Shana and Michael:
It all started last July. I was baby sitting my younger cousin Kristian while my aunt was out of town for the weekend. As it was getting late I put Kristian to bed and I began to watch TV... 
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She's From:   United States
He's From:     United States

Let me begin like this... I'm 14 years old. Sure, I'm still very young, and its understandable that you (the readers) would believe that this love is not true, but I assure you it is. I've never been sure of anything more in my life.
 

     
 

July 11th, 2002

It was just another day during summer vacation. I had found the internet to be a perfect time killer for those long, hot summer days and nights. If I wasn't out with friends, I'd be here. Games, message boards, chat rooms, and online friends - I had a ton of 'em. So many I often forgot who I was talking to. I admit I spent way too much time on it, talking to people I hardly knew.

As I sat through that seemingly average evening, my cousin invited me to a chat room he visited a lot. I had only been to it once or twice and didn't care for it much, but out of boredom, I agreed to go. I used the nickname "some weirdo" and really just messed around for a bit. It was all in good fun. 
 

 

 



 

   

 

 
 

After several minutes, however, a girl sent me a P2P. Asked a few questions... obviously we were both still unsure of each other, it was just some light chatting. Eventually she asked me for my AIM screen-name so I gave it to her and we chatted some more until maybe 8 PM. At the time, she wasn't too sure about me, so she lied about her name and how she looked, but she seemed to like me somewhat. I, on the other hand, thought she was great and all, but just another online friend.

Well that night she left to go babysit at her grandmothers and I hung around for a bit chatting... eventually went to sleep.

The next day we spoke again. We must have chatted all day! Getting to know each other more and more as the hours passed. The same happened the next day. She seemed really great.

So now we're on day 3. It was late, I was tired, but I still remember it like yesterday.
She finally told me her real name. It wasn't Aliyah (I sorta figured that) like she had said when we "met." Her real name was Gabrielle. What a perfect name, don't you think? After telling me this, she proceeded to tell me she wanted to sing me a song. The song she chose was "Come What May" from Moulin Rouge. It was amazing that she chose that song, because had it been any other song, I wouldn't have known the words. She sang it... and eventually I joined in, singing along with her. All text typed in, of course, but it had a meaning for both of us.

After we "sang" together, she told me she had this "weird feeling." and asked if I had it too. I didn't feel it, but I wanted to, and told her I did as well, partially out of shame for not feeling it. It was only a short time after that, however, that I began to feel the same way.

Shortly thereafter, my laptops battery died, and I left to go to sleep.

Days turned into weeks, and weeks into months, as we stayed constantly in touch. Calling each other day and night. Falling asleep at 5AM together on the phone... things I took advantage of, not realizing how much I really cared for her, even though I knew I loved her.

I continually kept having doubts, however. "How could this be real," I'd ask myself. It seemed impossible. Falling in love over the internet? Falling in love with someone you've never met? I started to feel pathetic and desperate, and I'd often go off on her about how this love couldn't be real. I didn't realize how it made her feel until now... (explanation on why will come later in this story) She really cared for me, and hearing me doubt our love really hurt her...

Not sure on the month now, but I left for Puerto Rico. It was late one night, and I was sitting on a loveseat near my grandmother in her living room when the call came. It was my mother. She was talking to my grandma. Apparently the phone bill had arrived for one of my phones (I bought another cell phone during our relationship, as the first one continuously cut off. The bill was $700, long distance. I was shocked and embarrassed. I decided it needed to end between us after that... upon my arrival back into New York, I found that the phone bill for the second phone had come. It was $300. $1000, total, both phones, if you haven't already done the math.

October 31st, 2002 (yeah, Halloween. Don't ask me... a lot of stuff happens between us on memorable days)

I spoke to her through her friend who was on the phone with her, online. I told her friend to tell her a lot of stuff. All Gabrielle could tell me in return was.. "why?" I can see her now... on the phone with her friend crying over my harsh words.

It ended that night. It would be the last time I spoke to her for a while. Her friend told me she shot herself, and I didn't take it seriously... I thought it was to make me feel bad. Boy, was I wrong.

