What's up everyone? I'm Oo-Jynxed-oO (as you may already know from above). I can't believe I'm actually making my first short story go public! Jeez, it's exciting!

And a bit nerve-wracking...

Well, I'll stop talking. Please enjoy my fic! (Reviews would be greatly appreciated!)

OoOoOoOoOoOoOoOoO

The Risk of Trust

"Damn!" Just seconds after typing "17/f Sup yall?" in a chat room, Olivia was bombarded with instant messages.

She closed up the majority of them, which were basically from horny old men.

Don't these guys watch Dateline? Olivia considered as she nixed another offensive message that had popped up.

She was about to close another IM when she read it:

DustyNines109:chillin u?

"Finally." Olivia said as she placed her fingertips on the keys.

Olivia loved being online. Since she didn't have many friends and didn't really hang out with the one she had, she'd hang out in her room and surf the web.

2muchOlives:same here, dusty. asl?

DustyNines109:17/m/ny u?

2muchOlives:17/f/ny

DustyNines109:cool Wat part of ny? if u don't mind. I live in Queens

2muchOlives:me 2

DustyNines109:really? Cool.

2muchOlives:Not really. I kinda hate it here

DustyNines109:y? Queens is gangsta.

2muchOlives:lmao

2muchOlives:4 u. I moved here a yr ago and don't have a lot of friends.

DustyNines109:u least have a friend rite?

Olivia hesitantly typed a question mark. She wasn't really sure about her relationship with Megan. Yeah, they talked to each other but Olivia didn't think they were pals.

DustyNines109:wats ur name?

2muchOlives:Olivia

DustyNines109:aha! I know y u don't have many friends.

2muchOlives: y?

DustyNines109:b/c u intimidate ppl by ur beauty.

DustyNines109:so try 2 be ugly. It'll b hard 4 u though lol

Olivia blushed. Was he flirting with her?

2muchOlives:thanx :)

DustyNines109:Just showing a fellow Queenian sum luv

2muchOlives:so wats ur name?

DustyNines109:…promise not to type "lmao"?

2muchOlives: omg is it that bad?

DustyNines109:Yes. My parents were on crack when they named me

2muchOlives:haha wat is it?

DustyNines109:…Thaddeus…im too gangsta for that

He told her he rather be called by his middle name, Dolan.

Olivia ended up talking with Dolan for hours. She found out a lot about him. He was an only child and his parents were divorced but he loved it since each parent always spoiled him. Dolan loved South Park, playing online games, the piano, and hanging out with his friends (especially the girls because they always ended up fighting).

When her mother came home, Olivia and Dolan arranged to talk again the next day.

The next morning, Olivia hurriedly signed on. After scanning her buddy list, she was glad to see that Dolan was online.

2muchOlives:sup?

DustyNines109:Liv!

DustyNines109:just kicking some ass in online poker. U know how I do.

2muchOlives:lol did you her about that new Eddie Murphy movie?

DustyNines109:u mean Norbit? I gotta see that

2muchOlives:wanna see it 2gether?

It was a while before Dolan responded. It was an awkward question, she told herself. But she had been thinking about asking Dolan that all last night while she tried to go to sleep.

DustyNines109:sure. It'll be weird tho

2muchOlives:Yeah but I like you and I think we should hang out

DustyNines109:me 2. u know wat? Friends are strangers until u met em. So how's that any different from us meeting?

Although a part of her felt uneasy about the whole thing, a bigger part of her felt elated.

The sky was a smoky white on the day Olivia decided to meet Dolan. As a crispy wintry breeze blew, she walked from the bus stop.

While snow crunched under her black and gray boots, Dolan's words popped into her head.

Friends are strangers until you met them. So how's that any different from us meeting?

Plenty! Olivia's conscience replied.

Dolan was nice. He had told her she was pretty without even having to describe herself. They didn't talk anything remotely about sex. So, Dolan wasn't a predator. This wasn't Dateline. Olivia wasn't a stupid little girl. She knew better.

