Bernard Page 11
checking my email." - Better not mention Barry, she thought, why cause problems. And she didn't mention answering all those other emails before even opening his. - "but i'm here now. just send me a reply or IM me." Then she added a smiley, sent it, and waited.
     There was no answer to this either.
     She sat up till almost three in the morning, staring at her Inbox, refreshing it regularly, checking the Junk folder, her other folders, the Recycle bin, in case his reply had been sent to one of them by mistake. Was the new machine screwing with her email? She had never heard of such thing, but there was always a first time. She thought of calling Barry, but it was too late for that. She went to bed, feeling very uneasy, kept the computer on, and got up twice before her alarm clock buzzed to check the Inbox. Only two new spams had been received by the dawn.

     That was the last email Carmen ever received from TJX037X2. Every night for the next week she checked her email, then emailed him, but there was none from him, and there were no responses to hers. After two days of this, she cried for an hour, then pulled herself together and told herself it was temporary~he was busy; after all, he had a life besides Carmen, she just had to be patient. After all, he'd said he had something important he needed to discuss with her, he would get back to her when he had time.
     It took another week for her to realize that this was not going to happen; around midnight, after four hours of fruitless emailing and waiting, she realized that he was not going to communicate with her again. This was it. It was over.
     Carmen folded her arms over the top of her sleek new monitor, buried her face in her arms, and sobbed for an