Love in the Age of Social Media: Part Three
This is Part Three in a series of short, fictional stories about live in the age of social media.
“Ha, look who is banging on about the Referendum. Irony much.”
I knew who he was talking about right away.
It was ironic. Her Facebook status was public - intentionally, probably. She wanted the world to know she was a supportive ‘ally’. It was a good cover. No one would suspect someone openly supportive of gay rights of being in the closet.
We were weeks away from a referendum on equal marriage. On Twitter, I would occasionally stumble across her arguing with homophobes. I stopped following #MarRef. I didn’t trust myself not to tweet something I would later regret.
“Never be ashamed of who you are”, she told one 16 year old farmer’s son. “Don’t be afraid. Be true to yourself.”
When are you going to start being true to yourself? I nearly replied.
The night I saw her with him, she left a note on the kitchen table. She couldn't explain everything in person, she wrote. She couldn't look at me anymore.
It had started as a blind date. Her friends had set it up. They didn't know about us. Neither did her family. She went along with it, hoping it would peter out after a few dates. Soon, she was lying to me as well as them. And now, there was a baby to think of.
She hated me. I was a secret she had to hide. “The only time you’re really mine is when I shut the front door. I hate this life. I hate being afraid of who I really am. I hate being afraid of how much I'm going to hurt you. Now, I've done that.”
A month later, a removal van turned up to take her stuff. For years, I avoided her. I thought I was winning some game — at moving on, replacing love with apathy, forgetting. Then I’d see her online and everything would come back. No matter how hard I tried to run from the memories, the Internet always seemed to catch up with me.