I thought I had finally met my soulmate. Someone as adventurous as me. Someone who got off on the adrenaline rush, the thrill of the extreme. You sent dozens of photos of all that you did. Cycling in the Tour de France, running with the bulls in Pamplona, Spain, extreme skiing in the Swiss Alps, white water rafting, hand gliding, mountain climbing. There was no adventure you’d shy away from.
When I saw the photo you sent me of you bravely and proudly straddling two rock projections high on a mountain at the top the world, I knew I had to meet you, since our relationship was, up until then, strictly online. But you were hesitant, for some reason, even though I was willing to travel to the ends of the Earth to be with you.
I am a resourceful gal, I have my ways, and I was driven to meet the man I’ve dreamed about all of my life. Through my research, I finally found out where you lived, and I admit to having been a little surprised to find that you were living in a small town in Kansas. I was even more surprised when I came to your home, rang the bell, and an older woman answered the door. I didn’t know your real name, just your online handle, so I asked the woman if “Adventureman121” was home. She smiled and said, “Oh, you must mean Donny. He’s down in the basement.”
“Donny,” I thought. Well, that’s progress. I opened the door to the basement, slowly went down the stairs, and saw a very fat man sitting on a chair in at a desk with three large computer screens in front of him. I saw that he was using Photoshop to put images of a man skydiving from an airplane and realized that the man in the Photoshop photo he was working on was the same one who was in all of the photos that “Adventureman121” had shared with me.
“Adventureman?” I said. You were so engrossed in constructing the Photoshop image that you didn’t hear me walk down into the basement and the sound of my voice startled you. You jumped up, a look of panic on your face.
I had always considered myself to be a very savvy young woman. Someone who was not gullible or easily taken in. But I realized when I saw you, that the only “extreme adventure” you’d ever experienced was taking images of a male model, using Photoshop, representing those doctored photos as you, and reeling in who knows how many lonely women online with your photos and your words.
Shame on me when I realized that the man I was sure was my soulmate was actually the proverbial 400 pound man living in his mother’s basement in the middle of Kansas.
Written for Sadje’s What Do You See? prompt. Phot credit: Suliman Sallehi @ Pexels.