I had been surfing around the internet and visiting different sites when I would stay the night over at my former inlaws house. I started to go into chat rooms. I was shy at first, just kind of going in and seeing what the fuss was all about.

     There were all kinds of different categories to choose from in chat rooms that AOL provided. Every kind of topic from sexual in nature to lifestyles to religious beliefs to hobbies. Someone in some part of the world created a room and people with the same interests and likes were in there chatting with other people that shared this common bond.

     I created my little profile, being very vague because I was shy, and I entered them. Saying things here and there at first, to see if I even existed in the room. It was experimentation. It was also fun to see my name scroll up the chatting dialog while people were making their comments.

     I kept saying things to see if anyone would even respond to what I said. It was fun when at long last, somone replied to a remark I made. It meant, to me, that it worked! That I was in there for real. I was in awe over the whole idea of being able to communicate with people over the internet with just words that were written out as if on a typewriter. It was the coolest to me.

     The fact that whole conversations could be held with whole groups of people from anywhere in the country or in the world were gathered together in a “chat” with just words, and having meaningful, and intelligent conversations, was mindboggling.

     I had been chatting in the rooms for a few weeks, each time getting more confortable with some people and just having fun with it. I was recognized in some rooms by my screen name by people who I had chatted with before. We always greeted people we chatted with before when they entered the room. It was like my own little group of secret friends.

     Nobody knew in my physical life I was going in these rooms. I was embarrassed because to me only losers did this type of thing. I used to put these kinds of people down. I thought they had no lives if they had to make friends online. 

     But I quickly realized the fun in it. I had the addiction. I needed to get online more to chat it up. And for me to be able to do this, I needed to keep it secretive if I wanted to continue to use the computer at my former in-laws house.

     I had earned a great deal of trust from my former in-laws when they let me use the computer. When I stayed at their house, I would go to the basement. They thought I was going to bed. I was actually getting online to feed my addiction and adrenalin. It was all my secret. Nobody knew what I was doing. 

     I would stay up really late into the night. One night I went to bed around 4 in the morning. I was so mad at myself, because I started work at 7:30, but I could not get off the computer. And everytime I finally did get to bed, I told myself that that was the last time. I was getting a feeling that I would get caught. But when nobody said anything to me or questioned me, it relieved me to know that I had, yet again, gotten away with it.

     But I began to get more curious with this whole concept of online chatting as the weeks wore on and as I chatted more and more. And we all know the old saying about curiousity. This cat was about to get into serious trouble.

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