The Donor

By: Nikki Rae

Part One





I always thought it was weird that human beings wanted to fly. I wonder how many birds have gotten sucked up into plane engines over however many years since they were invented. I try to relax. I tell myself to stop thinking such morbid things as I shut the keyhole of a window with one hand and grip the armrest of the seat with the other.



***



I joined MyTrueMatch.com over three months ago. I uploaded a picture of myself and typed a list of my favorite things, like jogging (to look athletic), reading (for intelligence), and painting (to appear creative). There were a few hits on my profile right away. All either spam emails for weight loss pills or very creepy messages from guys whose interests included “banging” and “clubbing”. I wasn’t looking for a knight in shining armor, but I also wasn’t looking to get locked up in a basement being told to rub lotion on my skin or I’ll get the hose again either.

I’d given up hope on finding anyone until a few weeks ago. There was no picture by his name, just the generic, 2-dimensional cartoon of a grey-faced man. He started off the conversation innocently enough:



JonahBlack[5:00pm]: Hello. I think we have a few things in common.



JonahBlack[5:02pm]: I would really enjoy talking with you.



It wasn’t exactly poetic, but I hadn’t signed up for MyTrueMatch for poetry. If I wanted pretty words and flowers, I would have gone a more traditional route. A bar or movie. Somewhere normal people met and got to know each other. I scanned his profile to find that we did have a few things in common. He liked to read and he was into taking walks. Sounded legit enough to me. I waited a day or so before I responded so I wouldn’t look too desperate.



CaseyWilliams[11:00pm]: I think you might be right about that, but why so mysterious, Mr. Jonah Black?



I didn’t expect an automatic response, but there it was, glowing on the screen of my computer in blocky blue letters:



JonahBlack[11:02pm]: I thought we could talk and get to know each other instead.



JonahBlack[11:02pm]: How are you?



So began our month-long dance of getting to know one another. It wasn’t like we were falling in love. That’s not what either of us was after anyway. Throughout our conversations, I asked him questions and he answered without hesitation. I knew where he lived (Boston), his supposed age (39—21 years older than me), height (6’2”), build (average), eye color (hazel), hair color (brown), and so on. But I found it odd that he would tell me all of these things willingly yet not send me a picture of himself. I tried to convince myself that I didn’t care what he looked like. It didn’t matter.



CaseyWilliams[9:00pm]: So, you sound nice.



I typed once.



CaseyWilliams[9:01pm]: Why no picture?



JonahBlack[9:03pm]: I’m not photogenic.



CaseyWilliams[9:05pm]: Or, you know, you could be a 12 yr. old boy.



JonahBlack[9:06pm]: Or a 100 year old man.



CaseyWilliams[9:07pm]: Exactly.



During the short time we had been talking, I’d since Googled my grey-faced suitor. He had no Facebook that I could tell. No other form of social media. It was like he only existed within MyTrueMatch, like he only came to life when we were in front of our respective computer screens.

I was slightly uneasy that I couldn’t match a face with our conversations, but I didn’t want to waste time waiting for another decent guy to hit on my profile. He seemed normal enough, and I wasn’t about to get picky.

It was around this time that we started talking about when we would meet.



***



The plane lands with minimal turbulence, but I still feel like I have to throw up. My pulse pounds in my ears for too long before we’re allowed to exit the big metal bird. Then I have to shuffle through the crowded airport to wait in front of a conveyer belt of luggage for my suitcase. When I booked a flight that landed at nine at night Boston time, I didn’t think it would be this crowded, but there are people everywhere. People complaining about their suitcases missing, how hungry they are, how much money they’re spending to fly somewhere cold in the middle of January and not get fed. Fortunately, my old red suitcase with blue flowers on it tumbles down the line, and I squeeze through a few people to retrieve it.

It’s heavier than I remember it being when I packed it this morning and now I’m worried that I brought too much with me. I think about taking a minute to breathe, maybe contemplate exactly what it is I’m doing, and possibly vomit, but I decide against all of that and instead follow a small crowd of people who all happen to be going in the same direction I need to go: toward the exit.



***



CaseyWilliams[2:01am]: So when I get there, how will I know how to find you?



I thought about making another joke about how I should look for a little kid holding balloons or a guy being pushed around in a wheelchair by his nurse, but I didn’t want him to think that I actually believed he was a twelve year old or some creepy old man luring teenage girls to his home. He was way more articulate than any guy my age I’d ever met, and he paid for my flight from Sacramento to Boston, which I doubt a pre-teen would have the resources for. He also sent off these…I don’t know. Vibes? I couldn’t quite place what it was, but I wasn’t afraid of him. Maybe the situation itself, but not the man without a face.

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