Firefox & the lonely girl.
He cleared his mailbox and logged out. He was blandly staring at his laptop screen, not sure what to do. He was frustrated. There was not much motivation left in him to do his work, or anything for that matter.
Just when he was about to shut down his laptop, an ad for a free chat room popped up. It said “JOIN FREE CHAT ROOM NOW” . He hesitated for a second and thinking that it would be a good way to kill time, entered the chat room.
He has never done this before, joining random chat rooms. He was in fact a little excited about doing this, and that surprised him.
“enter nickname: _______” the screen blinked.
Ok. Nickname. Hmm.
His mind went completely blank. He had no idea what he should type as his nickname. He looked around his room hoping some name in some paper would catch his eye. He looked at his browser window again and typed “firefox”
Firefox has joined the chat room.
He saw a list of names in the right corner of the window. The names were even weirder than his, ranging from “body builder” to “sexy b*tch” to “tinker bell” to “lord’s messenger”.
So many jobless people in this world. He thought, not realising he was one!
So what am i supposed to do now? Do i wait for someone to start chatting with me or how does this work? He waited for five minutes. No body approached him.
Maybe i should have entered a better nickname. He decided he should take the lead and start a chat with someone. He scrolled down the list of users in the chat room. There was one name which caught his attention – “LONELY GIRL” . He was quite intrigued by that name. He clicked that name and a window opened.
lonely girl: Hi!!
He was taken aback by such a spontaneous response. His heart was racing. He felt like the time when he had his first drink when he was 17.
Come on. It is not that big a deal. He convinced himself.
lonely girl: asl?
lonely girl: :O
lonely girl: r u new?!!
firefox: Yes. Is it that obvious?
lonely girl: lol yeah.. :P ASL = age – sex – location :)
No way i am giving away my details. But this is interesting. Hmm. Let me see.
firefox: 28 – M – Bangalore
lonely girl: cooool... 24 – F – Mumbai here :) :) :)
lonely girl: first things first... If you are looking for some weird “hot chat” stuff, i am not the
kind of gal ;)
firefox: Wo! I’m not that kind either.
lonely girl: lol :P OSM!! I just thought your name was very weird “fire”fox n all that :D so
what do u wanna talk about??? :) :)
firefox: anything. you tell me. What is the expansion of OSM?
lonely girl: lol :D its short for awesome ;) :)
firefox: I see.
lonely girl: duuuudee!! you sound so cold :-/
lonely girl: lol..i dunno.. Maybe its coz u don’t put too many dots after each sentence.. :D
firefox: do you come here often?
lonely girl: yup!! everyday.. I can sit here for hours n hours :P
firefox: Great. So what do you do?
lonely girl: for fun?
firefox: No. In life.
lonely girl: Oh lol :P I’m an architect :)
firefox: Wow! That’s great. I’m an architect too.
lonely girl: :O :O :O talk about coincidences!! lol
firefox: why do you keep using the word “lol” in every sentence?
lonely girl: :D LOL = Laughing Out Loud
firefox: so are you laughing out loud really whenever you type LOL?
lonely girl: lol. no..!! :D (but now i am!!)
He smiled. This was nice. He checked the time. It was 1:00AM. He had an early meeting the next day.
firefox: I better sleep. I have a meeting tomorrow. It was good talking to you.
lonely girl: same here dudee... :) wil u b here 2mrw?
He thought for a moment.
lonely girl: c ya then... G’nite! xo xo sleep tight... :D :D :) :)
firefox: Good night.
He fell on his bed thinking about the lonely girl. His thoughts immediately switched to the meeting tomorrow. He fell asleep.
It was 9:30 by the time he reached home the next day. He quickly freshened himself and had dinner which he had parcelled on the way.
He opened his laptop and he was in a hurry to sign in to the chat room. He scrolled down the names, once, twice , thrice. He couldn’t find the lonely girl. He was disappointed. He checked the time. It was 11:00PM.
Maybe she left.
