Rome@o + Ju1iet

Happy Monday, Ju1iet! Flitterchat has generated the following friendggestion for you.

User: Rome@o

Full Name: Romeo Florezzzz…friends call me Yo-Yo, Monster or whatever u like

Age: But a number brother

Location: currently LA, but you’ll see this change alot since no one stays in one place these days…

Occupation: Social media statistician by day, improv guitarist by night

Relationship Status: Single, looking for young female who loves drunken midnight conversations about existentialism. Must not object to tattoo of naked mermaid pole-dancing on right upper arm.

Bio: Long story short, the old me wasn’t working out. I mean, I worked out plenty at the gym, but my life wasn’t working out – no friends, no woman, shabby job… so I got a new life. Lovin every minute of getting paid to chat with fun peeps, living life like an open bottle of hard apple cider that’s just gotta flow like a waterfall wherever the adventure may lead, you know…? Peace.

I love his voice. I mean, I can’t hear him but the words roll like chocolate over my eyes as I read and I know it’s virgin chocolate that’s never been molded into squares. He might be – okay, he’s definitely out of my league, but he can’t see how young I am through the computer screen and a chat couldn’t hurt anything. And he’s online now.

Ju1iet

Hey. I really like your bio. I also live in LA.

The seconds before the reply are the worst, as cruel rejections type themselves out in my mind’s eye and flutter away to recoagulate as even worse rejections. Finally I get that sweet ding:

Rome@o

Thx. I like your profile pic. Most girls just put up a boring picture of their fine selves with lipstick and lace and all, but you’re all muddy at a beach clean-up working to help save the world and everything. That’s cool

Oh, yeah, my stupid profile picture! That one’s a few weeks old anyway; I should have changed it.

Ju1iet

Your profile pic is neat

Neat??? What is this, talk like the 1960s day?

Rome@o

Gotta go, beautiful – meeting for work about how to get users to chat about our sponsors…(eye roll) your smart. love to chat with you again sometime.

The melancholy beep confirms he has gone offline. But I just kinda wanna sit here and stare at those last words. Me, beautiful??? And he wants to chat with me again? My heart is like one of those unstable isotopes we learned about in Chem – wobbly, shaky, agitating in the air and impossible to keep it still long enough to analyze its composition, if it’s right or wrong. I’ll go play Princess Racing Spree with little Hermia to get my mind off this so I don’t think it out of existence…

Happy Tuesday, Ju1iet! You have 16 new messages.

Was no one studying last night?

12:01 am – Prosper0

Jewels, dude, why r u talking 2 that freak? You know Rome@o voted for Mackenzieduff for Flitterqueen of the year in 2011?

Geez – no one voted for Mackenzieduff; she had flipping lion carcasses on her wall! She also liked strawberry frappes, which are known to cause global warming. I check his Chattic and it’s true – in 2011 he did support duff! I’m sure he had a good reason… 

12:34 am – IsabellaB

This is your only warning – if you don’t erase Rome@o from your Chattic right away and unlike his profile picture I will unfriend you! I love you honey don’t get caught up with a shady guy like that – I don’t want to c u brainwashed!

Too late for that – my brain is drowning in a sea of pixels that swish together to form his perfect chiseled face. Mackenzieduff wasn’t that bad a candidate anyway, I guess… was she? I can’t remember.

2:00 am – Tybalt33spacecraftnacho

Get a life and don’t talk to strangers online, especially not strangers that follow HilaryApparel. Did you know all Hilary Apparel clothing is made in sweatshops?

2:09 am – Ceeeeelia12

Who do u think u r talking to guys that are like 100 years older than you? Do you think he would ever go out with someone who can’t get into the good clubs? He doesn’t love you for your smarts, baby, so watch the flip out!

Does he love me? If other people can see it than it must be a thing. And if this is love, then I don’t care if I lose all my other friends. I’ll marry my Rome@o and we’ll go live someplace far away from all the haters.

