I never quite got over Ha. Every now and then I'd have emotional flashbacks to how I felt in the summer of 1998 and would often be angry and hurt or just feel, well, something similar to love. Why did she hurt me? Why couldn't I forget her? One time I was doing instant messages with Tammy from Toronto, Canada during one of these moments. She said,"Why are you telling me this? Why don't you tell Ha?" So I did in a letter. It was quite a relief to let out pain. I let out everything, including the anger. I felt like I'd finally brought some closure to the relationship.
The next day, September 11, after returning from the beach, I was just doing random chat as I often did (I used it to unwind) and saw a lady from Charlottesville--"too far away" I thought. But her profile said she wrote poetry. I loved writing poetry and was always looking for someone to trade with. So I contacted her and six hours later she replied. She looked rather cute in her photo and was very shy but we connected. This was Cathy.
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September 11, 1999

How are you hun?>>> Ten days shy of 24, she owned an antique shop in Ruckersville, Virginia and lived in a trailer with her parents, brother, and dog, Spike.
At the time I was 'burning' 22 days of excess vacation time and since I had no friends to spend time with, after chatting with Cathy for three days and phoning her, I asked if we could have a picnic together on Loft Mountain off Skyline Drive. I figured why not?
The next day she said okay so on September 14, I drove 2 1/2 hours to Scottsville, Virginia. By that time I had second thoughts and figured I'd just see her once. It seemed innocent but when I was ten miles from her place I had a strange premonition. Was I missing something? Was there more? I couldn't shake that but then she walked out of the trailer.

My first thought was,"Okay, no more meeting women from the internet". I didn't find her attractive at all and wondered what I'd gotten myself into. What if she liked me? My first impressions aren't always on. She had spirit and I was going to spend time with her no matter if I was attracted to her or not. She was very nice and deserved my best. We really had a great time together driving up and down Skyline drive, stopping at the overlooks, goofing around and laughing for eight hours. Before I left I was a torn...I didn't want a relationship with her but she was a very nice and fun woman and I thought we'd be good for each other. We had a chemistry and I sensed she was attracted to me. Should I see her again and risk leading her on? After being stuck in a painful seven-year marriage I didn't want to start the cycle again. I was thinking too much...I gave her a kiss and drove away. I wanted to send flowers to her work but again didn't want to tease.

When I got home I went online and used a different name to talk to her, to see how she was doing. I wanted to stop talking to her so I wouldn't disappoint her but she was really relaxed about the whole thing so after an hour of posing as an Irish immigrant who "drinks beer from the other side of the mug" she figured it was me. We were friends--I'd found a friend.