you snagged me with your words,
tugging at my soul
which weaved with yours
as if it knew
no other home.
The website was called GaiaOnline. You could make your own avatars and earn gold to buy items to dress up how you pleased. It was a sort of blogging/gaming platform. Not a dating website in any respect, but that didn’t stop people from finding each other. I had been playing on Gaia for six years and discovered a forum called Dirty Little Secrets.
Dirty Little Secrets was intended for secrets and confessions, all of the things you couldn’t tell anyone else, a sort of therapeutic outlet. You could post them all in the forum, knowing the other users were reading them, relating and reposting because they knew what you felt. You weren’t allowed to talk to each other in the forum, though, but people found a way around it by rephrasing their words to sound like a secret.
There was one user who attracted attention like no other and the username he had was Clitoral Bleeding.
Doesn’t sound remotely pleasant. I even curled my lip up at the sight of it. What kind of username is that anyway? The user’s avatar was a white cat head with a green squid’s body. It was as if he wasn’t even trying to look decent or make sense. However, it was the signature of the post I was attracted to the most. It was the picture of a boy wearing large Sony headphones with RayBans on. He had thick black hair cut asymmetrical in scene style. A cute, small round nose and lush full lips.
The others fussed over him. Constantly calling him Warren. All I wanted to know was who the hell this guy was and what was so great about him.
I just wanted to know him.
I found myself watching his posts, keeping track of what he said. Blush colored my cheeks the day I saw him post, “I’m crushing on Im Drawing Blanks.”
It was my username. He was crushing on me. But how? We never spoke before. I glanced at my own signature picture. My bright blonde hair and blue eyes peering out through a silver and gold masquerade mask.
And then, I received a notification that would become a symbol of pure joy: a little envelope icon stating I had received a private message.
The first words Warren ever said to me were, “I can’t believe how pretty you are!”
After that, we private messaged during every waking hour on Gaia, hearts beating with excitement when the notification would appear, filling with disappointment if it happened to be from anyone else.
He had me mesmerized with his beautiful poetics, speaking in a language I began to think only I understood, but he understood so perfectly well.
Clitoral Bleeding: “A dreamer’s words is a poet’s sonnet, let the moon shine on the pearls under your nose, lips can only hold on for so long. Keep a golden tongue and a flowing river, everything will turn into a sea of moments!”
Im Drawing Blanks: “I don’t even know what to say to that.”
Clitoral Bleeding: “Then smile on. :] ”
Im Drawing Blanks: “I will. I smile so much that I smile loudly.”
Clitoral Bleeding: “We’ll float along nicely then :] ”
The more we talked the more I needed him, had to have him. It was an indescribable urge to have Warren in my life and to keep him as mine. My core that usually felt so heavy, but somehow empty suddenly yearned for his being, for him to fill the spaces within my soul.
When we exchanged cellphone numbers and began texting, we soon started talking on the phone, allowing the receiver to be our connection. He was one state away. I was in Texas. He was in New Mexico.
So close, but not close enough.
Our voices and our words were all we had to hold onto.
I knew the moment I realized I loved him. I had yet to meet him physically, but I loved him nonetheless. Each night when we would say goodnight, I would almost slip and say those three words. I didn’t have to think about it. They were clinging to the tip of my tongue, ready to be verbalized.
I told him, “There is something I want to tell you, but I can’t say it yet.”
He responded, “I know. I want to say it, too, but we will save that for when we meet.”
For the first time, I was requited in my fervent love. No one had ever felt in the same intense wavelength as I did. I always worried about scaring a guy off because of how serious I became, because of how I wanted the relationship to actually last. Once I had gone to the lengths of pretending I didn’t like a guy in hopes of keeping him around long enough so he would fall for me.
He never did. None of them ever really did.
And here was Warren, willing to give me his soul as I was willing to give him mine, somehow knowing he was supposed to be with me and was entirely unafraid.