You: Hey
Stranger: Hello ☺
You: ASL?
Stranger: 29. Female. West End
You: No way!
Stranger: What?
You: I’m James. 28. Male. Commercial @ Broadway
Stranger: Interesting ☺. My name is Sam. I’ve gotta go to work but text me @ 604- 295-7222. Pin: 5xt67v
You: I most definitely will.

“James would you come downstairs and set the table for dinner,” my mother, Jill, yells from the bottom of the stairs.
“Yeah, just give me a minute, I’ve got to do something.”
As I am walking down the stairs I decide to BBM Sam. It seems less invasive then a text message and more opportunity for conversation.
“Put your phone away and lay out the place mats,” my mother commands.
She doesn’t like the fact that I’m always contactable and my friends can talk to me at any hour.
“As a man of your day said, the times they are a changing,” I reply.

“Not hungry?” My mother asks as I twirl my spaghetti aimlessly.
“It’s strange that you spend so much time talking on that phone and computer of yours but when it comes to the one time of the day when I see you, you have nothing to talk about.”
I leave the table without asking to be excused; I don’t need my mother to control who or how much I talk to people. These forms of communication were invented right? And therefore should be used.

“Give me your phone, until your finished studying for your math test,” my mother demands.
She believes that because she can’t multi task, it’s impossible for me to do so. “Too simulated,” she calls it. The only disadvantage to technology is it eats up time and before you know it, I’m saying goodnight to my friends on BBM and Facebook., finally letting my mind wander into a dream.

I wake up to the vibration of a new message from Sam saying, “Morning stud.” It’s comments like that, that make a Monday morning enjoyable. I wait until I get to school to text her back, the cool thing to do. With a blackberry at hand, it doesn’t matter where I am, I never feel restricted. My mom says the restrictions lie in personal interactions skills and how all my friends are merely virtual. She doesn’t understand that electronic conversations are just highlights of good conversation. There’s never an awkward pause or disgusted facial expressions, everything flows smoothly. With that in mind, I ask Sam what she’s doing this afternoon.

The recess bell rings and I’m the first one to leave the classroom. I catch a glance of Jason closing his locker. I pick up the pace.
“Jason, wait,” I yell from the other end of the hall.
He hears me and slowly leans back on his locker. Cool.
“You going to Kyle’s to play counterstrike this afternoon?” Jason asks.
“No. I’ve got better things to do.”
“Like, what?”
“I’ve got a date Jason, with a twenty eight year old“.
“Bull shit you do, what’s her name.”
A rush of confidence runs through my spine, like Heroine, without the STI’s.

Sam sends me a message asking for my last name. Is this a good idea? Could she find out my identity? I go onto to my Facebook Page.
Networks: Main High school ‘11
Shit. I scroll through my friends. High school students. Double shit. I can’t tell her my last name, she’ll look up my profile and realize I’m a fraud. The anxiety starts to kick in so I raise my hand and ask to go the washroom. As soon as I leave the room I start to run. I vigorously swing the washroom door open to get a glimpse of my face in the mirror. Too young. I look around the room. Every 28 year old has five o’clock shadow. But maybe she’ll enjoy the smooth peach fuzz. Plain white t-shirt and blue denim. Respectable. But I need something more. A leather jacket? Too cliché. I hear a vibration and see a new message from Sam asking if we’re still grabbing coffee. Yeah for sure, I reply. I start to feel sick.

“Stomach problems?” my teacher asks as I walk into the classroom. The room fills with laughter and I realize that I was in the washroom for thirty odd minutes. Red face. How embarrassing. “I was talking to a 28 year old girl!” I reassure them. The laughter grows and even the teacher buries her face in her book. Red face. After a few minutes the lunch bell rang and everyone runs wild into the halls.

“How did you meet this girl anyway?” Jason asked.
“I told you, Omegle…tell me you know what is… the chat room that links you up with a complete stranger.”
“That’s pretty weird dude. Sounds like some, Pedophile shit,” Jason responds. “Whatever man, while your having a stupid video game cock-fest, I’m going to be getting my mack on.”

It was 3:52. Sam said she would meet me at Starbucks at 4:00. Enough time to wait outside 7 eleven to give money to someone for a pack of smokes.
“Cheapest kind you can get,” I ask him. I get the pack “Canadian Classics.”
Is that really what my lungs are going to look like? Just put it in your mouth and light, I tell myself. I get a text from Sam asking where I am. Walking towards Starbucks, wearing blue jeans and a white t-shirt, cigarette in mouth, I respond. Deepen your voice I remind myself as I approach a girl that’s closer to my mom’s age then mine. But as I get closer I realize she looks young for her age. Phew!
“James, I know” she interrupts.
Keep the conversation steady.
“Sorry, I just got off work a couple minutes ago.” She stares at the cigarettes. “Working at the office is so stressful, so gotta resort to these.”
“Fair enough”, she responds. “Want to go inside?”

“Can I get-“
I browse the coffees, what the hell is a macchiato, sounds mature.
“A macchiato and-“
“I can pay for myself thanks,” Sam interrupts, again.
After she pays she starts to look at the side of my head.
“Do I have something on my face,” I ask while rubbing my face.
“No, you just have young bone structure”.
My palms begin to sweat.
“My mother drank during her pregnancy,” I lie. Phew!

Right as I grab my macchiato I hear someone call my name from behind. “James, what are you doing here? Who’s this girl your with? And why do you smell like cigarettes?”
Not cool. It is my mother and her boyfriend. My gut drops like a paratrooper jumping from a plane. My mouth becomes dry. Fight or flight. I don’t wait for an awkward silence before I am half way down the block, running home, to Facebook message Jason.