Their plan was simple. She had to go to Denver to speak at a conference and he had planned a trip there to meet with some friends for some fly-fishing. They had never met face to face before, but they knew each other rather intimately. Their relationship had started nearly ten years before in an internet chat room. She had just found out that her husband would rather fuck the 19-year-old so-called lesbian babysitter and threw her out of their home. Heartbroken, distraught, homeless, and debating a divorce, she had sworn off men and relationships, and was trying to deal with the pain of her life in a fantasy world. He was dealing with stresses at his job, and even though his wife tried to be a loving and understanding woman, he found a greater release in the chat room, where he could be dark, strong, mean, or whatever he wanted to be.
The whole thing started randomly, she created a "risky" screen name that she knew would attract a certain type of men. His screen name wasn't sinister, but he had some ideas he wanted to explore. He had asked a few women before her if they were interested in a private role-playing chat, but when he pitched his idea, he received many rejections with strong uses of profanity, or just no reply. When he clicked on her name for the private chat, he expected nothing less than what he had gotten from the others. He was pleasantly surprised at what she agreed to, and had no issues with what she wouldn't do, even in the safe fantasy of role-playing (no rape.) He gave her a pseudo name and asked her to call him ANDERSON, his last name. She never questioned the name, and after an hour, they found that what the other was asking wasn't that unreasonable. They also found they enjoyed the games they were playing. Anderson knew he wasn't her only playmate, but he never questioned her about this. Over time, they grew more and more curious about each other.
One day, he logged on and she wasn't in her normal playful mood. Even though she was nothing more than a stranger on the other end of a keyboard, he had grown quite fond of her. After some probing, he learned that she was upset over the news that the soon to be ex-husband was going to be a father again, and they were still legally married. He shared stories with her about his first wife and instead of playing their game; they exchanged stories about their lives. It was then she told him her real name was Wendy, but she did like the pseudo-name he created for her. He admitted his last name was really Anderson, but since he hated his first name, he asked that she would call him Anderson. It took some time for him to tell her his first name, and upon reading it, she agreed to call him Anderson, never mentioning the first name again.
Their play would ebb and flow for a period, then taper off when she would find a serious relationship. It would pain him when she could cry on his shoulder about the bad relationships she'd gotten herself in, but he was always a gentleman, and let her dictate their relationship. At one point, she disappeared for over two years as she had gotten into what she thought was a loving relationship. She wanted to prove she was a good woman by ending all of her "cyberspace" friendships, as they were all sexual playmates for the most part. This loss hurt him the most, because she had become someone, he could share things with in a way he could with no one else, and not just sexually.
Then, one day, an e-mail appeared from a familiar looking address, with the words "I'm sorry" in the subject line. She apologized to him for being such a poor friend to him, begged him for forgiveness, and even said she would understand if he never wanted to hear from her again. She was even more surprised when he replied with "no apology necessary" and told her he wasn't angry, but knew if he were patient, she'd be back. She shared the horror of the verbal and physical abuse she underwent and how it started with the cutting her off from the e-mail friends, to denying her access to the Internet when she needed it for work, the constant accusations of infidelity, the isolation from her family and friends, and more. She admitted that she would stay late at work just to avoid going home, even though she worked in a dangerous area that could have resulted in serious harm to come to her.
The end finally came when she came home late from an important meeting. The meeting started on time, but due to circumstances beyond her control, things went long and the 90-minute meeting went four hours. The text messages started at the one-hour mark "WHEN R U COMING HOME?" and evolved into "WHO R U FUCKING?" When the meeting ended, Wendy came home to an empty apartment, and went to bed because she still had to go to work the next day. Somewhere between 1-2 am, she was woken up and seriously beaten for being out so late. This was the last straw. Knowing that she couldn't kick this person out, and fearing what might happen if the cops got involved, as they were so unhelpful in the past, she secretly found a new place to live and moved out. Luckily, for her, the landlord was greedy and she knew that by taking her name off the lease, the landlord would demand a new application, and since she was the only one who was gainfully employed, the apartment quickly became vacant.
Then, to Anderson's heartbreak and joy, Wendy did find the love of her life. A man who didn't care about how their relationship had started or that Anderson & Wendy e-mailed now. This new man saw Anderson as Wendy's friend and nothing more. Shortly after, Wendy got a "blanket" e-mail from Anderson's wife (using his e-mail) telling her (and his other friends) that he was ill and in the hospital. It was some time before her long distance friend was back, sending funny e-mails and such to her. Even though the "role-playing" element of their relationship had subsided, they still wrote messages and sent those funny and sometimes annoying jokes and stories that were forwarded too many times for their own good. This was the crux of their relationship for many years since he did not wish to interfere with her new marriage, and she didn't wish to upset his wife.
Then came the news she was invited to speak in Denver at the International Teachers Technology Conference, and he was to go fly-fishing with friends at the same time. Their plans went into motion quickly. They agreed to fly in on Friday, stay at a hotel with connecting rooms, spend Friday night through Monday morning together, and then go their separate ways. It seemed like a perfect plan. Their respective spouses knew of their trips, but not of their meeting each other. In booking the flight, she was able to arrange flying in on Thursday, instead of Friday, thus giving her time to recover from any jet lag she might suffer. He, on the other hand, booked the Thursday arrival as it was cheaper and even his wife couldn't argue with that logic. Neither told the other about the early arrival as they were each hoping to surprise the other.
Wendy arrived in Denver on Thursday mid-afternoon, and after collecting her luggage, she caught the free shuttle the hotel provided. She checked in, dropped off her things, then decided an early dinner because she missed lunch. She left the hotel in search of a reasonably priced restaurant. An hour later, Anderson arrived at the hotel and like Wendy, checked in. Once he put his things away, he went back to the front desk and asked to be notified when she arrived. To his surprise, he learned she was already there, but when they rang her room, she didn't answer. He told the clerk if she came back, to call his cell and send her to the bar.
He was enjoying a glass of red wine when his phone chirped, "Yes."
"She just arrived sir."
"Thank you," he said closing his cell phone.
A moment later, he saw her blonde curly hair that hung down her back, and her full figured body that matching the few pictures he had seen of her. She stepped up to the bar and waited for the bartender to return, looking around to see if she could spot him. Anderson motioned the waitress and she quickly came over and asked, "Yes sir?"
"The blonde at the bar," he said pointing at her. "Give her whatever she wants, and please, tell her it's on me."
"Right away sir," she said.
Quickly she walked to the blonde, and asked, "What can I get for you?"
"Can I get a strawberry margarita?" she asked.
"Yes ma'am," she said.
The waitress disappeared behind the bar and soon the bartender emerged and said, "I'm sorry, I needed to change the syrup on the soda tanks. One strawberry margarita, on the rocks or blended?"
"Blended," she said.
Anderson watched as she pulled out her wallet, keeping her back to him, unaware of his presence. The bartender handed her the drink and says, "It's already been paid for."
"By who?" she asked.
The waitress pointed at Anderson. Wendy turned around and saw Anderson in a small booth raise his wine glass at her in a toasting motion. Her face went from confused too happy as she walked to him and he rose to meet her. They hugged and giggled both asking, "When did you get here?"
The waitress quickly brought her the drink and walked away as Wendy sat down and said, "I can't believe you're here today."
"Cheaper flight, now what's your excuse?"
"Hoping to beat jet lag," she admitted, smiling.
Anderson raised his wine glass and said, "A toast then, to great minds who think alike."
.... There is more of this story ...