A week after, I called her phone, and her step mother answer. I said hello and asked to speak to Gabrielle and she handed the phone to Gabrielle's father. Her father, politely though, told me not to call again. I shyly said "alright", wanted to say more, but not being able to find the courage, and he hung up without a goodbye. That began several months of severe depression. I was happy, fun, loud, and an overall happy guy in the day, but come night, I was a wreck. Listening to the most depressing music I could get my hands on and wishing I had another chance. I had nothing to remember her by because after Halloween night, I got rid of all her letters and deleted all the pictures she took of herself on her webcam. I had nothing but the thought of her voice and a blurry image of her face stored in my memory. Then finally, God answered my prayers.

January 1st, 2003

I was playing the Sims Online one evening. I had my AIM on, but with an away message. I played the Sims Online, and I suddenly grew bored, and shut the game off to check my messages and there it was... her screen name on the list of those who had instant messaged me. My heart began to beat fast and I panicked, thinking she might have gone.

I hurriedly sent her an IM. "Is it really you??", I asked. "Yea", she replied. It wasn't much of a reunion, but it was her. It was my chance to apologize. To tell her what I wanted to tell her all those nights ago when I called her house the last time. She then proceeded to ask me... "Do you still love me?". I replied sincerely telling her I did, and I needed to know if she did as well. She then told me... "Do you remember when I promised you I would love you forever?". I told her yes. She then told me, "I still do." I nearly cried upon reading what she had said. I told her "omg, you don't know how long I've been waiting to hear those words." I was sooo overjoyed to hear that she still cared for me as I cared for her.

That was the beginning, I received my second chance, just as I had asked God to give to me. It was a chance to change things around. A chance to not take advantage. A chance to savor every moment I got to speak to her on the phone, every second I got to speak to her online. That night I went on and on to her about how much I'd missed her. How I took advantage and didn't realize until now. How I knew how she felt when I had doubted our love, now. How much I knew I needed her.

I had to make sure she understood! But I can't! It's impossible! She's in North Carolina, I'm in New York City! How could I ever prove my love to her? I went on talking to her, furiously typing, putting every emotion I had into words. I was so scared of not being able to talk to her, so scared of her not forgiving, so scared I had ruined everything and lost her love, I just had to let it all out! Months and months of grieving over her finally relieved in one night! I actually cried, me, a man. I cried! The tears streamed down my eyes and into the pillow I laid on as I spoke to her through my laptop.

That's when I began to realize the pain of it all! This huge load on my back! This load which I'd be forced to carry for however long! Why! "Why," I asked God. Why this torture? Why have two people fall in love, and then hold them apart! She in NC, me in NY. It was a horrible thing. A torture unlike any torture possible. Something even physical torture could not compete with.

We both cried, and I eventually stopped... and let her call me. It was late though, and I wasn't supposed to be talking to her anymore. So I whispered.... just like the old days....

The nights we would spend lying in bed... whispering the sweetest things you'll ever here to each other as time passed us by... falling asleep on the phone together as if we were right there next to each other. There was a time when we had trouble saying "I love you." on the phone, but now it was something we couldn't stop. I love you was something we repeated all the time.

I loved her, she loved me! A perfect match, a match made in heaven, if you will. But why then? Why couldn't I hold her in my arms? Or kiss her? Or look her in the eyes and say "I love you, Gabrielle."

I swear to you, there's nothing more painful than this. This feeling of helplessness. Its like being tied down. So close, but oooh sooo far.

Well back to the story... yes. It was her, we were "together" again. But only for a short time. She was in Virginia with her Aunt and was leaving in two days. My Christmas vacation ended the day she left. She was gone and suddenly it was back into reality. For those two days I was in an emotional daze, but now... here I am. In school again. Friends giving high fives and hand shakes hello, talking about whatever there was to talk about. Tests, homework, getting up at 6 AM for school. It was all back. Nothing had changed! Nobody cared, or understood. No one had the capacity TO understand. They were all your average High Schoolers. Love was the last thing anybody wanted to talk about.

