“How did it go with Mary?” David asked Sylvia when she walked into the downstairs break room of the townhouse where they lived and worked. He timed his morning coffee break to coincide with hers to find out details of her conversation with Mary. He rationalized the information was needed for his chat with Mary, which was due to start shortly.
“Honestly, David, I don’t know what you see in her.” Sylvia smirked and plucked a banana from the fruit bowl. Her eyes remained on David as she slowly peeled back the outer skin. “She’s just as mousy on the phone as she is in real life.”
David walked over to Sylvia. “I heard that you almost blew it, forgetting that you were supposed to be Brenda when she called.”
Sylvia stomped her foot. “Some people should keep their noses out of my business.”
“And you should keep your mind on the business at hand, not on the backside of the computer repair man.” David arched his brow, as Sylvia raised her hand as if to strike him. “Don’t be hasty, Sylvia.”
“You know what I think?” She barely paused to draw breath, much less wait for a reply. “I think you’re getting soft on dear, old Mary. It wouldn’t do to fall for the mark, especially not one with a potential payout like Mary. Wildcat wouldn’t like that at all.”
David gritted his teeth. “Don’t lecture me on my job. I know how to handle Mary. I’ll do my part, and you stick to yours.”
Sylvia’s hand flashed before his face with what was left of her banana. She smashed the fruit into the right side of his face and grinned. Banana goo slid from David’s cheek down his shirt and onto the floor with a plop.
He seized her wrists and twisted her hands behind her back. She gave a little shriek as he pushed her back into the refrigerator “You want to play rough? Because I can do rough.”
Her eyes glittered. “Anything to keep you on your game.” She shifted her body closer to him, her soft curves pressing into his hard lines. She moved again, bringing her face up closer to his. Her tongue darted out and licked his cheek where bits of banana still clung.
David surrendered to the warmth of her body and dipped his head for a kiss. All thoughts of Mary forgotten.
# # #
Mary sat back, staring at the blinking cursor. It wasn’t like David to miss their chat start time. She had been waiting half an hour for him to come online, surfing other websites to keep her mind off his delay. Her initial excitement over sharing what Brenda told her about raising funds for his missions work faded first into concern, then confusion. She had some ideas on how to help him and wanted to talk about it, but his silence disturbed her. A ping alerted her that he had at last entered their chat.
David: Mary? I’m so sorry. Got tied up with a work project and couldn’t get away until now. Forgive me?????
Mary: Of course.
David: Thank you. J Did you speak with Brenda?
Mary: Yes, she was very helpful.
David: I know she can be a bit rough around the edges, but she does have a good heart.
Mary: If you say so. But she did have some very helpful information for me.
David: In what way? I mean, I must admit to being a bit ignorant about how all this works. Bringing Christ to Latin America did have a training session on fund-raising, but I wasn’t sure if that differed from a non-missionary help.
Mary: She’s sending me brochures and other literature to help me talk with area churches about sponsoring you. But my efforts might not be enough in the short time you have.
David: Anything you can do will help. I’m sure God will provide the money somehow.
Mary: You’re right. I wish I had more faith.
David: If need be, I’ll have enough faith for the two of us.
Mary: I’m sorry, David, but I have to go to work now.
David: One of these days, you’ll have to tell me exactly what you do. Although it does add a mysterious element to you, which is rather intriguing.
Mary: In that case, I might not ever tell you.
David: Even if you told me, I’d still want to chat with you. You are the air that I breathe and the song that I sing.
Mary: Now I’m blushing, even if you’re stealing song lyrics.
David: It’s true. Getting to know you over these past months has been heaven on earth.
Mary: Blushing. Again. J
David: May I ask you something?
Mary’s heart pounded so loudly she was sure David could hear it over the Internet connection. It couldn’t be about marriage. If it was, she had no idea how to respond. She shook her head. Don’t get ahead of yourself. It’s probably what your favorite color is.
Mary: Go ahead.
David: Would you consider being exclusive with me online? I mean, as far as chatting with other men.
Mary held her breath as the icon indicated David was still typing.
David: I know I have no right to ask, given my upcoming departure to Peru, but I’d really like it if you said yes. Before you answer, I want you to know you’d be the only woman I’d chat with online. I love that I can be myself and you still like me… warts and all. It’s as though our souls are in harmony. Now I’m blushing. J
Mary swallowed. Going steady in cyberspace wasn’t quite as exciting as in real life, but it was a step in the right direction. She suddenly wondered what Jared would say to this proposition. He’d probably diagnose her with some mental disorder and tell her to seek treatment in the real world. She decided to ignore that thought and revel in the fact that a gorgeous man wanted to correspond only with her.
Mary: Yes, I would be honored to be your cyber girlfriend.
David: You have made me very happy. J J I can’t stop grinning like a madman.
Mary: Me either. J But I’m afraid I have to work now. Talk to you tomorrow.
Mary signed off and stared at the blank screen. She needed to prepare for her radio show, but all she wanted to do was savor this feeling of happiness. For once, she wouldn’t mind playing a bunch of sappy love songs.
Disclaimer: This is a work of fiction. Phantom Love is copyrighted and cannot be used in any form without permission from Sarah Hamaker.