She slowly wandered around the town square. Too often there was nothing to see, no one around and she would panic, thinking how lonely it was compared to her old town. Then she would breathe slowly, count to ten and remind herself that she had actually wanted to leave.
It had been chaos there, bustling with people and always noisy. Oh the noise! At first it had been exciting, heady. She had been surprised to be greeted by people she had lost touch with over the years, often by people she had no interest in talking to any longer. Only to be reminded again, just why she had stopped talking to them in the first place. But sometimes, she would find one or two friends she’d wanted to talk to and then tell herself that it was worth it. As the days went by, the excitement paled. She didn't like being connected to everybody and not really knowing anyone.
All around her friends continued to revel in the chaos and noise, as she had in the beginning. Sharing pictures and titbits about who did what, where and with whom. It became so that if it wasn't shared, it didn't happen. Everything was public and known to everyone else and if she ever wanted to keep things more personal, she had only two options – either track down every single one of her photos and likes and messages to check who had access to them or don’t share them at all. The only way to really keep anything private? Keep it to herself.
It was no good trying to find someone to talk to either. There people didn't talk, instead they shouted, yelled, screamed in an effort to be heard. Then there were groups, but they quickly degenerated into magnifications of the original problems. She realized you can’t put a bunch of people together and expect them to be better than the average person.
It was while trying to escape that she stumbled across this quiet backwater. Things were quieter here, not as rushed. People did shout, but they also whispered. You could talk to everyone or chose to share with only a select few. She slowly got used to the silence. There were many surprises to find, if you walked around enough and kept your eyes open. Some people commented on her comics and the witty quotes she had a habit of collecting. She replied to a few while the rest were obviously fake, so she just threw them out.
Just when she thought it was getting to be too quiet, the completely unexpected happened. A coherent, well written comment on one of her comic strips appeared. She had become so used to bad grammar, poor spelling and even worse English that she almost didn't see it for what it was. At first she thought it was just a result of her wishful thinking and would no doubt disappear. She blinked once and it was still there. Relieved to find she wasn't delusional or hallucinating, she went by his home and saw the neat lawns and well kept house.
While that didn’t mean a thing, it did make him more appealing. A gamble that might just pay off. She had always been a risk taker and the dice was thrown. Deciding he wasn't a fake and before she could argue herself out of it, she replied. The next day brought a pleasant surprise in the form of a reply to her reply, from him. That marked the beginning of a conversation between them which was as perfect as it was unexpected and which was to last forever, though they didn’t know it at the time.
She finished typing the words on the screen and smiled. Funny how the smallest decisions could take you down hitherto undiscovered places. He had turned out to be smart, funny, captivating and perfect for her. That had been 50 years ago, to the day. He had found her and she’d kept him, with no regrets. Who would have thought she would find love in ghost+town?