in was when he finally had something worth spying on in the outside world.
What was she doing home this time of day?
Didn’t she have a job?
He listened to her tiny footfalls on the ceiling of his apartment. She was moving away from the window and towards the kitchen area. He remained leaning against the door trying to breath normally, closed his eyes and just listened to the sounds made by a female that had filled his dreams and fantasies since the day she arrived.
Was she smiling down at him before he had made like a fool and ran for his door?
He thought he saw a smile. Even if he didn’t see a smile, that’s how he was going to remember this moment later on tonight when he was alone with his jar of vaseline and Irish rock music playing in the background. That’s how he was going to remember it and that’s what he was going to brag about too.
Plodding over to his own kitchen he opened the fridge for a cold bottle of the Dew, loosened the cap on the 2 liter bottle and tipped it back for a big swill.
Standing there in the small, dirty kitchenette in a tshirt, that was too small for him and rode up over his white, hairless midsection. Sporting a belly button so deep and stretched that you could fit a baked potato in the crater it had become. Wearing his bright yellow, stained sweat pants and his lady house slippers, Barney felt like a stud right at that moment.
He sighed a happy and fulfilled sigh and went to sit on the sofa. He clicked the remote and found the cartoon station. Turning the volume up just enough to hear the funny music, he moved the mouse on the pad laying next to him on the sofa to activate his computer screen. Then he surfed to the chat room to find Fiona.
There she was! Finally after seeing her chat light dim every time he was signed on, she was in the room, chatting up a storm. He made his grand entrance.
Barney: Did somebody say they needed a real man in here?
The chat room went quiet.
Everyone had stopped typing.
What the hell? He tried again.
Still nothing. It felt like everyone had signed off at one time, but they were all still there. He could see their chat lights and they were all lit up like a Christmas tree. No one was greeting him, which was the standard practice when a member first entered the group.
He switched over to his private messages to check for new ones and he found nothing. No new messages! Now that was a new development. He always had new messages! He opened a window to request a private chat with Fiona and waited for her to accept.
Fiona: Hi Barney.
Barney: hay Fi! Hows ur evening going on this lovely night?
Fiona: Fine. And yours?
Barney: O I can’t complaine. What the hell was that kinda welcome when I signed on? Everybodie got a bug up there ass or wat?
Fiona: I guess they might be a little mad at you.
Barney: Mad at me? What the hell for?
Fiona: They found out everything you’ve been telling them are all lies.
Barney: Such as?
Fiona: Everything Barney. All of it.
Barney: Such as?
Fiona: Being a policeman. Being a pilot. Fighting in the war. Everything Barney. The guys in the group that are actually war veterans are super pee-ohed and all the women you’ve been flirting with and lying to are even madder. I think they’re planning to freeze you out.
Barney: What do you mean? You mean nobodys gonna talk to me anymore?
Fiona: That’s right Barney. But I’ll still talk to you. You can always count on me.
Barney leaned back and re-read the chat message on his screen. He had never known his friend Fiona to lie to him, but for some reason he needed more proof than just her word for it. He told her he’d be right back and he switched on a new private chat window and sent a chat invitation to Carol.
He waited for her to answer him.
What was taking the bitch so long? He could see her online icon lit up. He knew she was there. He switched back to the main chat room and saw that the last entry was still his. No one was saying a thing. But he knew that they were all probably burning up the bandwidth in private chats. Probably all laughing about how they were getting over on him right now.
The slow heat of anger was rising up his neck and coloring his face red.
Barney: O so you fuckers dont wanna talk to me huh?
Still no one responded. The screen remained blank except for his own cursor slowly blinking, waiting for his next command.
Barney reached down and scratched his balls. He stared at the screen. He couldn’t believe this. With his finger he dug a nice goober out of his big nose and flicked it at the screen. That’s what I think of you losers, he thought to himself. He quickly leaned over and brushed the booger off the screen, smearing it a little with his efforts. He reopened his private chat with Fiona and began typing another question when her chat light went dark.
She had signed off.