Saturday, March 5, 2016
Tabitha Howell was checking the comments to her post on a regional Facebook group. 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 “Somewhat lovely but very inappropriate.” “Too trashy.” “Not believable.” “Someone has issues.” 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.
Cyrus Braeden came across the post containing a link to the love story that Tabitha wrote. Instantly, it caught his undivided attention. He thought it was beautiful, albeit a little graphic. He looked at the original poster’s profile and saw her name was Tabitha Howell and that her blog was known as TheThoughtsOfCuteCuddlyTabby. He figured she was someone who deeply desired to be loved. However, her age wasn’t listed on her profile. This made him hesitant to contact her in case she might be underage. The comments that other members made about her story made him want to stand up for her. He decided to comment on the story, just to give her hope and let her know that he appreciated her writing.
So he commented on her post “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 can 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.”
Cyrus then continued to look at the other posts on her blog and was deeply moved by her them. He was beginning to feel attracted to her, though he didn’t even know what she looked like. He didn’t send her a private message in case she could have been a minor.
Tabitha was about to log out and take a bath to wash away the stench of failure when she saw the new comment. She began to read it. Immediately Tabitha pulled up Cyrus’ profile page and gained a great deal of information about him. She learned that he was a twenty-five-year-old freight train conductor named Cyrus Braeden. At first, she seemed nervous since he was four years older than her and might only be interested in sex. She 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 do a Google search for his name but didn’t find anything substantial aside from what she read on his Facebook profile. This made her slightly suspicious, but she still wanted to know more about him. His profile displayed “Online Now.”
After wrestling in her head and heart about what to do, she decided to send him a direct message through Facebook, “Hi. I’m glad you enjoy my stories. No one else in the group does. I would like to know more about you, so could you please message me back.”
Suddenly a private message appeared in Cyrus’ inbox. It was from Tabitha Howell so he instantly opened it and read.
Carefully he selected the words for his reply, “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 23 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.”
Very quickly a new message from Tabitha appeared, “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 anyway, because of my weight.”
“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 very pretty.”
“Aww, thanks! You’re sweet.”
“Do you have any real pictures? I don’t see any on your Facebook profile”
“Yes. I’ll send you a few. Don’t be too grossed out.”
Tabitha then DMed Cyrus a few of her recently taken selfies.
He looked at them thoroughly and soon was extremely attracted to her and carefully selected the words for another message to send to her, “You are very beautiful. Even though you may disagree, I think your weight compliments your appearance. 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!”
Instantly Tabitha replied “You’re so kind to tell me that. You’re very cute too. There must be some lucky girl in your life.”
Cyrus knew it was time, to open up, so he typed “Nope. There isn’t. We 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.”
He had deeply hoped that she would somehow put up with his hectic schedule if he would just have the chance to shower her with affection and attention. He knew that he should contact her through other mediums besides the writing forum. So he asked her, “Would it be all right if I friend request you?”
“Sure. As if you had to ask.”
“Awesome. I’ll request you.”
“And I’ll confirm that request!”
After Tabitha confirmed his friend request she told him, “You’re not that far away from me.”
Cyrus was shocked but even more attracted. He realized this might be able to work. So he replied, “Wow that’s good news. You don’t have your current location listed 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.”
“Sometimes we park on the siding track there and let higher priority trains pass us.”
Cyrus now wanted to meet her but also thought of her with great reverence. Carefully he typed a message to her “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.”
He wrote “Maybe one day, you could come to the passenger depot in Landing Station and visit me while my train parked on 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.”
Saying the words “railroad cop” made Cyrus realize that Tabitha might not be some cute nineteen-year-old young lady, but an imposter. He wanted to meet her but was beginning to feel leery that she might not be who she says she is. He then remembered her beautiful stories and his ongoing loneliness and put the thoughts out of his mind and type another message.
“So is that a yes or a no.”
“Yes, one day.”
“Could you tell me more about yourself, before we meet?”
Tabitha replied “Well you know I am 19. I’m still in high school because I had to take a year off for medical reasons. I’m disabled but my parents want me to finish high school and I still live with them. They can be overprotective. I attend a very strict Catholic school. I wouldn’t go to the public school because everyone would torment me about my weight.”
He realized she was extremely sensitive about her weight, so he decided to tell her “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 on the outskirts of Blues City. 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 only eighty grand, which is a steal considering it is located in Blues City. 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.”
“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.”
“Are you talking about you and me?”
Cyrus’ heart skipped a beat. The young lady he had been desiring also wanted him. However, he knew of the plethora of failed relationships that seemed to plague most railroaders. He typed, “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.”
Tabitha replied, “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 sent another message “Do you even want me?”
Carefully Cyrus replied, “Yes. I do want you. You’re very beautiful, body, heart, and, soul and you write those amazing stories! 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!”
Cyrus’ heart eased. He had admired this young lady and then desired her, and now she made an advance at him and he accepted her. Everything was beginning to feel complete.
Boldly he asked her, “Could I give you my phone number?”
“Sure. Would you like mine as well?”
They quickly exchanged their phone numbers.
Tabitha texted Cyrus, “I don’t want my parents to hear me talking to you and freak out. They are very protective.”
He then replied, “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 my intentions are pure, 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 blogging and talking to you all night.”
Out of concern for Tabitha, Cyrus said, “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.”
Cyrus thought of all his foamer friends who took medication and how it disqualified them from obtaining railroad jobs for those very reasons. Still, he knew what some of those foamers were like without medication and sent Tabitha another message.
“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. 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. Now let me go take my medicine.”
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.
“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 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’re not overstepping any boundary. If anything, I so 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.”
Tabitha went to bed feeling happier than he had been in a long time as did Cyrus.
Sweeter Phone Conversation