He opened his mailbox and checked his mails, most of it was spam. He cleared them all and checked the time again. It was only 11:10PM. Just then a window popped.
lonely girl: yo!! :)
He was elated. It was as if a new energy was flowing through his body.
lonely girl: ‘sup?
lonely girl: lol :D WHAT IS UP? so funny to type the whole thing mann! :P
firefox: Oh. Nothing. How was ur day?
lonely girl: boring :-/ as usual... how was ur meeting thingy??
firefox: thingy? Meeting went fine.
lonely girl: lol ... coollll :D :P
firefox: How is architecture in Mumbai? Where do you work?
lonely girl: It is ok i guess. I work for some stupid company..dont even ask :-/
lonely girl: which company do you work for?
firefox: I kind of have my own office.
lonely girl: :O :O you dint get any job or what?!
firefox: I did work for sometime. Now I prefer designing buildings on my own.
lonely girl: ahh.. like that.. :P
firefox: you are funny.
lonely girl: lol. thnx :D but u r boring :-/ :P
firefox: Is that so?
lonely girl: Yeahhhh man!! you don’t even use smileys :-/ :P
firefox: I like it this way. Who is your favourite architect?
lonely girl: duudeee..im so sorry..but im damn sleepy..I gtg...ttyl..gn..sd... :D :) :)
firefox: OK.Good night.
After she logged out, he had to google “gtg” , “ttyl”, “gn..sd” to completely understand what she said.
Days passed. The firefox-lonely girl chat became a regular event. They talked about anything and everything. Movies, cricket, travel, etc. They did not chat for long hours though. It lasted for 30-45 minutes but every single day. It became a habit difficult to stop. This went on for two months. One of those days when they were in the middle of a conversation.
firefox: you know this is so weird.
lonely girl: what is? :O
firefox: we talk about so many things. wide range of topics. anything & everything.
lonely girl: yeahh..!! we totally rock :D whats so weird abt dat :O
firefox: It is weird because we are both architects but we have never discussed architecture!
lonely girl: lol
firefox: architecture is my passion. I just love designing spaces. And i’m so proud of being an
lonely girl: lol..me too :P
firefox: you have “LOL” now too?
lonely girl: became a habit..lol.. cant stop it :D
firefox: why don’t we talk about architecture today?
lonely girl: Reallllyy? I was thinking today was gonna be about food :-/ lol :P
lonely girl: jus kiddin.. ok shoot :D
firefox: Ando is my all time favourite architect. Who is yours?
lonely girl: Hafeez Contractor. Thats my guy :)
lonely girl: He is my sort of role model :) :) :)
firefox: Ok. Seriously. Who is your favourite architect?
lonely girl: Hafeez Contractor! duuuddee what are you saying? He is a member of the
Bombay Heritage Committee & New Delhi lutyens Bungalow zone review
committe!! don’t you think its OSM?? :O
firefox: seriously. What?
lonely girl: Ok... listen.. I’ve to make a confession.. I’m not an architect :-/
lonely girl: yes and im not 24 and im not from Mumbai :(
firefox: how old are you?
lonely girl: I’m 18 :|
firefox: Oh my god.
lonely girl: I’m so sorryy :( :(
firefox: I don’t know what to say.
lonely girl: I knowww... i feel so baddd :( :( im sorry for hurting you.. you were so true to
me..but i ditched you :(
firefox: Actually no. I too have a confession to make. I’m not 28 either. I’m much elder to
lonely girl: how much elder? :O
firefox: I’m 46. Married. Divorced.
lonely girl: w t f !!!
He googled “ WTF” and did not know what to reply.
lonely girl: you are like my dad!! I can’t believe ive been chatting with you.. x-(
firefox: So? You lied too.
lonely girl: Forget it dudee.. Internet is full of posers! You are such a creep. GUD BYE!
Before he could type anything, she logged out. He felt so angry and guilty at the same time. He shut down his laptop and went to bed. He could not sleep. He shut his eyes tightly and tried not to think about anything. He failed. He kept thinking about the lonely girl.
How can she cut me off like this? As is she was very honest.
He tried sleeping for half an hour. He got up again and opened his laptop and entered the chat room. He scrolled down the list of users. “body builder” was there as usual. She was not. He shut down his laptop and leaned back in his chair.
Entering this chat room was a big mistake, I am never coming back here again, After 2 hours of struggle , he fell asleep.
A month passed. He never logged into the chatroom after that night. It was very difficult initially. It was like skipping a meal of the day everyday. He kind of missed the lonely girl and their weird relationship. It was one part of the day when he poured his heart out not worrying about any consequences . He missed that. He missed her non-stop chatter. But life went on.
It was a Friday night. He declined his friends offer to go for a drink and went back home. He just wanted to be alone.
He opened his laptop, checked his mails asusual. He had a sudden instinct to visit the chat room again.He logged in.
Firefox has joined the chat room.
