“If this is a dream, I hope I’m not having it alone;
and if this is really a dream, I rather not wake up.”
Chapter 1: Internet
Just like any other singles in his hometown, Lert spends his time indulging in those networking websites during his free time.
Lert, a cute looking chap in the beginning of his twenties is unexpectedly a shy guy though he has a wide circle of friends. He can be quiet or loud at times, somehow to the extreme.
This night, just like any other quiet nights, he sits in front of his laptop to laze around. He looks into his chat program – the windows messenger – but nothing interests him. Most of his friends seem to be out, or rather, busy with their own things, which they most probably find more useful than wasting time over the internet.
The sudden appearance of a new window indicating the arrival of a new mail lights up his night. The subject reads “Jill has sent you a message in Hi5”. He has no idea who is that but he gives no delay to log into the website.
“hi… how r u? this is jillian here. can u add me? email@example.com”
He reads the message from this girl with a sweet display picture. She has ten over others in her gallery, which he drools over. In some, she looks decently sexy; in some, she looks naughty and kiddy, while in some she looks extremely charismatic. She has lots of different poses, arching her body and her feminine sweeps his heart all over. Her long and beautiful legs make him start to appreciate fine legs.
Lert remembers her on the first sight of her photo, someone who has had added months ago as a friend in the website. All these while he has not chatted with her as in her profile she puts “in a relationship” in the status column.
So much for his happiness, Lert tries to figure out the babe’s words and assumes she wants him to add her in his MSN contact list. And so, he begins to wait.
On this beautiful evening of a tiring day, Lert finally receives a message in MSN from his beautiful girl – Jillian.
“who r u?”
“i thought you ask me to add you?”
“wah.. your pictures are so pretty”
Lert is smart with his words and he means every word he says. He is a man who does not deceive others, except for some white lies.
This evening, Lert seems to have captivated her heart. She is more than happy to ask for his number so as to shorten their distance. Lert has also been fascinated by this gorgeous girl. He fails to unleash his excitement beneath his most inner body that this moment he almost starts to hop around.
Jillian has not only given Lert a pleasant evening, but also brought his confident level to a peak. He suddenly becomes so quick-witted and this driven force has evolved him to a young adult, hereby he never shows childishness anymore.
Chapter 2: Hundreds Messages
On the same night, he receives the first message from her through SMS (short message service).
“wat r u doing?”
The short and simple message plumps his heart to the maximum and injects so much excitement that his head seems to be floating. This is the first time he feels like being in a heaven after so many years.
“How can this sweet lady be interested in me and taking so much initiative?” he questions and doubts himself because since he is born, no sweet girl has ever made him feel so special.
Lert never forgets to give her a reply in the midst of his drooling state. He is feeling better than ever, in fact, the greatest he has been for the past few years with the sudden increment in confidence, and he no longer hesitates in doing anything.
“I’m thinking of you”
That is his usual reply to anyone with the same question. He loves to be close to his friends, especially sweet ones that he has to sometimes sound a bit mushy. His true friends know well how crappy he can be.
He begins to praise her again for her gorgeous pictures and then he asks her if they can take pictures together in future, which she agrees immediately. He continues to tease her that they are going to pose kissing and hugging and she has no objection.
Lert knows more than anyone what white lies and empty promises are; he never takes every word too seriously. However, it can be a bad start afterall for his friendliness never keeps girls entertained for long; perhaps, maintaining a distance may be better.
He is never a love wizard or ice-candy of anyone, but this night, he seems to get back all the luck that he has been missing all these years, which is a big change in his life. They sound more like couples.
He never likes short messages but he cannot bear to stop replying her or even give her a cold feeling. For just three days, they exchange hundreds of messages.
Chapter 3: Hear You
Soon, he has to reflect to her on their usage of the short messages. He is being mesmerised once more by her understanding. Jillian, being a gentle girl, so kind and charming, is never expecting much from him.
Lert has to be sensible – he knows well this enjoyment should not go with the big expense when he is not in a well-to-do family. However, he gains more instead from this, as they begin to chat on the phone.
To him, the best way of communication is through face to face; next is on the phone; follow by internet and lastly, sending of short messages. He has certainly made a big progress.
The heart-warming, sweet but childish tone has given him a big shock; her voice is more than pleasing to the ears.
She is different from girls of her age, pretending to throw tantrum and acts like a child. However, Lert does not like her to threaten to put down the phone whenever he teases her.
She sounds odd at times, and he is astonished to realise she works as a teacher for her character is too soft, which is vulnerable to being taken for granted.
She seems too pleased to chat with him over the phone; his humorous has given her great enjoyments and sensation. He is the man who can bring laughers to her and he is the man whose confidence is built up by her.
They behave mushier than ever, addressing each other like couples. However, each time she cannot keep the chat for long.
There are always improvements each day; they sound more intimately as the atmosphere is filled with love and excitement.
Chapter 4: Short Depart is a Long Torment
Jillian’s announcement to depart for Hong Kong for a week is the wall between them. Lert does not want her to go since he will be missing her a lot; besides, they have not even know each other for long and the time may cause a distance between them.
Though he has no rule over her decision with her family, at least he wishes to see her before she leaves. It is the weirdest thing on earth for her to say she is so busy that she cannot even meet him up for a while near her place.
He knows well anyone would never hesitate to fork out just a few minutes to see his or her lover. He is left in dilemma as he has to choose between believing or not when he knows promises are meant not to be kept. He can be so clever with his mind but not this time when he seems clueless to guess a girl’s mind; after all they have not even met up before and her real person is still an unknown. Since he cannot do anything about it, he just sits back and prays hard.
The only drive that keeps him motivated is her promise to celebrate his birthday together. This is going to be the best day he can ever have – if she keeps her promise.
