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Previous Challenge Entry (Level 3 – Advanced)
Topic: Cyber Communication (email, IM’s, etc) (11/04/10)

TITLE: Time for a Change
By Joyce Morse


The wrinkled hands trembled as they hovered over the computer mouse. She closed her eyes and held her breath. Click. The email was sent.

A small grin came to Cassie’s face now that the damage was done. Her granddaughter, Katie, had bought her first computer for her seventieth birthday and taught her the basics.

“You need to move into the twenty-first century, Grandma,” Katie had insisted. “Make some new friends so you won’t be lonely.”

How could she explain that she would always be lonely now that Grandpa was gone? She glanced back at the screen. The handsome face stared back at her from Friendz 4ever, the social network she had just joined. Glenn Harrison hadn’t changed much since high school. Though there were some sprinkles of gray in his dark hair, he still had the charming smile with the dimples that Cassie remembered. It would be exciting to meet up with him after all these years.

“You ready for dinner, Mom?” Cassie’s daughter, Madeline, popped her head in the room.

“Just a minute, dear.” Cassie minimized the screen.

“Okay. It’ll be on the table in five minute.”

“I’ll be there.” Cassie sighed. She was fine living alone but Madeline had insisted she move in with her after George had passed away. It was hard to adjust to the schedule that Madeline kept.

“Are you feeling okay?” Madeline asked, placing a piece of chocolate cake in front of Cassie after dinner.

“I’m fine. Why do you ask?” Cassie sliced off a bite with her fork and took a bite. She closed her eyes. “Mmm. Delicious. I do love your cooking.”

“Another benefit of living with us. But you were rather quiet through dinner.”

“I’m just a little tired.” She paused. “Maybe I’ll lay down for a bit after I finish this wonderful cake.” And check my email. She smiled at Madeline.

After making an inconspicuous escape, Cassie flipped on her laptop. Why was she so curious after all this time? She glanced in the mirror as she waited for the computer to boot up. Her blue-gray eyes sparkled and her cheeks were rosy in her pale white face. Could a memory of a high school sweetheart make her feel like a teenager again?

She clicked on her email and scanned the ads that populated her inbox. She really needed to get that spam filter Katie had told her about. There it was! At the bottom of her inbox was an email from a Glenn Harrison. Her breath caught in her throat and butterflies fluttered in her stomach. She clicked on the name.

“Cassie, I can’t believe you found me,” she read, “or that you found the internet.” She chuckled. “You were always more of an old-fashioned letter writer.” He knew her well. “I’m sorry to hear about George.” It was good to see that he was still compassionate like she remembered.

“Perhaps we could meet up sometime. Two old sweethearts, both single. Though mine is from a divorce. Three actually. LOL I’m afraid I’m not quite the man you remember. But we could have some fun anyway.” Cassie wrinkled her brows. She continued reading the email as he updated her on his life. The rock in her stomach grew heavier with each word. “It was great to hear from you and see that you haven’t changed from the sweet, naïve girl you used to be. Can’t wait to see you. Love always, Glenn.”

She closed the email and sighed. Perhaps some things were better left as memories. It was so easy to find people with the internet, but maybe easy wasn’t better. She hit delete and shut down her computer.

“Hey Mom, how was your nap?” Madeline’s face peered around the corner.

Cassie blinked the tears away and smiled at the daughter who reminded her so much of George. “I’m fine. But I’ve been thinking about moving back to the house.”

Madeline sat down next to her on the bed. “Now Mother, we’ve talked about this.”

Cassie patted Madeline’s hand. “You talked about it. I just went along with it. I know you mean well, but I realized that some things are better left alone. Change is good, but not all change. So, end of discussion, I’m going back home.” She walked over to the desk and closed the laptop. “And you can keep this for the kids. I prefer letter-writing and phone calls.”

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Member Comments
Member Date
Shann Hall-LochmannVanBennekom 11/13/10
I really liked where you went with this delightful story! You could have taken a couple of predictable paths but I'm glad you went in the direction you did. Great story and a wonderful cast of characters.
Edmond Ng 11/15/10
Nicely written piece and very interesting read. Although it may be time for a change, sometimes not changing may be better. No doubt cyber communication has its draw and advantages, but if it leads one the other way round, it is best not to get too deep into it. Great job on the story plot.
Shann Hall-LochmannVanBennekom 11/18/10
Congratulations for placing 12th in level 3!