Hello, I'm Kayla... or some of you may know me as Kitten. :3 Have a lovely day!
Video of Casper and I meeting in person for the very first time: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=c1HNN7r5e1A
I apologize in advance for how long this story is… but our story DOES involve many years and much waiting. Even with as long as this is, much has been left untold. And our story still isn’t over…
I was introduced to the world of chatting online with people I didn’t know at an incredibly early age… age nine, in fact. I know that may seem too young to some, but my parents did set SOME restrictions… one of them being Parental Controls to automatically block certain websites, which was still in use when I was eleven years old.
During the summer of 2005 (age 11), my family and I went out of town to a relative’s house, where I gained access to an online forum of a certain fandom for the very first time; back at home, the forum was blocked by Parental Controls, but on my relative’s computer, I could go on any website I wanted. I enjoyed the forum and its members very much for the week I posted there, but then once it was time to go back home, where the forum was blocked by Parental Controls, I just didn’t really bother to ask my parents to unblock it, and soon mostly forgot about it.
Months later, towards the end in the year.. what in the world made me think of that forum again? What in the world prompted me to try to posting there again, to finally ask my parents to unblock it, after months of not thinking about it? I dunno, but that decision to return forever changed my life.
Now that I had permanently returned to the forum, I began making close online friends there. Although I never spoke to him, one of the members there - whose real name is Casper - caught my interest because of how weird but intelligent he seemed. Everyone thought he was strange, but at the same time, very much respected him. He was cool, calm, and collected. Even though he seemed intimidating on the outside, he also had a silly and perverted side.
In January 2006 (age 12), Casper and I became close friends. Due to AOL issues, I was never able to access the live chatroom that the everyone at the forum would go to, but it was during this month that someone there discovered the “drawing boards” - low-tech live chatrooms that would allow up to five people, and had a little Paint board you could draw pictures on and stuff with people. I was delighted to find a chatroom that actually worked on my internet browser.. but since everyone else preferred the main chatroom, I was one of of the only ones who used the drawing boards. However, the first day I used them, Casper followed me in there. So, him and I were finally able to have a live conversation for the first time. Immediately we clicked… I felt like I could talk to him about anything. And so we grew to become close friends.
Since at the time, we did not have the same instant messenger programs (I only had AIM, and Casper only had MSN and YIM), the drawing boards were our main method of communication. For months, whenever he saw me on the forum’s online list, he would send me a PM with a title of any single word that rhymed with “chat” - “Bat”, “Cat”, etc., and then the message itself would just say “Chat?”. We talked in the drawing boards so often and about such personal stuff, that the drawing board “regulars” (people outside of the forum) actually thought we were an item; someone once even went under Casper’s name and said certain stuff about a different female regular to try to make me jealous (but I could tell it wasn’t actually Casper). XDD But I assured everyone it wasn’t like that… I was 12, he was 20, I lived in the US, he lived over 4,000 miles away in Denmark, and it was impossible for me to fall for anybody online, anyways.
…Or so I thought.
After many months, starting in the summer of 2006, mine and Casper’s drawing board days died away as we both just became busy with our own activities. We’d still maintain very close and friendly contact through the forum, though.. just not nearly as often.
Then something happened end of 2006 that I should’ve seen as the first warning sign.
A new 20-year-old woman joined the forum and ended up sticking around.. who I will simply dub as “R”. On a thread that Casper started about certain personality types, him and R instantly clicked. The thread soon became just him and her replying back and forth, just immediately clicking in every single way that him and I did not. You could immediately tell he was taking an interest in her. And as for me.. well, although I never would’ve admitted it myself at the time, I was feeling jealous.
Time passed by, and Casper and R continued to grow closer and closer. Soon February 2007 (age 13) arrived, and I received a pleasant surprise - Casper had downloaded AIM! Finally, Casper and I could now IM each other whenever we wanted! And so we did, continuing on with our close friendship. He was by far my best online friend, and the one person in the world (both IRL and online) that I could talk to about absolutely everything. But as the months went by, he grew closer and closer with R as well… much closer than he was with me. They never outright said anything about it, but I and everyone else at the forum very much suspected that there were some romantic feelings involved. My jealousy of R grew and grew… but I didn’t want to admit it to her or Casper, let alone myself, since I was ashamed of such selfish feelings.
