He had been waiting in the chatroom for Norman, but Norman was conspicuous by his absence. It made him wonder, briefly, when she appeared, if in fact Norman and Schaden were the same person – that Norman wasn’t even really a guy – or that he was in league with them also (a little favour to Andrew for his continued indulgence of the excesses of the chatroom, a blind eye to the bootlegged material and the often defamatory rumours spread by that medium?).
But then he thought – no – Norman, though IT savvy, wasn’t in their class.
He looked at the nickname appear in the room. Schaden was waiting for his acknowledgement. She remained silent.
David decided to play dumb for the beginning, to see what story she would spin.
Vlad: Oh my god, it’s you! Are you all right?
Schadenfreude: I’m fine..nothing happened to me…
So, she was being honest and upfront immediately. That surprised David, but he decided to continue to play the innocent for the moment, to see what else she would volunteer so easily. You couldn’t trust her, after all – when conversing with a player, you have to play.
Vlad: Andrew said he attacked you, just like me..
Schadenfreude: Andrew didn’t attack me..he couldn’t…
Vlad: What are you saying? I’m only just out of the hospital..he said he did it to you too..
Schadenfreude: He didn’t attack me David..you know he didn’t..
There she went again, seeming to know things that she shouldn’t. Of course, it had to be good guesswork on her part, and it wouldn’t take a genius. Obviously he would have seen her history of posting on the boards. She’d know he would look there first if he was looking for her, and she would know he would be looking for her. So, he had to fight that sense of the uncanny that dogged his footsteps in this situation – somehow they’d manufactured that also. Now, before the computer, feeling at home in the game again, all those feelings seemed like the ravings of a man affected by the delirium of too many painkillers, as ephemeral and insubstantial as a ghost.
Vlad: I don’t understand..
Schadenfreude: You have to think about it..rethink it..David..
Why play this game? Why not cut to the chase, make the accusation, see how she dealt with that?
Vlad: I don’t understand..what are you saying..that you were in it together..that it was your idea of a game?
She was chillingly unperturbed by the accusation.
Schadenfreude: You have to think about it David..you’re missing the point..
Vlad: Missing the point..missing the fucking point..Lisa..for god’s sake…
Schadenfreude: That’s where you should start..
Vlad: What..what are you saying..
Schadenfreude: I haven’t lied to you, and neither has he…
Vlad: I don’t understand..I don’t understand you.. it’s a game isn’t it..isn’t it…how could you do that..what lies did you tell him?
Schadenfreude: I didn’t tell him anything…
Vlad: Bullshit..he accused me of all sorts of things…things he said you said about me to others!
Schadenfreude: I never said anything to him..he doesn’t use the computer
Vlad: What the hell does that have to do with anything..?
Schadenfreude: Oh, you disappoint me..think for fuck’s sake David.. I’m telling you..I’m telling you..
Schaden suddenly exited the room. David felt she was deliberately leaving him hanging till he saw Norman had appeared. So, she didn’t want an audience for her explanation? Fine, he could wait.
He exited also.
(c) Helen M Valentina 2016, All Rights Reserved