Back through the 90’s I belonged to a chat room that changed more than just my own life. It was one of those places that you wish you could put into a time capsule and re-visit throughout your existence here. All of us who went there knew it was special at the time and we cherished every min we had there… and we did spend a lot of time there!
For a good ten years I/we spent six to eight hours a night talking in a specially designed chat house that allowed you to talk to up to twenty people in each room all at once, but also in private boxes and you could ‘page’ other people who were in other rooms, so if one room was full you could still chat with others in other rooms. Then there was also private messages and invites. You could have more than one handle, and everyone knew everyones spares. It was a wonderful place and far advanced in technology for the time.
At the end of each night you were physically exhausted keeping up with everyone in conversation, it was wonderful!! Being anti-social as I am I’m surprised I ever entered let alone stayed and enjoyed. I learned how to really communicate with others and enjoy all types of people, lovely respectful and passionate, normal, everyday people, of all ages, from all over the world. You knew what everyones fav food was, pets, what type of vehicle they drove all before (if ever) knowing their age. It was an alter reality, an escape from reality. I’m so glad to have been a part of it.
Toward the end of that part of my life is where this experience begins really. It was really the reason the place became a ghost town.
We lost one of our own.
One of our younger members was a bright light of a girl around the age of sixteen. The last time I talked with her was late in the evening, I had been invited into a private room to be ‘hooked – up’ with a friend of couple I knew. They had wanted me to come to their state/home for a BBQ weekend to visit with them as their friend stayed too, to see if we hit it off. They had been joking about it for several weeks, and then that night tired to talk me into it more seriously, hence the private room. I begrudgingly accepted PR invite but wasn’t really overly thrilled with the idea of a blind date out of state as it were. Even if I did tech know this couple talking to them so frequently… it was the 90’s after all.
This upset more than just a couple people too evidently. A girl quickly learns how many men in a chat house like you when you disappear into a chat room after explaining your about to be hooked up. Eeek. I learned how dense I was. I learned how blunt people need to be to let me know they like me… I also learned how vague men can be.
Yeah, that was a scrambling-of-emotions and quick-private-messages-all-around-moments.
In that heated moment was when I received another private message from the young girl in question. She normally went by the handle ‘Halle Grace’ (wow, it still hurts to type it… whoo), but was sporting a new one which was a combination of a mutual friend of ours (one of the men also in the moment upset with me… heck, I didn’t know…) One of his more popular handles was ‘Poison Idea’, and our mutual friend came in PM to tell me it was herself under her new handle.
I explained that I was in a mess of a place, trying to answer everyones PMs, and still talk in the private room. I told her that I couldn’t really talk. I never say that, I’m not that type of person to put people off, but I had my hands full. I explained that to to in the moment, and thr amazing young soul she is, she said it was okay, that she only came on to show me her knew idea of the handle and had to get to bed. She said to the effect of “Spins around in a circle and falls down on her rear” showing off her new name: ‘Poison little pill’. That made me smile as it was so her to do sometime silly like the handle and the disruption showing it off.
I told her that I loved it and that it was perfect, and that our mutual friend would get a kick out of it too and be chuffed at the compliment in wanting a name like his. She laughed and said he told her so too. We said our cyber hugs and goodbyes and she left the place to go to bed she said.
That was the last the place was the same. The next day there was hardly anyone there which was completely odd. Only people I barely knew. The next two days were much of the same, but on that third day I finally came across another mutual friend of that close group. She was acting funny and finally asked me if I had even heard the news. Naturally I said, “What news?”
The morning after I last spoke with the young ‘Poison little Pill’ she was leaving her home for school, she slipped on the ice on her front walk and by the time anyone found her she was still unconscious and covered in snow. She had survived on life support for a time before her family decided to let her cross over.
I was stunned and heartbroken. I’d never lost anyone I was close to before. It was weird as with the early internet too (which was still honest), you realized that you knew someone probably better than you ever would have known the person if you knew them in life, in person, yet you never even saw their picture. I never knew her real name, nor her exact age. Those things just didn’t matter. It was a hurt on such an odd and painful level. There was no way to contact the family or find out more.
Everyone on the chat house stopped coming so there was nobody to discuss it with, nobody wanted to discuss it I suppose. It was like the magic was broken and there was no way to save it. A lovely young life snuffed out. The internet became reality that day.
Anyway I suppose I’m rambling.
It was a few weeks into my new normal evenings. I was standing in my upstairs bathroom drying my hair. The bathroom door leads onto the landing area, and from where I was you could see the light hanging over the open stairs. I was thinking of my friend.. or rather thoughts of her came into my mind very strongly almost as if she put them there herself (something which I have new doubt she did, with her strength and passion she had in life)
I teared up and said , “I know you’re here, Halle. I know it’s you.” Then I smiled. “How about you let me know it? Can you do something?”
Not three min later.. I had put the hair dryer away and was standing at my sink when my bathroom light blinked twelve times. Obvious enough to the point I actually counted. Twelve blinks. My bathroom light had never done so before, and not in all the many years since. I wasn’t disturbed or scared in the slightest. It was a comfort, I’m sure a comfort to both of us. Imagine being in their shoes trying to get the attention of the living and not being able to?
I laughed, as that was so Halle! Not just a couple blinks she had to go overboard to prove her point.
Then I learned she wasn’t finished.
It was then that I noticed the lamp above the stairs, which hangs from a chain, start to swing. It only otherwise does this in earthquakes and during earthquakes there are several other things that are similarly effected, none of which were acting that way in the moment. Only the lamp above the stairs was swinging, and with more zest than with an average earthquake too. I laughed out loud again then. I told her I knew it was her and that I loved her and hoped she was okay. I told her she could come whenever she needed, said I hope my being upset didn’t effect her. I thanked her for visiting me and letting me know she was there. Then just like that I felt her go. Just as you have your back to a door and feel someone enter and or leave a room, I felt her spirit move away.
I have felt her since, but not with obvious physical effects. I’ll all of a sudden think of her. I think that is when a persons spirit shows up, as it causes you to notice and your mind thinks/assumes you are simply remembering them. I feel it’s truly them with us in the moment checking in on us to see how we are doing.
They are lucky in that sense, aren’t they? They get to see and or visit us even if we are only left with memories of them and questions on if we really feel them or if we are going batty.
Regardless of all that human over-thinking… I hope I get to see her again on both sides.
You’re one of a kind, Halle. You were and still are loved. Be at peace my dear friend. ❤