Other than lonesome, what he fears most is her well-being.
Chapter 5: Priority
Jillian is back after a week. They soon get back to as intimate as before although at the first moment when she calls him, there is a little weirdness.
Lert is finally enjoying this little bliss again and of course her sweet voice. She is never near but of a weird distance he cannot seem to judge.
At this moment Lert has more to hope for – to meet her up. It is a long weekend, which stretches to beginning of the following week with the two consecutive festivals. He is more than confident that she will take this opportunity to see her prince charming.
But he can never understand girls more than this as his disappointment outrages everything. A sane and emotional person will do anything to see his or her partner, just like how enormous his urge is.
Jillian claims that she has promised her friend to help out in her work place such that even on the first day she comes back, she is tied down. As for the very next day, she has to attend her friend’s festival celebration. She is fully occupied throughout the whole week; basically she has reserved no space or time for him in her life.
This reflects badly on her feeling towards him; he is not better of a friend. Lert expects more and this time he never hesitates to voice out.
There is not much reasoning before Jillian starts to get emotional again. She behaves so weakly that the conversation has to come to an end soon. Like a child, she throws tantrum and put down the phone.
Lert stays calm but never too stable and tolerance. The cold war is due in a short while after she makes a call back to him.
There is no more quarrel or argument; no one rakes up the topic again and he can only wait for his birthday, which she promises to celebrate.
Chapter 6: Very Sick
A couple of days later, Jillian falls sick to fever and sore throat. Lert’s heart aches for her misery; he is worried as well since she has just recovered not long ago and has just returned from overseas.
Lert is more than happy to pay her a visit; he assumes every girl would want her man to be by her side and takes care of her when she is sick.
He is nevertheless one of the most wishful-thinking guys who even compares himself with others who neglect their girls or find it troublesome to be their guardian angels when they get weak.
This afternoon, she has no intention of letting him see her as usual, not even for a second. She gives him a feeling such that she does not wish her family to know about their relationship, or there are actually more to see at behind the scene.
At night, Lert receives another shock of his life – a SMS from Jillian’s phone claims that it is from her sibling.
“r u jillian’s fren? im her bro. e doc say her eyes r infected n need 2 go for operation but she refuse to go. can u help me persuade her?”
“So, the story becomes more interesting,” he tries to keep himself calm for a moment before he begins to feel stressed for it is the first time he faces such problem.
There are numerous exchanging of messages and he plans to talk to her about it on this coming Friday, which she has a date with him. He is so confident to do it face to face that he believes she will listen to him no matter what. But the sender says the operation must be done by that Saturday.
He is overwhelmed by lostness; he knows this year he is going to celebrate his birthday alone again.
Chapter 7: Operation
Lert’s worries for Jillian soon become frustration. He wants so much to go over to her house just to see her but she is never willing to fulfil his desire.
“my sis ask me to msg u her eyes now half can see half cnt see.she goin operation tml dun msg bk”
This night, he receives another SMS from her phone by the courtesy of her sibling again, saying that her condition has worsened and she has to go for operation the next day. There is nothing he can do but to sit back and wait for news.
The next day, Lert tries to contact her but nobody picks up the phone; he sends her messages too but there is no reply at all. His mind seems to be frozen by all the unhappiness and doubts, and he almost goes in despair.
It is during the evening he finally hears something – the usual beeping sound from his phone, indicating the arrival of a new message – “I help my sis msg u. her eye will nid long time to recover.dun nid to msg bk”
Finally, he is able to relax his brain a little. There is extremely lack of communication between the couple and he starts to get weary of anticipating what will happen next. He wishes he could care less.
“Isn’t this too dramatic?” The same question rounds up his mind over and over again.
He seems to be too shallow-minded to understand girls. Perhaps, he has a very different prospect from Jillian; he would want it dearly for his lover to keep him accompanied when he is sick.
“my sis jus reach hm n resting.she nt happi.do nt cal her.she wish u early happy birthday to u”
It is a depressing day for he has failed to hear her voice and it is just a few hours to their meeting date.
Chapter 8: Birthday
As the first hour of his birthday begins, Lert has so much to fantasize about; somehow he wishes that his sweetie might appear right at his door anytime.
This year, he receives fewer birthday greetings from his friends as everyone seems to have forgotten about him. The morning stretches longer than usual as he refuses to submit to his tiredness. He wanders his mind to the eternity, to insanity and even to the dark hollow room of his heart. Barely, he manages to tear down his illusion and dozes off before daylight.
“My sis say sorrie to un she say she wil not contact u happi birthday”
Hours later he finally receives news again, but they switch his silence on. He never understands what she means by will not contact him. He takes it that she is throwing tantrum again for whatsoever reason and finally ends his guessing. But he can never keep his calm upon receiving the next reply.
“He say he do nt hav bf so do nt try to lie okie.dun msg bk”
Lert begins his darkest nightmare. He seems to be strike by a dozen spears. The state of confusion and lostness freezes him, as he begins to cough forcefully. His heart aches and something keeps his chest stuffy. The last and only thing he can do is to try hard to catch his breathe.
Lert opens his eyes slowly, glancing across the few people surrounding him. His wrist hurts tremendously by the needle that leads to the drip. He seems to visual angels staring at him, his colleague, teachers, childhood-mates and also, strangers of different ages. He has lost his ability to differentiate between realities, dreams and fantasize.
This is the four hundredth day he has not stepped out of this bed. He has carved dozens and dozens of stories in his mind but none has a happy ending.
The doctors have constantly discussed over his discharge since they think his mind is the source to the illness, but each time his condition begins to get critical. He never means to recover and so he never will.
“Sometimes, believing might be a route to heart-breaking.”