Matters Of The Heart
“Fate, destiny, the power of prayers?” Pearl beamed a smile like a ray of sunshine at her older sister. “You never know what can happen with divine intervention, but I don’t believe in luck. If it’s going to work, it will take a higher power.”
Jasmine gazed at the blue heavens of Louisiana. “I’ve heard both good and bad about Internet romances, but there’s something about Bud that makes me think fate or destiny is at work. I can feel it in my heart. It’s meant to be.”
Pearl shook her finger in her sister’s face. “People meet all the time via the Internet, but you have to calm down and play it safe. Be careful. Many of my girlfriends aren’t blessed with their connections.”
Jasmine brushed her bangs out of her eyes. “Bud tells me he’s heard of many couples meeting on the Net, and they’ve ended up happily married.”
Pearl sighed. “Remember, that could be him telling you what he wants you to believe. Did you get his real name, or is Bud just his nick? Do you realize just how many Buds there are online?”
“I just gave him my nick, so I thought fair was fair.” Jasmine met her sister’s eyes.
“Well, you’d better find out a lot more about your mysterious Internet love before you get in over your head.” Pearl frowned. “I don’t want to see you end up like some of my friends.”
Jasmine smiled. “I plan to. He’s phoning me for the first time Sunday evening.”
Pearl opened her car door and jumped out. “Thanks for the ride to the grocery. I hope he turns out to be a real prince and not a toad. I know the Internet is the only way you’d ever meet anyone, since you don’t get out enough, but I’m leery of it after some of the stories I’ve heard.”
“I’ll be careful, little sis. It’s supposed to be the other way around. I’m supposed to be looking out for my younger sister, but you’re acting like an old mother hen over me.” Jasmine watched Pearl’s face.
“I want to meet your Internet love, if he ever decides to visit.”
“You’ll be the first to meet him. I promise.” Jasmine waved and backed out of the drive.
Can’t wait to get home and check my email. Meeting by chance. One little yellow beeping message was all it took, and Jasmine’s heart flip flopped with every beep. How sweet to wake up to email messages of “Good morning, darling.” Not a day went by without chatting, sending e-mails, and cards.
The phone rang Sunday evening, and Jasmine grabbed it on the first ring. When she heard Bud’s voice for the first time, her pulse raced, and her heart skipped beats. She loved his voice from the moment he said, “Can you believe how lucky we’ve been?”
His pleasant, deep voice continued. “Two lonely people meet via computer technology, and the world becomes a less lonely place for them. Though worlds apart, living in different states with over 700 miles between us, we connected over the computer and became friends.”
“Yes,” Jasmine said. “I’ll never forget hearing, “Uh Oh,” seeing the little yellow message beeping, and the name Bud appearing online. That’s how it all started. It’s so hard to believe I finally found someone I actually enjoy chatting with after all the jerks.”
“You need to be safe. I’m glad you’re careful.”
“You know, I can’t believe I’m chatting with you like I am. My little sister keeps warning me about Internet romances, and I’ve been hurt too many times to risk it again. Every time I give it all, my heart, my soul, my very being, the man rips my world apart, and I don’t want to go through that pain and heartache again. Yet, here I am, not being able to get enough of chatting with you.”
“Men can be hurt, too. I’ve seen a marriage come to an end. I don’t want to experience that pain and heartache again either. We both have children by our previous marriages. We’re both adults, and we know what we want. We know what we’re looking for in a partner this time. A partner for life is what I want.” Bud’s voice soothed her nerves.
“My children are all grown and gone, but you’ve got a six-year old daughter.” Do I dare to love again?
“I want a partner and helpmate in life, someone I can depend on.” Bud said.
“My sister is worried, and she wants to meet you. I promised her she’d be the first, if you ever make the ten-hour drive.”
“I can’t wait to meet you. I plan to see you next weekend, so make arrangements for your sister to check me out.” Bud’s tone reassured her.
Jasmine’s heart stood still. It’d been two weeks since they’d met by chance over the Net. “I’ll arrange things. I can’t wait to meet you either.” Her heart was in her throat. Meeting him in person makes me so nervous.
“We’ve been talking nearly all night long, but I feel like we’ve known each other for years.” Bud said.
“Your phone bill is gong to be sky high. We’ve talked for hours.”
“Don’t worry about it. You’re not paying.” Bud laughed.
Jasmine continued listening to Bud’s plans, but her heart flooded her mind with questions, even as his soothing voice convinced her to keep talking. “Being states apart is not the only way we’re worlds apart.” Do I dare to give this romance a fair chance? I’ve got a well-paying job, make my own way, and am my own woman, totally independent of any man. Can I dare to face the real world that stands in our way? My mirror doesn’t lie. They hung up, but questions gave Jasmine’s mind no rest. She had no answers.
Jasmine opened the door and found Bud standing on her front steps with a dozen red roses and a grin ear-to-ear.
“How’d you find me? I thought you’d have to call for directions, and I’d have to meet you somewhere.”
“Technology is amazing these days, so is the power of the Internet. I printed a map that took me from my door to yours.” He laughed, and his caramel-brown eyes
twinkled. “You should see the surprise and shock written all over your face. I guess I have to let your sister check me out. Are you ready?”
“No wonder my sister was worried.” Jasmine took the roses. “Come in a minute, and let me get these in some water. You’ve just given me my first dozen red roses.”
“That’s hard to believe.”
“It’s true.” Bud put her right at ease. He’d provided her with his real name, address, home and cell phone numbers, and he pulled out a Florida drivers license and showed her he was who he said he was.
“I’m from New York. Moved to Florida and been working there about 12 years. Love the mild winters. You’ll have to come visit me and see my home. I’ve got three bedrooms, and you’re welcome to that Florida vacation you’ve never had. I’ll show you all the theme parks.”
“Slow down.” Sparkling eyes met hers, and his entire face lit up.
Love lights and sparks. There’s truly a higher power at work in the scheme of things. Out of all the people I could have stumbled across over the Internet, Bud and I have discovered one another.
Perhaps it’s meant to be. I’m a grown woman with a mind of my own. I’m going to let this Internet romance have a fair chance. What do I have to lose? Only my heart, once again, but I won’t think that way. I’ll be positive and give Bud a fair chance. Something tells me he might be the one.
Bud took her hands in his and declared, “Call it fate, destiny, or whatever. I call it divine intervention and love. The man upstairs decided we should meet.”
B. J. Robinson lives in Florida with her husband, two dogs, and a cat. She is a graduate of the Christian Writers Guild and Long Ridge Writers Group and has authored four Christian inspirational romance novels. Visit her blog at http://barbarajrobinson.blogspot.com/.