Cyrus Braeden Meets Tabitha Howell Online-Tabitha’s Perspective

On a late Saturday night in March, Tabitha Howell was checking the replies to her posts on several writing forums. Most of them were giving her harsh critiques. She sulked in depression. In her mind writing was the only thing she thought she was good at, but this wasn’t the case according to her online peers. She kept scrolling through the members’ feedback. People made comments like “Lovely but very inappropriate.” “Trashy.” “Not believable.” She had mixed feelings about these reactions. In part, she was glad that she was able to provoke the emotions of others, even though they were negative. However, in a much bigger part, she felt hurt by some of the comments. Tabitha was about to log out and take a bath to wash away the stench of failure when she saw a new post. She began to read it.

It was posted by someone known as Mister Trainman and it read, “Don’t worry about what the others tell you because I think your work is beautiful. I wish I could write at least half as well as you. Your stories bring about all kinds of feelings in me. Usually, I am able to suppress them, however, when I read your work, I can’t. But I don’t want to either. Keep it up. I look forward to your next post.”

Immediately she pulled up his profile and gained a great deal of information about him. He was a twenty-five-year-old train conductor named Cyrus Braden. At first, she seemed nervous due to the fact that he was six years older than her and might only be interested in sex, but also knew that no other worthwhile boys or men ever paid attention to her. She looked at his profile picture and was instantly attracted to him. She began to search for content he posted, but couldn’t find any. This made her slightly suspicious, but she still wanted to know more about him. His profile displayed “Online Now.”

So, she decided to send him a private message.

“Hi. I’m glad you enjoy my stories. No one else does. I would like to know more about you, so could you please message me back.”

She patiently waited for his reply until she saw the screen flash.

“Thank you for messaging me. I’m somewhat new here, but I know a beautiful story when I see it. My profile says it all, I’m 25 and I’m a train conductor. I work five sometimes six days a week, but I’m off tomorrow. Before I say any more, I would like to know more about you. You seem young and, even though I wouldn’t dare do anything, I don’t think it is right for me to be in contact with a minor.”

“Oh, I’m sorry I should have told you. I’m 19, so you have nothing to worry about. I don’t think you would want to do anything with me though, because I’m fat.”

“Don’t be so hard on yourself. You seem like a genuine person and your writing is very beautiful. I never even saw a picture of you, but if I did I bet I would think you’re pretty.”

“I’m on Facebook and I have pictures on there. Are you on Facebook?”

“Yes. I am. I’m blushing right now because I’m going to ask you a dumb question: What’s your full name? All your profile name says is CuteCuddlyTabby.”

“Oh. I’m sorry. I should have told you. My name is Tabitha Howell.”

“Okay, I’m looking you up.”

“Don’t be too grossed out.”

She waited for his reply.

Finally, a message popped up on her screen “You are very beautiful. Even though you are somewhat overweight, I think it actually compliments your body. Please don’t think I am a pervert or anything for telling you that. I just admire you very much but I also revere you!”

Tabitha’s heart skipped and beat and she began to blush. She began to feel attracted to him.

She messaged him back “You’re so sweet to tell me that. You’re very cute too. There must be some lucky girl in your life.”

“Nope. There isn’t. Us railroaders have trouble getting and staying in relationships because of the hours we work. I do enjoy my job don’t get me wrong but my love life is quite lonely.”

“Oh. I see.”

“Would it be all right I friend request you on Facebook?”

“Sure. As if you had to ask.”

“Awesome. I’ll request you.”

“And I’ll confirm that request!”

After Tabitha had confirmed Cyrus’ friend request she told him “Message me on Facebook instead.”

“Will do.”

She began to study his Facebook profile and realized that he lived only fifty-five miles northeast of her. This made her slightly nervous, but also even more attracted to him. She wanted a relationship with him but also wanted to make sure he wasn’t any type of danger.

So Tabitha told him “You’re not that far away from me.”

“Wow, really? You don’t have your current location listed on here.”

“Yes. That’s for safety reasons.”

“I fully understand.”

“I trust you somehow, so I’ll tell you my hometown. It’s in Landing Station.”

