|The November rain fell in the cobbled streets of the village outside Columbus, Ohio. The pedestrians walking down the village streets lined with parked cars was almost a sight that could have been in a Renoir painting…the reflection of light off the black streetlights shining on the brick street, the neon lit sign for the restaurant casting a greenish hue on the driveway into the German bistro. The wind occasionally blew a gusty reminder that winter was on its way from the Northern Arctic areas, bringing weather fronts with it.
The computer screen in the front office of the brick house were the only indicators of a modernized household…the rest of the house had been carefully preserved to keep the quaint late 1800’s charm. The wrought iron front railing had been draped with an evergreen wreath that brought a traditional yuletide appearance to the home. The man inside had an intent look on his face as he hurriedly typed at the keyboard, not hearing the grandfather clock striking seven.
The revelry of carolers in the streets passing by the front of the house could be distantly heard, even though the old houses in the area were notorious for the windows leaking air and weather if the wind blew just right. This house had been weatherized and remodeled for that very purpose…the interior was nearly soundproof. The walls lined with a heavy concrete imbued drywall, had served their purpose well. The computer was greenish blue as the computer screen lit up the darkening front office area. The shadows on the outside sidewalks were lengthening.
The phone rang at approximately seven o’clock, at almost the exact same time the grandfather clock sounded inside. It was obviously a signal to the man at the keyboard, as he smiled at the familiar female voice at the other end when he answered. She was obviously not happy at the late hour, as he had made plans to be at her apartment on the North end of town for a home cooked meal. He chuckled, as he reread the text he had just typed, realizing that there were a few typos. He quietly hit the spellcheck function button, and thanked the stars that the office software did just about everything for him. He was pushing a deadline, and being a freelance writer, didn’t have the luxury of picking the cream of the heap for writing assignments. She would have to wait a half hour until he could get this to his editor….via email. Most writers that had grown up in the area from the 1980’s had had to use the old IBM typewriters at the office, and then got paid by the word. Now, the newspaper allowed submissions from their regular freelancers via email. It was much quieter, quicker and efficient. If there were corrections from the editor’s point of view, there was always a quick turn around, he would have to check his email for this evening’s updates to see if he had any modifications he had to make. He finished the work on the computer, then hit the <Enter> button and drug the mouse over the <Send> button on the screen. It was done, he quickly jumped up, grabbed his fedora and his overcoat hanging from the coat stand in the corner, and slipped out of the back door to the waiting Mercedes. It was almost 7:45 pm before he got to her house…and he could tell the argument was coming…she was standing in the doorway with her hands on her hips…not a good sign. Chuckling to himself, he was reminded of a former teacher that he had had in the 8th grade that had similar antics…and somehow he had managed to pass her class with flying colors. He had always been an overachiever….and had excelled at his work, paying for college and law school with the money he had earned by being a constant contributor to the area publications around Ohio, and the Midwest. He had early on enjoyed the alternative views that people had on things l like religion and relationships, and he sometimes enjoyed the notoriety that it brought with him from the feedback. The letters had poured into the weekly magazine he had written for almost the minute he expressed a differing opinion to the conservative Midwestern audience he was exposed to in the publication. The majority of the letter writers were female, and their demographic was from a very diverse range of backgrounds….but he had hit a nerve that they were familiar with…..online dating.