He decided that he would logout immediately if she was not there. He would not wait for her. But there she was. The lonely girl. Somehow his ego stopped him from starting the conversation.
Comeon. She is just a kid. He thought. A window popped up suddenly.
lonely girl: Hi.. how have you been?
firefox: Hi. been good. How about you?
lonely girl: yeah.. fine..
Think of something to say. Anything. He just kept staring at the screen for five minutes.
lonely girl: u there?
firefox: Yes. Was thinking what to type.
lonely girl: Listen. I’m really sorry about last time. I was very rude to u :( you have been my
good friend. I shouldnt hav done that to you. :(
firefox: That’s ok. We both are at fault. I am sorry too.
lonely girl: coooollll :) :) can we be frnz again?? what do u say we start all over again?? :) :)
firefox: alright. OK.
lonely girl: ASL? :D :P
firefox: 46-M-bangalore. What about you?
lonely girl: 18-F-chennai. :) :)
firefox: So what do you do?
lonely girl: I’m in my 1st year engineering course . I hate my college :( and you?
firefox: Hey. I lied only about the age part. Im still an architect running my own firm.
lonely girl: OSM! :P
firefox: Why did you say you were 24? and why an ‘ARCHITECT’? and how the hell do you
know about hafeez?
lonely girl: lol :D I just typed “architect in mumbai” in google and copy pasted few lines from
the wikipedia :D :P and yeahh i thought a 24 year girl in mumbai who is an
architect sounded so much cooler than a dumb 18 yr old college kid :-/
firefox: I know. being an architect IS cool.
lonely girl: lol..ok sir :P
firefox: Come on. Now you call me sir because you know i’m 46?
lonely girl: :D :D jus pulling ur leg
firefox: Can i ask you something?
lonely girl: Yeah?
firefox: It was actually very sweet of you to talk to me even after knowing that i am 46. You
are so full of energy. When i chat with you, i have these positive vibes in me and i feel
so much younger. Why is your name “lonely girl” ? as far as i know, a chatter box like
you can never be lonely!
There was no answer from her. For 3mins.. now 4.. 4:30.. He was getting tensed . He was worried that he asked something that he shouldn’t have.
firefox: are you there?
lonely girl: yea.. actually the kind of impression that you got about me – this person is not me. This person is who i want to be in my life. That is not what i am actually to the outside world. In this chatroom, i meet new people from different countries and culture and i know for sure that i wont meet them in my life. So i let out all my thoughts and the craving i have for living life to the fullest. In real life, i’m an introvert. People hardly know me. I have very few friends. Like in my class now, most of them dont even know my name. They dont even know i exist. I ve been used to all this ridicule and bullying.I can take it all. Im that weird kid in the class who nobody wants to talk to. Of course i dont want to be like this. But i cant help it. Who doesnt like attention and appreciation? Maybe its bcoz i dont look that great. If u r a girl, you either have to be super talented or super hot!! otherwise the world treats you like shit.
He was shocked. Though he knew her only “virtually” , it was like seeing a totally new person. He felt he needed to comfort her.
firefox: That is not true.
lonely girl: you are not a girl! you wont understand..I feel like shit when all these good looking girls in my class hang out together ignoring me. On the other hand, in this chat room i feel wanted. I feel good about it. That is why i come here everyday. Have you read sidney sheldon’s “tell me your dreams?” Im like that multiple personality creepy female. What a sad life i lead right?
firefox: Not as sad as me. A 46 yr old guy in a chat room. What’s worse than that?
lonely girl: lol
firefox: you know what is more important than being “ super talented” and “super hot”?
lonely girl: being “super rich” ? :P
firefox: comeon, No.
lonely girl: then?
firefox: being a “super human being”
lonely girl: oh comeonnn.. please dont tell me you are going to start that topic!! this is why i dont chat with old men x-( :D :P
firefox: Comeon now. Listen to me. I will help you make your life better. Let me please. I somehow feel like I owe this to you.
lonely girl: aww :) ok! i will listen to you
firefox: you dont always have to be wanted by everyone. you do not “grab” attention. you earn it. Be yourself lady! Have a pure heart, love for others and a smile in your face. That makes you the most beautiful person in this world. Love is such a beautiful thing. Only shallow people see beauty as just skin deep. you are much more than that! aren’t you? just an example, the other day i had ordered pizza and i was climbing upstairs with the box. I saw my security guy and out of an instinct gave off the box to him . He refused at first but later he was so happy that he was going to have something for dinner that he has never had before. That feeling you know was so wonderful. When you a see a person smile and you know that you are the reason behind it. Do you know that there is no other greater feeling than the feeling of making some one else happy? Trust me, just try it for few days. Your life will become more meaningful.
