The only light in the room came from the laptop screen. If asked, the only occupant would deny he was a recluse. After all, hundreds of people followed his blog. True, Elliot had never met any of them in person, but he exchanged thoughts with most, save for BullJose and PiperMan who demeaned him on a regular basis.
Elliot believed he was a post away from going viral and, in doing so, he’d become famous and have a purpose for leaving his room. He worked from home and for nearly a year the only time he left was to walk down two flights of stairs to buy groceries from the market on the first floor.
One day around noon he opened the apartment door and saw a young woman walking towards him in the hallway.
“I’m new here,” she said. “Is the produce okay at the market downstairs?”
Elliot knew the answer better than anyone. He rattled off a short history of the store, the produce delivery schedule and the best days to buy meat.
“You’re amazing,” she said.
He blushed and got even redder when she said she would buy groceries and make dinner for both of them. By 8 p.m. he was eating a fabulous meal and by midnight, he was in love.
The following morning he powered up his laptop and stared at the blank screen for hours while waiting for the woman across the hallway to knock. Words that usually flowed easily from his mind were still. He typed her name a dozen times. At 10 a.m. he vowed to trade his viral dream for another chance to be with her.
At noon the soft knocks sealed the deal.