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142 Days Later #13: Getting Online

Updated on October 4, 2015

House Closing On Schedule

When Jack got home he knew he wouldn’t be getting to bed anytime soon, not with all the sweet tea he’d had at supper. Instead, he went into the bedroom he’d converted to a computer room and turned on the Hot Spot feature on his phone. Jack’s laptop found his phone’s WiFi connection without any problem and much more quickly than he expected to be, Jack was checking his e-mail.

Most of what was in his in-box he simply deleted since it was junk mail and advertisements. Meagan had forwarded him some jokes and one astute political cartoon she though her dad would appreciate.

The only item of real consequence was from Frieda, his realtor, reminding him that she’d be handling the closing on the Goldsboro house the next day and pursuant to the limited Power-of-Attorney he’d granted her, she’d act as his agent and take care of everything for him, including dropping the check off at the bank for deposit to his account. Jack sent Friedar a brief reply and thank you to let her know he’d gotten the message.

Wanda's Candid Yearbook Photo Voted Students' Favorite Teacher
Wanda's Candid Yearbook Photo Voted Students' Favorite Teacher | Source

Word From Wanda

The check would be for a sizable amount as he’d paid off the balance of the mortgage - which hadn’t been all that much as there’d only been a few years left on it when Cheryl died - with part of Cheryl’s life insurance settlement.

Jack had hoped there might be something from his attorney, who was also a friend and fellow parishioner, about the status of the lawsuit against the company tied to the truck that hit Cheryl but there was nothing. Jack had been satisfied that the trucking company itself had paid what he asked without contest. It was his attorneys idea to go after the company that owned the truck's cargo. Jack only agreed if his attorney pressed the case on his own dime and got paid only if he won. Sure he'd win, his attorney agreed.

Checking Facebook followed checking e-mail. He wasn’t surprised to see a message from Wanda.

Hi, Jack. Just thought I’d check in and see if you’re on-line yet. Hope you’re doing okay. Love, W

Jack stared at the message for a few moments, concentrating on the “Love, W.” Try as he might, he couldn’t recall Wanda ever having tagged any of her messages to him that way. The time stamp showed the message had been sent hours earlier while he was fishing. Jack glanced over at the Friends column to the right of the screen to see if Wanda was still on-line. There was no green light next to her name.

“I’d better message her back anyway,” Jack said to his computer screen. “If she gets up tomorrow and checks she’ll get bent out of shape if I don’t.”

Hey Dub-Dub. Just got on-line, finally, a few minutes ago. No phone, cable, or Internet here at the house yet except for my cell phone Hot Spot. Guess I’m doing okay. After lunch with folks, went fishing. Gonna look into getting cable or satellite at the house tomorrow. Have a good week. Jack

Jack looked his message over before hitting send. Looking back at her message he debated if just putting his name was enough. Tagging it “Love, Jack” didn’t see right to him so he left it just “Jack.”

He also felt a little funny not mentioning his pseudo-date with Corie. Why he thought telling Wanda about Corie would be a bad idea he wasn’t sure, but Jack knew it wasn’t a good idea so he decided to keep mum about it. Deciding the note was sufficient, Jack clicked on “Send.”

What's Wanda Not Saying

Jack's New Friend Earl
Jack's New Friend Earl | Source

Jack Hears From Meagan

The next message was from Meagan.

Dad, u on-line yet? Let me know when u r up and running. Luv U, Meg

Jack smiled and, after noting the green dot next to Meagan’s name on the friends list, typed his response.

You’re up late. Don’t you have work tomorrow?

Meagan’s reply came quickly.

Just about to shut down when I saw the green dot light up next to your name. Was typing you another message when your’s popped up. You doing okay?

Jack’s fingers lingered over the keyboard as he tried to decide if he should tell Meagan about his sort-of-a-date with Corie that ended with him walking her home. He decided to equivocate.

I’m doing well as can be expected I guess. Went to Mass with g-ma and g-pa then to their house for lunch. Fried chicken. U missed out. Bought a new fishing pole on way back here and went fishing on pier. Made a new friend.

It took Meagan a moment to answer. When she did, Jack laughed out loud.

Is she hot?

For a moment Jack considered telling Meagan about Corie but at the last second he chickened out.

He is a retired octogenarian named Earl. We met on the pier. He was fishing next to me. I gave him a spot I caught and we got to talking. Very interesting fellow.

Jack pictured Meagan’s mouth twisted into the frown she always affected when she thought he wasn’t telling her everything.

Sure, Dad, Earl. I’ve got to get going. Early meeting and I’m supposed to bring the bagels. Glad you’re doing okay. Love you.

Jack sent back, Love you, too, Baby Girl. G’nite.

Friend Requests and A Coffee Invite

After closing the message box, Jack noticed a “2” superimposed on the friend request icon on the upper left of his Facebook page. He clicked the icon to see who’d requested to be his friend. One of the requests wasn’t a surprise but he was glad to see it. The other one caught him off guard.

Seeing a friend request from Corie pleased Jack. He’d been thinking of searching for her and sending her one. Seeing a friend request from Georgia Carstairs was unexpected. They’d hardly gotten to know one another at Saint Mark’s and though Georgia said she’d like to get together for coffee or something sometime Jack hadn’t thought she seemed that interested.

“Obviously she was interested enough to see if I was on Facebook,” Jack told the computer.

He moved his cursor and clicked “Accept Friend Request” next to Georgia’s name. Then he did the same for Corie’s request. He was trying to decide if sending Corie a message would be too pushy when a message from Georgia popped up on his screen.

Hello, Jack. Thanks for accepting my friend request. Hope you don’t mind me sending this message. It’s just that I was going to be on Thatch's Island tomorrow morning visiting a client and thought, since I was going to be on the island, that we might have that cup of coffee. The Island Roastery has very good fresh roasted coffee. Let me know. Georgia C.

“Speaking of being a little pushy,” Jack said to the message on his screen. “Then again, it makes a certain amount of sense since she’s going to be out here anyway and we did say we’d try to meet sometime this week.”

That sounds good. What time do you want to meet?

It took Georgia so long to reply that Jack started to think she wasn’t going to.

My meeting is at 10. Would you be able to meet me at the coffee shop at 9?

“She’s giving herself a reason to have to get up and leave if things bog down or get awkward,” Jack said appreciatively. “That’s probably a good idea.”

9am at the Island Roastery. I’ll see you then.

Georgia replied with a smiley face and then the green light next to her picture and name, which had appeared on the list of Friends on the right side of the screen, went out. Jack noticed that Corie’s picture and name had also appeared, but there was no green dot next to it, either.

Jack spent a few minutes scrolling through the status posts of his Facebook friends but saw nothing earth shaking; a couple birthdays, a birth of someone’s niece, an engagement announcement of someone else’s granddaughter, and a cute picture of a puppy and a baby soliciting likes. With a sigh, Jack logged off and wondered why, other than the messages, he even bothered with Facebook.


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    • Larry Rankin profile image

      Larry Rankin 2 years ago from Oklahoma

      Always an interesting series.

    • DreamerMeg profile image

      DreamerMeg 2 years ago from Northern Ireland

      No sugar in my coffee, thanks :) I have come in in the middle of this story, must backtrack aways!