However, in April 2007, an incident happened, and I said something that made Casper suspect what was up. He IMed me asking, “Are you jealous?”. With much difficulty, I confessed that although I liked her very much and considered her a good friend, I was jealous of R for her relationship with him. But since I knew how it would sound to know that a girl was jealous of another girl for her relationship with a guy, I also assured Casper that it wasn’t because of any romantic feelings - it was because I thought of him as a father figure. He said he felt honored to have me as his “daughter”, and from then on out, him and I were closer than ever before.
…But today, I still wonder if that was actually true - if I actually thought of him as a father figure, or if I actually subconsciously already had romantic feelings for him. I knew that what I felt for him was stronger than what one feels for a close friend… I often wonder if I said I thought of him as a father figure rather than romantically simply because I was in denial and so firmly believed I could never fall for anyone online. I don’t know.
In August 2007, Casper and R both went out of town (R lives in the US) to Germany, where they met up IRL for a week. When they both returned home, they posted a few photos of their trip on the forum. …And the romantic aspect of their relationship finally became “official” and confirmed to the whole forum. See, one of the photos that they posted was a photo of them kissing.
When I saw the photo of them kissing, my reaction was so emotional, that it was physical. I could feel the blood drain from my face. I wanted to look away, but at the same time, I couldn’t help staring at it. My stomach began to feel sick, and there was an unpleasant dull aching feeling throughout my whole body. I quickly scrolled away from the photo and didn’t glance at it again.
…If that wasn’t a sign that I already subconsciously romantically loved him at that point, then I don’t know what is.
But once again, I was in denial, and dismissed it as simple feelings of jealousy.. nothing to do with any romantic feelings at all.
After their return, their now-openly-romantic online relationship seemed to go well.. MORE than well. Casper was head-over-heels in love with her. They seemed obsessed with each other. At some point, Casper even confessed to me that he was planning on asking her to marry him. …But then things began to turn bad. Towards the very end of the year, due to certain issues, R couldn’t spend nearly as much time online as she used to. Things were happening that she wouldn’t fully articulate.
And then, starting in January 2008 (age 14), the dark days began. R began completely ignoring Casper. She completely stopped posting in the forum, although she continued to post in her LiveJournal every day, sometimes even more than once a day. But even though she frequently posted on LiveJournal, she completely ignored all of Casper’s e-mails and comments on her entries. He would beg and beg her to say ANYTHING to him, anything at all, to somehow let him know what was going on… but she wouldn’t. And so he sank into a pit of despair as his love continued to ignore him like this for half a year.
In July 2008, him and I AIMed for a very long time one night. He referred back to a LiveJournal entry I had posted in which I filled out a survery/meme where you had to list 20 people and then answer questions about those people. My #1 person was Casper, and one of the questions was “Would you marry #1?”. Trying to make it as casual and light-hearted as possible, I chose my words carefully and answered “Well, if he ever asked, I wouldn’t say no XD”. This entry was posted MONTHS ago, but he remembered it… and he asked me if I truly meant what I said. I said yes, and asked why he was asking. He replied by talking about how he feared that R was going to leave him, and that if he ever fell, he wanted me to fall back on. I replied, “I’m standing here until you make me move.”
…That night’s conversation left me with an explosion of feelings. On one hand, I was being treated like a safety net - a back-up plan, a Plan B. But on the other hand.. I realized I wanted to be there for him. And what did he mean by that conversation, anyways? Was it possible that he could have romantic feelings for me?
But he was eight years older than me…
And lived all the way in Denmark…
And if my parents ever knew about such a possible thing, not only would they never let me talk to him, but they’d probably take my internet privileges away in general…
And if I ever wanted to meet him IRL, I’d probably have to wait four years, so that I’d be 18 years old, and living away from my parents in a college dorm.. older and more mature and independent..
And wait, oh my goodness, I was only 14.. why should I be thinking of marriage in a non-joking manner at all in the first place?! I was much too young…
And besides, it was impossible for me to fall for anybody online, right? Right…
But gosh darn it, I loved him so much.
And so from then on out, I consciously realized I had romantic feelings for him. I couldn’t stop thinking about him, couldn’t stop imagining walking by his side, him leaning down to kiss me. Oh, I was still in denial about it, of course.. I was so determined NOT to think about him, that of course the opposite happened and I dreamed about him every night for a week, and even puked at one point.
Then, later that same month, it finally happened - Casper and R broke up. R had posted something in her LiveJournal that, although it didn’t outright state it, made it very obvious that she had no intentions on staying with Casper any longer, but did not know how to dump him because she was afraid of hurting him. Casper was absolutely devastated and depressed. Never before had I seen someone so incredibly crushed. I felt so worried about him, that it actually made me feel physically sick, which I mentioned in my own LiveJournal.
