"Where have you been?" I heard Niall say and he sounded almost contrite. "You can't just disappear like that. I thought you were dead."
I smiled weakly and didn't know if I would be honest with him. Stupid me, I couldn't lie, so the truth came out.
Niall was silent for a second seconds.
I gulped and looked at the screen carefully.
"I haven't a great confidence Niall and when you started talking about that you wanted to see me, I panicked."
"I promise not to do it again!" he sounded honest. "It's just that you're so perfect and when you are perfect, you are beautiful, even if one doesn't look like a model."
I smiled and tried to sound like I always did. The truth was that I still felt uneasy and the last thing I wanted to do, was to scare him away,
"I haven't had a boyfriend yet." I whispered, "No guy having said that I'm pretty or that I'm perfect."
Niall laughed a little bit.
"They don't know who they miss?"
"Thanks, but you don't know who you're talking about."
He didn't give up. It was as if he had concocted a picture of someone perfectly and he thought I fit into that picture.
"Lilly, you are the closest to girlfriend that I have." he said kindly. "And that says quite a lot about what I feel for you."
I swallowed and shook my head.
"We're not a couple, as you have to usually meet a boyfriend or girlfriend., We live different lives and what we have is something online. Nothing in real life!"
He was silent for a few extra seconds.
"To me you are the reality, for me you are true!"
Our friendship changed. I didn't recognize for Niall that I actually felt the same thing. I kept myself down on the earth, because I hated to be disappointed. I knew so well how guys were, and I knew all the guys wanted a different kind of girl. I stood in front of the mirror often and wondered what he would think if he really met me. Then a new question come up. What if Niall was ugly? Maybe he wasn't as perfect as I thought. Thus, we could never meet and I didn't want to risk our friendship.
"All my friends know about you!"
"But Niall, it doesn't work that way!"
He laughed and didn't seem to agree with me.
"Well, that's the way it works. How else do you think people meet online? There lot of couples who started as we did!"
I didn't want to admit he was right.
"But they were not young when they met."
"Okay, so promise to meet me before you get old, then?"
"Okay before I get old .."
Days passed and Niall calmed down. He seemed to understand that he couldn't nag at me.
"I start work tomorrow!"
"So tell me about your job?"
He didn't like the topic, as usual, he avoided the truth.
"I work from about five to after midnight. We will not leave until late at night."
"Okay, so you have to travel to work?"
"Well, I have., You can't imagine how much I travel."
I laughed, thinking. I wanted to ask smart questions, but he always answered evasively.
"Niall, you live far from your job?"
Hesitation again, as usual.
"You can't imagine!"
I sighed and sat down on the bed.
"Why don't you tell me the truth?"
He seemed to ponder a bit.
"The truth is sometimes not as funny as your imagination and my job doesn't matter right now."
I assumed he was right, but he hadn't even talked about education. It seemed as if Niall hadn't even been finished school. He never talked about grades or how he had passed the exams. It was as if he, after the age of sixteen ran into something. I wondered what.
"You're a weird one!" I whispered. "You can tell me anything until you're sixteen years old, but then you will avoid everything. Ended up you're in trouble when you were sixteen years old?"
Again he hesitated.
"No, I can say that my life was changed. One can say that I totally got another life and that I have since then been living in a dream world."
"So your job is to dream?"
"No, but I might live a life that many others want?"
I thought and I tried to guess.
"So you won money and got rich?"
"No, I have to work just to get by, but I earn a lot of money."
I wasn't wise for him.
"So you are a criminal and selling drugs?"
He laughed, and this time I heard that he was almost double with laughter.
"Lilly the truth isn't so funny. I have to work many late nights and set up on the things that I might not cope with. It's a busy life and actually more tiring than you can imagine."
"Then you must tell me!"
He didn't seem to like that I pressed him.
"Lilly, I promise not to nag about getting to see you, but then you have to stop to ask me about my profession!"