He pressed enter with a sigh of relief. He hoped she understood what he was trying to say.
lonely girl: wow.
lonely girl: noone has ever spoken to me like this before! Thanks :)
firefox: so will you try?
lonely girl: yeah sure. I feel good about myself already :) thanks a lot :) Can i ask you something?
lonely girl: are u sleepy :P
firefox: No. Is that what you wanted to ask really?
lonely girl: No. Jus making sure.. lol. you said you were divorced. May i know why? you dont have to..
firefox: No thats ok. We were classmates. fell in love and got married. We have a beautiful daughter. Things were fine. We are in the same profession. Ego clashes happened. Things became worse. We both decided it was best that we were apart. We parted in good terms.
lonely girl: what abt ur daughter?
firefox: She lives with her mom. I visit her during weekends.
lonely girl: How can you be divorced? you married the girl you loved! :(
firefox: Life. happens.
lonely girl: I’m sorry.
firefox: no. Don’t be. Oh. I did a lot of crazy things when i was with her. crazy college days. i was the lead guitarist in my college band. I used to write songs to impress her. I used to write love poems and stick it in the girls hostel notice board. I was infact suspended for that.
lonely girl: lol. you wer a romantic.. weren’t you? :P
firefox: Oh yes i was. We were madly in love. And the most craziest thing that i did was on our wedding day.
lonely girl: what did u do?!! :O
firefox: ours is a very conservative family. After a lot of struggle, our parents agreed to our wedding and on that day, when i tied the knot around her neck, I kissed her on the forehead in front of hundreds of people. They were stumped!
lonely girl: omg! you r crazyyyyy :D but that was really romantic :) :) :) even now no guy would dare to do that!
firefox: i know. I dont know what i was thinking. But i wanted that moment to be the most special moment of our lives.
lonely girl: do u miss her?
firefox: well. I have moved on. But of course her memories are still there. I’ve learnt to live with it.
lonely girl: do u still love her?
wow. nobody has ever asked me that before.
He thought for a long time. He closed his eyes and thought about his wife, the mother of his daughter, his love. It seemed like an eternity. He opened his eyes and felt like he was awakened from a long hibernation. He looked at the screen, the question still remained.
lonely girl: do u still love her?
He typed. He was shocked. He hasn’t asked that question to himself in years.
firefox: I’m off to sleep. It is 4:00 AM
lonely girl: thank you... i feel like a totally new person :) :)
firefox: me too :)
lonely girl: wowwww! your first smiley :) :)
firefox: haha. good night.
lonely girl: gn..sd..xo..xo..tc :) :)
He got up the next day feeling very different. It was Saturday and he was going to meet his daughter.He tok his cell phone and dialled . A lady answered on the other end.
there was a pause and then the lady spoke with a hesitation in her voice.
“uh.. is Divya’s mobile not working? I will drop her at your place in an hour”
“No. I wanted to talk to you”
“I love you”
There was silence. And then he heard her say:
She was crying.
Meanwhile, in chennai in some engineering college it was culturals day and everyone were gearing up for the final event , the rock concert. Jennifer was not feeling ok. She kept telling her friends that she was feeling very sick and uncomfortable.
“Just chill. Watch the concert. you’ll be fine”
“No. I think its the food i ate this afternoon.. and ..”
Nobody could hear her after that as the rock band entered the stage and all the students started whistling, screaming and hooting. The lights changed colours and there was smoke everywhere. It was too loud.
Jennifer’s head was spinning. She couldn’t take it anymore. She felt like puking. She closed her mouth and ran out of the auditorium.
She couldn’t control. She found a corner and threw up. She felt so exhausted and weak when suddenly a random girl offered her a bottle of water.She cleaned herself and drank the water.
The girl smiled and asked “how are you feeling now?”
“Much better .. thank you so much.. these guys wouldnt even listen to me.. rock show was more important” tears rolled down as she spoke.
“ thats ok. i heard you telling your friend, that is why i followed you up here to make sure you were ok.”
“that was so sweet of you... thanks a lot.. sorry i don’t even know your name? “
“Hi Radhika.. Im Jennifer from ECE dept.. which dept are you from?”
The girl smiled and walked away.