“A”, a very dear and close online friend of mine and Casper’s, noticed the LiveJournal entry and IMed Casper about it. She asked him if he thought I loved him. He said he didn’t know, and said she should ask me herself. And so she asked me… my original response was very TL;DR, but my most basic response was “I don’t know.” After I finished explaining everything to her, I made her promise NEVER to tell Casper what I had told her…completely unknowing that she had actually already told him. XD;;
But then Casper and I began to AIM incredibly frequently. And the way he talked to me was.. different. We began to talk more.. flirty. Long story short, another close online friend “L” became involved… and both of us ended up confessing to her that we had feelings for the other. With her secret knowledge, L began giving Casper hints that I liked him, and she began giving me hints that he liked me. It got to the point where basically both Casper and I knew the other secretly liked us, but we kept beating around the bush and never bringing the issue out into the open… all the while A was acting very disapproving of the whole thing, since she felt that Casper was simply trying to encourage me to like him.
Then on August 22nd, 2008, Casper says to me out of the blue, “‘A’ says I shouldn’t try anything with you or hint at anything if I think you’re discardable.”
“Do you think I’m discardable?” I asked.
“No,” he replied. “But that maybe it shouldn’t be official yet.”
I replied that after thinking it through VEEERY thoroughly, that I was okay with it being official now, and that I could handle the long distance. He asked me when we could meet IRL. I replied that we’d have to wait four years to meet up IRL, so that I’d be 18 and living on my own in college with more independence.
And so the long wait began, with its fair share of ups and downs, just like any other romantic relationship.
We grew closer and closer, we sent actual real mail, we had our first times on webcam with each other, etc etc. As I progressed through high school, I avoided dating any guys because I was saving myself for Casper. Even though both him and I are very touchy feely physically affectionate lovers, we’ve gotten through these years without even being able to hug each other during the tearful times. There was even a two-month period from mid-March to mid-May 2011 when Casper and I had broken up, but after that dark period, he mailed me a package of an incredibly long handwritten letter, and we got back together.
Sooo many people told us that it wasn’t going to work out. They told me that Casper’s just a pedophile preying on me, that it wouldn’t work out, that it wasn’t really love. They told Casper that I was just a young immature high school girl who was going to go flirting around and get together with some high school boy behind his back, that it wouldn’t work out, that it wasn’t really love.
…But we proved them wrong. And so can other long distance lovers, whether they first met on the internet or IRL.
On August 31st, 2012 (age 18), Casper arrived here so that we could meet in person for the first time after waiting so many years. He stayed here for a month and a half, departing on October 14th. A month and a half seemed waaay too short for having waited four years, but the meet-up was absolutely lovely. <333
Our relationship IRL felt COMPLETELY NATURAL.
But it wasn’t like that at ALL.
Even the night before he arrived/the day of his arrival, I wasn’t nervous at ALL while he was here. The dynamics of our relationship were exactly how they were online. Conversing with him was 100% natural. Silences feel relaxing and comforting. Being physically affectionate felt completely natural too. Not gonna go into details here, but even concerning the physical side of our relationship, I wasn’t nervous EVEN ONE BIT.
To put it simply - even though I was only together with him in person for a month and a half, it felt like I had known him for many years.. which I HAVE. Just.. online.
A week before he arrived, I came out to my family about our relationship, which I had been keeping a secret (although I had talked to them about Casper a lot throughout the years). Not only were they not surprised to hear we were in a relationship, but they were completely supportive of it! Casper ended up getting to meet my parents and sister during his first weekend here, along with two other times during his stay. My parents really like him, and hold no opposition to us getting married one day. :3
During his stay here, he also got to hang out with my college friends, and even two of my high school friends (when he was visiting my family). They all got along nicely, and my college friends continue to occasionally communicate with him when they see him and I on webcam with each other.
As of the date I’m writing this (November 10th, 2012), we’ve been together for over four years and two months. We’re not yet sure exactly when the second meet-up is going to be, but it will probably be in about one year from when he left. I don’t know how many years or visits it will be until the distance is closed permanently, but I know we can do it… if we could overcome that first four-year wait, we can overcome ANYTHING. <3
I have been trying to spread around our story to help give hope to other long distance lovers, whether their relationship started off on the internet or in person. Don’t give up. Always have hope. You CAN do this. <333