“Wow, the train I work on makes a stop there almost every day that it runs.”

“Cool!”

“Sometimes we park on the siding track there and let higher priority trains pass us.”

“I want to ask you something, but I’m nervous. I’m afraid I’ll scare you off.”

“Just ask. I’ll do my best.”

“Maybe one day, you could come to the train station and visit me while we are parked in the siding. I can even have a special agent there for both of our safety.”

“You’re making me blush. What’s a special agent though?”

“A railroad cop.”

“Oh, I see.”

“So is that a yes or a no.”

“Yes, one day.”

“Could you tell me more about yourself, before we actually meet?”

“Well you know I am nineteen. I’m still in high school because I had to take a year off for medical reasons. Because of that, I still live with my parents and they can be overprotective. I attend a very strict Catholic school, but I wouldn’t go to the public school because everyone would torment me about my weight.”

“You mean you’re beautiful curviness!”

“You’re making me blush again. What about you?”

“I’m originally from Checker which is 15 miles east of where you are, but I ran away when I was 18 and wandered into the railroad yard. I almost got hit by a train, but the engineer named John Blythe took me under his wing and offered me a job. I gladly took it. He helped me buy my house too. I got it for $30 grand. The previous owner of the house was murdered right after proposing to his girlfriend. He too was an aspiring writer and had just made it big but a former coworker killed him.”

“What happened to his girlfriend?”

“Her heart burst when she saw him die.”

“That’s horrible.”

“Yes. I frequently think about it because their love for each other is inspirational to me it makes me wish I could love someone like that.”

“You can.”

“Are you talking about you and me?”

“Of course.”

“Well I work long hours and I am away from home a lot-I’ve seen that ruin the love lives of many of my buddies.”

“I don’t care; I would wait for you to have free time. You’re cute. You’re sweet. And who else would want me?” Tabitha paused but then “Do you even want me?”

“Yes. I do want you. You’re a very beautiful young lady and you write the most beautiful love stories. Your soul is also beautiful! Like I said before, I admire you but I also revere you!”

“So you’ll be mine?”

“I sure will!”

“You’re making my heart sing and dance!”

“Just as long as it will sing and dance with mine!”

“Of course it will!”

“Could I give you my phone number?”

“Sure. Would you like mine as well?”

“Most definitely.”

Tabby and Cyrus exchanged their phone numbers and continued talking.

She messaged him, “I don’t want my parents to hear me talking to you and freak out. They are very protective.”

“That’s fine. I don’t want to get on their bad side because I want things to work for us.”

“You’re so sweet.”

“And so are you! I would like to meet them to let them know that I mean no harm and I will always treat you right as long as you let me be yours!”

“Uh-oh. I forgot to take my medicine. I’ve been talking to you all night.”

“Well go take it. Your health is important.”

“I guess. That medicine is the reason why I’m so fat. It also makes me very sleepy.”

“Well your health is still important, so why don’t you go take it and we can talk tomorrow, either online or on the phone.”

“Okay. Thanks for understanding. I know you’re someone special because you don’t judge me because I have to take medicine and you think my weight compliments me.”

“I think you’re beautiful both inside and out. I just hope and pray you will put up with my crazy work schedule.”

“Of course I will now let me go take my medicine.”

“I’m going to miss you, but I hope and pray that I dream about you.”

“And I hope and pray to dream of you as well.”

Tabitha walked to the kitchen and took her Abilify with a glass of water. She was anxious because she knew she would eventually have to explain to Cyrus what she takes medicine for and was afraid that he might leave her.

She walked back to her computer and typed “I guess I will tell you goodnight.”

“And good night to you. I wish I could hug you.”

“Would you want to kiss me too?”

“Only if you would want. I don’t want to overstep my boundary.”

“You wouldn’t be overstepping because I would definitely want you to kiss me.”

“Then, yes, I would give you a long, loving kiss.”

“You make me happy!”

“You make me happy too!”

“Now I’m getting sleepy-it’s because of the medicine.”

“Then get some rest. I will too.”

“Okay, good night.”

“Good night.”

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