Trembling, I turn off my phone and try not to imagine being bombarded by stones as I breathe and get my stuff for school. I don’t care if I lose all my friends… that’s the mantra that echoes in my head to accompany the silent film of our silhouettes kissing in front of the sunset. Which hasn’t happened – yet.

Welcome back, Ju1iet! You have 1 chat request.

Heart is butterfly flying for first time over garden in sunshine and…

Rome@o

Hey beach bum. Wanna chat?

It is him. Well of course it’s him – who else would be caught dead interacting with me after last night? But it’s him. Why am I fixing my hair? Fingers shaking makes typing slower than usual but I am determined.

Ju1iet

You cost me all my Flitterchat friends. Got anything to say for yourself?

That was too mean. Don’t have the heart to delete it. If only I could erase it from his memory…

Rome@o

Yeah, sorry about that. But don’t worry – I’ll always be there for you. Most people are flakes, but every once in a while someone comes around that’s really…someone. Like if everyone else was all doves and bluebirds I’d be a phoenix. And that’s what I want to be for you.

Honey is bleeding from my heart; I’m dying.

Ju1iet

That’s so sweet! But I feel like I don’t know you.

What a strange thing to say. Of course I don’t know him… I didn’t know Prosper0 or Ceeeeelia12 either. All I know is he’s got a face like Apollo reincarnated as a Hispanic perfume model and he can tattoo constellations in my universe by typing into a chat box.

Ju1iet

I would love to get to know you better. One sec – I’m getting a Flitterchat dialogue – brb

What’s up, Ju1iet? You’ve been mentioned in a chat.

Tybalt33spacecraftnacho

She’s doing it again. Socializing with that weirdo. I always knew Ju1iet wasn’t worth the energy it takes to like her Snappix.

IsabellaB

I know, right?! I love her to death but I could just wring her little neck right now. Did you know the guy liked BagelHaus last week? It’s on his public profile.

Tybalt33spacecraftnacho

So are you gonna unfriend Ju1iet?

IsabellaB

Guess I’ll have to. Any replacement suggestions? I gotta keep my stats up.

My eyes are glued to the words on the screen of my phone. Maybe if I stare at them long enough, they’ll morph into other words that don’t bring tears to my eyes.

My phone is honking and bleeping to let me know I’ve been unfriended. Again. And again. I can’t look at the screen; I stop counting the bleeps that scream over one another like a choir of World War I amputees. Everyone is unfriending me. I feel like a whale surrounded by harpoons. Finally without looking I key in the Deathcode.

A gentle breeze ruffles my hair. The quad smells like pizza grease and sounds like wedding bells; friends giggling together. I feel like I’ve just surfaced after a foray to the bottom of the pool, like I can breathe for the first time.

I’m dead on Flitterchat.

The air flows in and out like rose petals. I will survive.

As I begin making my way to English class it occurs to me that I’d better let Rome@o know I’m actually still alive and available at 10 tonight. I’ll have to create a new Digibug account and low-key tip him off it’s me… what does he know about me that no one else would know…?

Someone shoves me in the hallway. Her hair is different but I think it’s Ceeeeelia12.

Happy Tuesday, Guest! Create an account or sign in to connect with Flitterfriends.

I put a lot of work into editing all those Snappix – now they’re history. Or, more accurately speaking, they’re  somewhere in the Internet beyond my control. They’ll come back to haunt me when I’m 80.

Your search for Ju1iet generated 1,123,543 results.

I scroll through the most recent chat bubbles containing my name. I just want to see if he’s mourning me or anything.

Prosper0

Did Ju1iet really commit suicide? Do you think it was because we cyberbullied her?

Aww.

IsabellaB

Shut up! Do you want to get investigated? They could arrest you or even ban you from Flitterchat! + it’s not our fault she had emotional issues.

