The next day, Tabitha had woken up and began writing more love stories on her computer. Her parents were getting ready to go make groceries.
“We’re leaving, Tabby.” Her mom said.
“Is there anything you want us to get you?” Her dad added in.
“No, I’m good right now,” Tabitha replied.
“Call us if you need anything.” Her mom said.
“Will do,” Tabitha replied.
And then they left.
Tabitha resumed her writing. She had felt more encouraged to write her love stories than ever before since she met Cyrus Braden the previous night and he told her how he enjoyed her work even though many people didn’t. She thought about her conversation with him and the feelings she had developed for him. For a brief moment, she began to think just about him and paused from her writing.
Then she received a text on her smartphone. It was from Cyrus and read, “Do you have free texting?”
Tabitha sat in amazement for about a minute because of how she believed that she and he were having mutual thoughts of each other. Then she realized that she should reply and texted back, “I sure do.”
About a half minute passed; then Tabitha got two replies. The first one read, “Great! I texted you because I remember you telling me that your parents are overprotective.” The second one read, “I don’t know how they’d react hearing you talking to me.”
She was definitely going to try and make the relationship with Cyrus work as best as she could, so she answered with two messages, First, “Well, I am nineteen so they can’t do or say much.” Then, “Anyway they went shopping, so you can call me if you want to.”
She got a quick reply from him, “I’ll call you then.”
“Wonderful. I’m waiting.” Tabitha replied back.
After about two minutes, Tabitha’s phone rang. She only let it ring once and quickly answered it as she was no doubt infatuated with him.
“Hey!” She said.
“Hi,” Cyrus replied.
Tabitha then said “Finally I get to hear your voice. It’s very sexy!”
“I like your voice as well.”
“Are you off all day today?” Tabitha asked.
“Yes, but I go on duty at six o’clock tomorrow morning. I assume you’ll be getting ready for school at that hour.”
“I will, but I have half days all week since we are having third quarter exams.”
“Well I would definitely love to spend time with you, but I know you should be studying.”
“Yes sir, Mister Braden. Gosh, you sound just like my teachers.”
“I just want you to be successful so you might have a job with an easy schedule.”
Tabitha’s fear of rejection began to surface, but her desire to be honest with Cyrus outweighed it. So she said, “I’m disabled and I doubt I could get any good job, especially in this economy.” Tabitha paused and then continued “I only go to school because I still live with my parents and they want me to.”
“What’s your disability?” Cyrus asked.
Tabitha became more desperate and nervous as she said, “I’ll tell you, but I hope and pray you don’t leave me.”
“I won’t leave you. If anything, your writing has taught me that everyone deserves to be loved.”
She breathed a sigh of relief and then said, “Okay. I’ll tell you: I’m a schizophrenic. That’s why I had to take my medicine last night. Actually, I’m supposed to take it every night.”
“That doesn’t faze me at all,” Cyrus replied with assurance.
“You really mean that?” Tabitha asked with a mixture of happiness and desperation. She only hoped and prayed that Cyrus was being truthful.
He then continued, “Of course. There are lots of foamers I know with yours and similar disabilities.”
Puzzled, Tabitha asked, “What are foamers?”
“Oh, I’m sorry. Not everyone knows that term. A foamer is someone who likes trains but doesn’t actually work for the railroad.”
“Oh, okay. That’s cool I guess.”
“Many of them take heavy medications which sedate them. That, in turn, prevents them from getting any railroad job.”
“How come.” She asked with curiosity.
Cyrus answered, “Because, to work for the railroad you have to be awake and highly alert for shifts as long as twelve hours.”
“That makes sense, actually. Many times I fall asleep in class, because of my medicine. Other students mock me and accuse me of being drunk. In reality, though, I don’t drink at all.”
“Would you drink if you didn’t have to take medicine?”
“I don’t know. I would want to, but I’m way too afraid of the consequences.”
“You mean like getting injured or injuring someone else while behind the wheel?”
“No, I don’t drive. I meant like someone taking advantage of me while I was drunk.”
“Why can’t you drive?”
Tabitha became more nervous and her feeling of fear about rejection resurfaced again. Still, she knew it was best, to be honest; so she told him, “My doctors and my parents don’t want me to. It’s mostly because my medicine sedates me. God, Cyrus, I hope you don’t leave me because of that. I’m so afraid that you will.”
“I know we’re just starting our relationship, but rest assured that nothing in creation can make me leave you unless you cheated on me or something like that.”
Tabitha assured him, “I would never cheat on you, who else would want me. But, I hope you really mean what you said.”
“I remember from your writing how the main point you try to drive across is that everyone deserves to be loved. I definitely see this in the way your characters love each other. I want to love you like that and I only hope and pray that you will love me the same way.”
