July 2, 1995. Amman, Jordon.

“hey stranger , how are you?” someone with id Leila messaged me as I entered the chat room.

I was feeling bored after a long tiring day at work. Feeling lonely and home sick I logged on to online chat to talk to fellow Pakistanis from around the world.
I grabbed my coffee and sat at the computer staring at screen.

“hey Leila, am good thanks and you?” I felt an unknown freshness within me.
“ I am tired, just returned from school”
“ poor kid”
“ I am not a kid!”
“ how old are you?”
“ I am 22 female from California and you?”

“ 29 male living in Jordon”
“hmmm…living in Jordon and originally from?”
“ Pakistan”
she responded “ My dad is from Pakistan too”
“ good to know”.

I came to Amman two years ago when the company hired me and two other software engineers from Pakistan. It was a lucrative offer and we three decided to take the opportunity. Khalid and Junaid, my colleagues were married with kids and had a good family life. That made me feel that being single in a strange land makes you more lonely than you already are.

“why have you chosen this id, stranger”
“ because I am a stranger, am I not?”
“ we all are”

“true, in our world we all start as strangers and end up being strange” I laughed.
“ you are funny too Mr. stranger, what do you do in Jordon?”
“ I am a software engineer”
“ why in Jordon?”
“so you run after money”

“no, but money is the main driving force in life and it drives my life too”
“ may be you are right”
“I always am!”
I retorted.
“do you believe in online friendship?” Her question took me with a surprise.
“ I only believe in friendship, doesn’t matter how we meet”
“do you think we can be friends?”
“ I know we will be”
“ people tell lies here on the net”
“people will lie even in person”
“ do you lie?”
“ no Leila, I don’t!.. …this is the first time I have ever”

She laughed out loudly.
“Stranger, I have to go now, would you like to keep in touch by email?”
“ fine with me, here is mine”
I gave her my email address.
Thanks stranger”
“I am Ayaz”
“ and I am Sharmeena ”
“ beautiful name”
“so am I”
she smiled .
“ I better be going Ayaz, will talk to you”
“ aright Sharmeena, bye for now”
I logged off and went to bed.
That was my first meeting with her. Thinking about our conversation I fell asleep.

– fromLeila – a love untold Copyrights Reserved