Tybalt33spacecraftnacho

Ju1iet was a little disturbed but she was still a nice girl and I never intended to imply that she should kill herself. I was just teasing and she shouldn’t have been so over-sensitive.

Rome@o

Hi – I know how you guys feel about me but I think we can all unite for a moment in commiserating the loss of such a unique, talented and good-natured person as Ju1iet was. Does anyone know the gory details?

IsabellaB

What do you mean “how you guys feel about me?” I never said anything against you

Tybalt33spacecraftnacho

 

Last time Jewels was really down I saw her crying at the train station on 16th Street. I could totally see her throwing herself in front of a moving train rn – that would be very her, overdramatic and cliche.

The train is moving, it’s running over my thoughts before I have a chance to think them, and I don’t know how to stop this Internet death from flying off the rails. Hopefully Rome@o has more faith in me than the others do…

Rome@o

Guess I’m headed for the 16th Street station.

IsabellaB

Why?

Rome@o

Well isn’t it more romantic if it happens in the same place? That way the blood mixes together; it’s the closest I’ll ever get to seeing our unborn children grow up.

Fingers supercharged with words to stop him. Head spinning, a circus of laughing clowns, bloody cherry noses gushing in my dizzy eyes. I have to do something. But by the time I could trick the system into letting me make a comment as myself, it would be too late.

I’m running to the 16th Street station in my triceratops pajamas. I don’t see the red lights, I don’t hear the angry traffic, I probably wouldn’t even feel it if a car slammed into my legs and broke me in half because I am already broken. I broke the heart of the most worthwhile man in the world, I took my one chance at happiness in life and put it through the shredder. I’m not even worth the energy it takes to like my Snappix.

Mom’s lasagna and death and bile are swirling in my throat. I can barely see straight when I make it to the station. His profile picture is everywhere, marked by the scars of merciless trains, drenched in blood, smirking at me from the white windows. The empty echo of my stumbling footsteps is like a heart failing to beat in tempo.

Is it a hallucination? Suddenly all the smirking profile pictures have converged into one smirking face, on a head on a tall, muscular body in distressed jeans, leaning against the shuttered kiosk, a skateboard under his arm. When he sees me he straightens at once and steps eagerly towards me.

I totter in his general direction, overcome with the heavenly light pouring in the dirty window.

“Juliet?” His voice is just how I imagined it – pure chocolate trembling under the ice of an alpine spring, preparing to course into Switzerland to be made into a confection to feed the world, or just me.

I realize I have fallen into his arms. He’s not a hallucination, in fact he is very solid. I’m light as carbonated soda and too heavy to stand on my own two feet. He holds me, strokes my hair, saying “Everything’s gonna be all right.”

I blink until I can see into his eyes. Brown and gold like the heart of an autumn forest, with strangely geometric patterns in the irises. I summon the strength to speak: “I couldn’t have lived with myself, if you had really died on account of me.”

“That’s so romantic, sweetie.” He reaches out to brush a piece of hair out of my eyes.

Suddenly I feel a shock like a bee sting right next to my left eye. He draws his finger away – blue diamonds are glowing on his fingertip. A tidal wave of pain radiates across my temples. Since I’m now on the ground, I reach out for his ankles. “What’s going on?” I gasp. “You hurt me.”

“It does hurt at the beginning.” His voice falls flat in my ears as he kicks my hands away. “But you’ll thank me later, when you’re strong enough to hurt anyone you choose.”

“What are you talking about?” I yell over the clanging alarms in my head.

“Welcome to the Flitterchat team.”

“I think there’s been some sort of miscommunication – I didn’t apply for a job with Flitterchat -“

“Love chooses you, sweetie. It’s in the algorithms.” He holds out his hand; I reach up to take it so he can heave me to my feet. The pain is subsiding.

“I don’t understand.”

“You will when you get to work. Your first assignment, according to my records, is some dude named Tybalt33spacecraftnacho. Go spread the love.”

I love my job. All I do is chat with fun peeps. Friend me?

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