HOLIDAY INTERNET ROMANCE NOVEL
After recovering from her initial surprise, Sara curiously began reading through her e-mails, one by one. Clearly, this charming “Ollie” not only read each item in her portfolio, he sent a thoughtful, detailed review praising every single thing she’d written. His reviews were friendly and even humorous at times. Then there were the gift points – He thoughtfully sent her more than 30,000 of those, some with every review.
It was also evident that Ollie was a “he,” from the tenor and tone of many of his self-deprecating remarks, offering his opinion as just one man’s point of view. Obviously, he lingered in her portfolio for more than a couple of hours, carefully reading her work in order to write such comprehensive and painstakingly thorough reviews.
Sara was more than a little curious, so she decided to visit Ollie’s portfolio to check him out a little before responding to his emails and to return the favor. After reading a bit of Ollie’s work, she was even more intrigued. His romantic poetry took her breath away. His opinion pieces were concise and well-crafted - very much like the reviews he sent her. What piqued her interest and puzzled her most, however, were his story outlines.
Ollie was clearly a very talented author, but Sara was struck by the feeling that he was holding something back with most of his work. This was in stark contrast to the reviews he sent her, where he held nothing back in his disarming style and effusive praise for her writing.
The man was clearly a mystery, but Sara hesitated as she tried to compose her own measured response. She felt so drawn to this writer named Ollie, and the feeling scared her to death – especially after her disastrous experience with Professor Miller. She trusted the man completely, only to discover that he was the worst sort of opportunistic womanizer. She wasn’t about to jump into a relationship on the Internet just because this writer was showing a little interest - that was certain.
“Be careful, Sara!” she scolded herself. She was so careful thus far on Writing.Com to keep to herself, sending almost all of her reviews anonymously. In addition, she set her account up so no one, other than staff, could readily IM her or tell whether or not she was on-line.
After a little deliberation, Sara opted for a simple thank you e-mail to express her gratitude instead of reviewing his work right away.
“I’ll write a review for him when I’m more awake,” She told herself, as she stretched and yawned. Then she concentrated on writing an appropriate response:
Thank you so much for all your kind and thoughtful reviews of my work. It means so much to me that you took time to go through my portfolio like this. Thank you for all the gift points too. That was so generous of you and I appreciate it very much. I plan to visit your portfolio and send you some reviews when I’m more awake.
Thanks again –
Ollie was just about to turn off his computer in frustration when he noticed the mail in his in-box on Writing.Com. Eagerly, he clicked on his e-mail and his heartbeat accelerated as he read her response.
After worrying that she would think he was a nutcase and wouldn’t answer at all, he was immediately grateful that she, in fact, replied to him so rapidly. And it proved to Oliver that this Sara possessed a kind heart to match her writing.
“So, she’s got it set for a private session,” he murmurred as he quickly checked the online Users List and re-read her email. Then he frowned slightly. He wasn’t quite ready to end this connection – or whatever it was between the two of them.
Maybe it was the lateness of the hour or his lack of sleep, but Oliver decided to throw caution to the wind and reply to her immediately with an honest confession about his state of mind.
I’m so relieved that you answered me. I’ve been worried that you would wonder what kind of lunatic would send so many reviews at once. It’s just that I felt so…..
Oliver hesitated, searching for the right word or phrase to describe what he was feeling without sounding like a moron, or worse yet a stalker. Running his hand through his hair he tapped on the keyboard, trying to come up with the right words. Unfortunately, to his horror, he somehow pressed the “send” icon.
“Oh crap!” he swore at his clumsiness and stupidity and prayed that she wasn’t still on-line to see what an imbecile she was really dealing with. Muttering a string of expletives, he realized now he really needed to do some explaining and write yet another email to Sara.
Continued in "Sara's Port, Ch. 5"