Her heart skipped a beat and she began to be filled with strong desires for him as she said, “You’re very sweet. Oh, if only I was alone with you right now.”
Cyrus replied to her. “I wouldn’t want to take advantage of you in a week moment.”
Hearing that made her want him even more, so she told him, “If you did, it wouldn’t be taking advantage of me. Instead, it would be something wonderful!”
Cyrus asked, “How would you know it would be wonderful? Have you been intimate with anyone else?”
“Never. What about you?”
“I’ve never been intimate with anyone either! Believe it or not, I’m a twenty-five-year-old virgin!”
Tabitha was then sure that she and Cyrus were meant to be and she said, “Then when or if we do become intimate, it will be very special for us!”
There was an awkward silence, but then Tabitha asked with a heavy heart, “Would you even want to be intimate with me?”
“I sure would! I was just thinking about how glad I am because I actually waited for the right one! All those guys taunting me through school and at work will be worth it!”
“People harass me about this too. Girls at my school constantly mock me. Only the nasty guys want to touch me, but I refuse them.”
“Just forget about them. I can also tell you this: If I’m ever able to pick you up from school, I’ll throw my arms around you and plant a huge kiss on your lips in front of everyone. I bet that would make everyone super jealous of you!”
Tabitha became filled with such a mixture of happiness and excitement as she asked, “You really would?”
“I would love you to do that, but I might get expelled if you. My school is very strict about PDA. I would then have to go to the public high school and get tormented even more about my weight.”
“Well, maybe we should just meet at the Landing Station depot then. How would you get a ride there, though?”
“I do have one friend that has a car, but I would have to convince her that you’re decent.”
“How could you do that? I would really like to meet you and shower you with affection!”
“I don’t know,” Tabitha said as she grew frustrated. She realized that she might have trouble being able to meet up with him.
But then Cyrus said, “I have an idea: Maybe you could show her all of our online conversations and my facebook profile. I have nothing to hide.”
Tabitha thought of all their online conversations and thought of one disturbing part, then said, “I remember you saying that the previous owner of your house was murdered. Did that happen in his house and why did that happen?”
“I can fully explain The previous owner of my house used to work at The Downtown Grocer. There was a deli cook who constantly harassed him. After he became a successful writer, he took his girlfriend to the park and proposed to her in front of everyone. She accepted. In an unfortunate twist of fate, that cook also happened to be in the park. She began to make trouble with him and his girlfriend. He warned that he would call the cops, so she pulled out a pistol and shot him dead. His girlfriend watched him die and then also died of a broken heart.”
Tabitha seemed relieved, but was still concerned as she asked, “So how did you get his house?”
“His parents sold it to me through the help of the engineer on the train I work. But they sold it for double the price.”
“That doesn’t seem fair.”
“Well, in all fairness, he had fixed it up after he became a successful writer.”
“That’s fine then; I guess,” Tabitha said.
“His writing style was very similar to yours. He also seemed to convey the same message that you do.”
“I wish I could be a writer, but I would have to make it big overnight or risk losing all of my medical coverage.”
“I think you could do it, but I fully realize that your health and medical needs come first.”
She felt very happy hearing this and told Cyrus, “Thanks for understanding. I wish my parents realized that.”
“Anytime. I see all the time what those foamers with medical conditions go through.”
Then came another awkward silence, until Cyrus said “You know I have all of his composition books, journals, and flash drive. Maybe we could read them together one day.”
“Sure, I guess.”
“Does it bother you to read the thoughts of a dead man?”
“Sort of, but I would like to see his work if he indeed wrote like me.”
With a slight anxiety, Tabitha changed the subject and asked Cyrus, “Now, if and when my friend decides to bring me to the train station, how will I know that you’ll be there?”
He replied, “Right before I go on duty, I can text you every morning whether or not my train has any work to do at Landing Station or not. But afterward, I have to turn my phone off. It’s a railroad mandate for me to do so. But, I’m sure I’ll have work in Landing Station at least one day this week. I know the economy is stagnant right now, but Landing Station still has some rail traffic.”
“Awesome, I can’t wait until then!”
“And if my train has to park in the siding for a few hours, we can hang out on the passenger platform. The only problem is that I won’t know that far in advance.”
Tabitha then said with sadness, “Hey my parents just got home. I have to go now.”
“All right, but please keep in touch with me.”
She felt bliss realizing that he wanted her and replied, “I will as much as I can.”
Tabitha hung up the phone. She realized that she was beginning to fall in love with Cyrus. With a big smile on her face, she went into the kitchen to help her parents unload the groceries.