So that was it. January passed by in a flash, February, poof. Then March came. I looked through an old text file I had saved and found her birthday, coincidentally that same month. It was March 22nd. I took advantage of that, found out her address (she had been moving quite a lot) from her Aunt in Virginia, and planned to send her a birthday card. In the midst of writing the card, I received my first letter from her in almost half a year. In it, she told me her birthday was coming up... said she loved me. The usual things you would expect in a love letter, I suppose.

I never did send that birthday card though... shortly later, she had her friend in the new city she moved to, talk to me online. She'd tell me she loved me through her friend, but she never got to go to her friend's house to talk to me.

Shortly later, her friend told me what had happened. Gabrielle had had a boyfriend. Dustin was his name. He was her friend's (the one who spoke to me) older brother. Naturally, I was hurt. I felt like the "back up guy." Her friend did tell me that Dustin had already broken up with her, though. She said the first words outta Gabrielle's mouth were "At least I still have Mike." She also told me she had carved my name into her arm.

I was still hurt, but that wore away after a few hours... I couldn't stay mad at her, because I would have done the same thing given the chance. Go out with someone else, that is. Eventually she moved again, back to the town she used to live in.

Early June, 2003

She made some new friends in school, and went to one of their houses. This girl's name was Meagan. Meagan let her talk to me online. I was of course, really glad to speak to her.. but she told me something that night that made me a wreck for the week it would be before I spoke to her again. She told me she had sex with Dustin.

I basically took it as.. ok... so it was a spur of the moment kinda thing. It still hurt though. And every night I went to sleep, his name and her having sex with him was on my mind.. preventing me to sleep for at least an hour after getting into bed.

The next week I spoke to her again. She had come back to her friends house and we spoke all night. Eventually she told me she had sex with Dustin 8 times. That was a real low-blow. I was hurt for a long time, but I had no choice but to forgive her, because I loved her, and made a promise that I always would. Even if I hadn't promised her that, it was inevitable. I couldn't be happy without her.

Some nights after that, on her second week staying at her friend's house, she was really sad. She was crying hysterically. She asked if I could call her and I normally would have said no, but I didn't want to take advantage of the chance to hear her voice, so I did. We spoke for 3 hours. Crying together. Hearing her cry eventually just made me cry, and hearing me cry made her cry even more. We talking about doing something about the situation. She was crying, as was I, because she wanted me - just as I wanted her. Just the chance to hold her hand even, would have made me the happiest man alive. All we wanted was to be able to hold each other in each other's arms and never let go. It's been almost year, come next month on the 11th, and we still haven't been given the chance.

How could it be so hard, I asked her. Your really there, right there, in NC. And I'm really here, right here, in NY. With a single word, our parents could easily bring us together. With some effort and a huge sacrifice, we could even bring each other teacher, maybe. Even still, why can't things be easier??? Why can't we just have the chance to be together, even for 5 minutes?? We both knew that this relationship was tearing us apart, but there was nothing we could do about it. We were in love. This love, like any true love, was an inseparable bond between us. There was nothing either of us could do to escape its grasp.

After that night, a failed attempt at receiving permission from my mother to go see her, and 2 weeks of talking to her all day and night, she was gone once again. Forced to leave her friends house by her father. We left with a vague and un-emotional "goodbye." I wanted to say more. I wanted to beg her not go to, and tell her that I needed her! But I didn't. I kept it to myself. I didn't want to make her or I any more emotional that we needed to be at the time. So poof. The door shut next to her screen name, the text that was her screen name became italic and faded. She was gone again.

And that leads us to now. Our 1 year anniversary approaches and I haven't spoken to her since. How I wish I could, though.

So that's my story. I'm Mike, from Brooklyn, NY. 14 years old, and deeply in love with Gabrielle, from Roxboro, NC. 14 years old as well. I'd do anything to be with her, even for a minute. But unfortunately, I'll have to wait until I'm old enough to drive... or brave enough to run away to her.

And there you go. That's the way things are, take it or leave it. I'd be glad to speak to someone interested in my story at all. Someone sympathetic, or maybe even someone with an idea on how her and I could finally be together.

Thanks for your time, as I know this story is a long one. I hope you, whoever may be reading, do not take advantage of your loved one, as you're very lucky to have that special person right there by your side.

"Michael"