I’ve been having fun online, and he’s been entertaining most of the time. We’ve even shared an inside joke about coffee. Invariably, all our conversations had a reference to a French roast. He’s given me advice on stock trading and traveling. I’ve helped him find books for his recent trip to
I had to get out of Masha’s house for a minute to clear my head or maybe go home. But I couldn’t leave yet, we’ve just arrived after a funeral and I had no prepared explanation for my immediate departure to offer my friend or my mother. After a few minutes in the fresh air I went back inside and saw a gray haired woman introducing herself to my virtual friend.
She offered me her hand: “I’m Debbie, Masha’s cousin.”
“Elina, Masha’s friend.”
“Felix,”- he said extending his hand to me, “my wife’s family are distant relatives of Masha’s.” No sign of recognition in him, not even a promise or gleam in his eyes. Nothing.
When Debbie moved on to the next couple I stayed behind and smiled at him: “How was your trip to
“How did you know I went to
“Well, I guess, I knew too.”
“You did go to
“Did you, by any chance, take some books there?” I paused to let my words sink in.
“Elina!” His voice was full of disbelief, and his jaw dropped open. Still not recovered from the shock he asked me how I recognized him. I don’t think he believed me when I said by his voice. We were both amazed at the incredulity of the situation. It took him a few minutes to recover. I’m still not recovered.
Meanwhile, the food appeared on the table. My mother came out and found me all anxious and agitated. She new something was up, so I had to tell her. She laughed and wanted to see who he was. I was hungry, but couldn’t eat.
“Is there going to be any coffee?” I asked Felix. He promised me some.