VIRTUAL AFTERMATH

The café door blew open and she rode in on a gust.  “You’ll never guess what I did today!”

There’s no telling what Suzanne will do, so I played along.  “You joined the circus?”

She giggled and threw her purse onto the table.  I had to grab my latte to prevent it from capsizing.  “No, silly!  I broke up with Neil!”

“Who?”

“You remember him, Kimmy, don’t you?  He’s my virtual boyfriend.”

Apparently, she was still capable of surprise.  “You gotta be kidding me…”

She continued, oblivious to my response.  “Nope.  I told him flat out that it wasn’t working for me and that I didn’t want to see him anymore.”

“You told your imaginary boyfriend whom you’ve never seen that you no longer want to see him?”

I didn’t think it was possible, but she answered without a trace of guile.  “Yeah, he just wasn’t there for me…”

She waltzed up to the counter to place an order and I wondered if she had finally lost her marbles.  Suzanne is a formidable business woman and one of my dearest friends, but her romantic sensibilities are questionable at best.  I vaguely recalled a discussion of her latest paramour, but she didn’t refer to him by name; nor did she mention that he wasn’t quite real.  The mystery was almost starting to intrigue me. . .

. . . until she plopped into the seat opposite me and started a litany of his alleged offenses.  “You know, if I had known that he’d be so unreasonable, I would have never started up with him!  Did he think I’d carry the weight of all this by myself?”  She took a sip of espresso.  “And I thought I really knew him. . .”

I didn’t bother concealing a smirk.  “So, how did the two of you meet?”

“In Cannes,” she sighed.   “Remember when they sent me to cover the festival for that art rag that folded last month?   Well, we met in the press room one night and that was it. . .”

“You’ve never been to Cannes.”

“. . . at least I thought that was it until he turned into a complete absentee.”  She stirred her coffee thoughtfully for a moment before looking up suddenly.  “Kimmy, you don’t think he’s a player, do you?”

“Who, the invisible man?”

“I’m serious,” she said, indignant.  “What if I was just one of many?”

I patted her hand.  “If there were other women, I wouldn’t lose any sleep over it; they’re probably fictional as well.”

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