/Whois - Chapter 22 - Epilogue
I suppose, except for a few loose ends to wrap up, we've pretty much arrived at the end of this story.
I never saw Jerry again, except for once...at a family funeral. His younger brother passed away suddenly from a cerebral hemorrhage. Jack had been a nice guy too. Jerry's parents were a bit hurt that after the divorce I no longer came to visit...but I didn't think it proper since he was now married to Missy and they were her family, not mine. His siblings nearly squished me to pieces at the funeral...and to be honest, I missed them just as much. But other than that...well it just goes to show you how very little we had in common since we've never bumped into each other accidentally once.
I've lost track of Kimbrr, although I believe she moved back to Toronto. The relationship between her and that guy in Australia didn't work out.
Kali and I are still close friends. We try to get together at least once a year. She still calls me Sno.
As for Otter...well, when enough time had gone by, I tracked him down at his place of work because I still wanted to know what he and Jerry had talked about on that one particular evening that I spied them together. My stomach was in knots, listening to the distant sound of the phone ringing halfway around the world...wondering if he would pick it up...wondering how he would react...
There was a silence and I could hear his breathing quicken...
"Yeah...hi. How are you?"
"I'm okay. Really...I am."
"Gone. We divorced several months ago."
I winced as I heard a string of rather colorful epithets in my ear.
"He promised me Sno...he promised me."
"What did he promise you Otter?"
"He said he loved you so much...but that...he promised me that if I went away he would make sure you'd be happy. He said he just wanted you to be happy."
"Are you happy?"
"Oddly enough Otter...I am. I really am. You?"
"Yeah...I think so. The kids are growing so fast Sno...so fast. I'm pretty sure my daughter is going to be a black belt...she's a killer!"
I had to smile at that...trying to imagine a five year old assassin.
"It was so hard at first, y'know...I wanted to call you...I wanted to call you so badly. But I promised Jerry I wouldn't...that I'd give the two of you time to sort it out."
"It's okay Otter...you couldn't possibly have known."
His laugh was harsh...a sound I'd never heard before...a combination of disappointment and disillusionment.
"Sno...it wasn't REAL..okay...it couldn't have been real."
I didn't know how to respond to that...it hurt too much to hear those words come from his mouth.
"It wasn't real...Sno...was it?"
I swiped the tears from my eyes and took a deep breath. Damn, but I loved him so much. I loved him so much there was really only one thing I could do. I let go.
"No Otter, you are right...it wasn't real."
There was no mistaking the exhalation of relief on the other end of the line.
I haven't spoken to Otter since that day...although I think of him often.
There were men that came after Otter...in both IRC and in real life. Some knew about Otter and tried desperately to fill his shoes by being pseudo-Otters. It didn't work...and I only thought less of them for even trying.
I have this theory...it's a crazy one, but it makes me smile.
Once upon a time, God created a being and when He was done...He looked down upon it and smiled...briefly...very briefly. In horror, He threw His hands up...realizing that He could never unleash such a menace, no matter how amusing, upon His earth and so He sundered it...sending one half to one side of the planet and the other to a place as far away as He could get it from the other. One landed in Australia...the other in the United States. They were never supposed to find each other...not in this lifetime.
As luck would have it, man invented the internet with the help of Al Gore and through pure chance...or the Butterfly Effect, nobody really knows for sure...they stumbled upon each other in a chat room, both lured there by their naturally inquisitive nature and overactive imaginations. The northern half, being the brighter half, recognized the southern half immediately. While physically, it was impossible to become whole again...they found by joining their minds they could very nearly capture the complete essence of the being they once were. This accounts for a lot of the havoc they wrought during this together-but-not-quite-together time.
Fortunately, for the continuity of the planet and the safety of its inhabitants...they only destroyed a small portion of the world before realizing that God, in His infinite wisdom had been right after all.
As for spryte...well...she spent a bit more time terrorizing the IRC world, especially those of the male gender...before moving on. There were some issues of trust and anger to work out...and she worked them out with a vengeance on anyone that happened to piss her off. Internet chat can be great therapy if you go in there with the right attitude.
After a while though...she moved on to other things and new adventures. I don't think she's stopping anytime soon...