Yeah, her conscience agreed mockingly. You do know better.

Olivia sighed, "Who am I? Pinocchio?"

Once Olivia finally made it to the park, her gray eyes immediately scanned the place for a guy in a black and white coat (Dolan told her he'd be wearing one so she could identify him. Likewise, Olivia said she'd wear her lime jacket). But, all she could see were children running amuck.

Just then, when something black and white caught her eye, Olivia immediately turned to the source. Her heart pounded against her chest.

Dolan stood on the short wooden bridge that was structured over the now frozen river. His hands were deeply shoved into his black coat's white pockets. He had a gray scarf wrapped around his neck to all the way over his nose. To boot, Dolan also wore an olive-gray hat that reminded Olivia of "South Park".

South Park is hilarious! I seriously worship that show!

With that to calm her, Olivia giggled.

Olivia took a deep breath as she took her final steps towards Dolan. His feet stamped against the cold.

Once she was finally by his side, she tapped his shoulder and said, in a shaky voice, "Uh, 'scuse me, I'm—" She froze in mid-sentence once he turned around.

"Yes?" Dolan asked. He looked at her, waiting for her response after pulling down his scarf to talk.

Olivia still didn't say anything. One of her thoughts was being glad that her mother had taken her lime jacket to the cleaners that morning. She didn't want to be recognized. Especially after being lied to.

With a better view of Dolan's face, Olivia noticed that he wasn't seventeen. Hell, he wasn't even thirty. He looked to be about eighty-five. I'm just like them, Olivia thought, meaning the girls who actually thought people online were trustworthy.

She quickly apologized and went on her way back to the bus stop.

After the incident, Olivia didn't go online for a while. Instead, she busied herself with various activities.

One afternoon, when Olivia came home from the basketball game that she saw with her friend, Megan, she found her computer on. She rolled her eyes knowing it had to have been her older brother.

She muttered complaints under her breath while dropping her things on her bed.

As she sat down at the desk, her eyes slowly went to the screen just as a familiar chime-like jingle played.

DustyNines109: Olivia?

Don't answer, she pleaded.

DustyNines109:i know ur there, Liv

Olivia had the pointer on the sign off button. Click it! Why was she stalling? Remember how that pedophile made you cry.

DustyNines109:…

She couldn't take it. Olivia clicked on the IM.

2muchOlives:Wat?

DustyNines109: :)

2muchOlives: liar

DustyNines109: I deserve that. im sorry

Sorry 'cause you got caught, she thought frigidly.

DustyNines109:I didn't think you'd take it that bad.

2muchOlives:freak! I hate you

DustyNines109:wth? R u having sum womanly issues 2day?

What the hell is he talking about? And look! He's talking about your period! Pervert!

2muchOlives:I'm leavin

Olivia placed her hands back on the mouse but stopped when another message displayed.

DustyNines109:im sorry x infinity + one!

DustyNines109:i just don't understand y ur acting so mad me b/c i couldn't come 2 the park.

Couldn't come?

2muchOlives:Wat r u talking about?

DustyNines109:u mean u didn't know? I sent u an email

Olivia quickly went to her inbox. Like Dolan said, he had sent her an email an half hour before she left that day. It said that he, at his mother's forceful request, had to shovel snow that afternoon.

Olivia felt embarrassed. She went back to the IM window immediately and wrote what had happened at the park. She also wrote "sorry" as many times as she had to until Dolan forgave her.

When he did, Dolan admitted that he did lie which caused Olivia to feel edgy again.

DustyNines109:I didn't have 2 shovel snow. I was just nervous about meeting u. Like when u saw that old guy in the park, I was afraid 2 c that u might not b who you said u were. im sorry Liv. 4give me?

That's when Olivia realized that trust was difficult. She was reminded of a quote she had read once: "You may be deceived if you trust too much, but you will live in torment if you don't trust enough."

2muchOlives:course. I felt the same way.

DustyNines109: least u know how 2 trust. Im stupid

2muchOlives:No. That's the thing about trust. It's always a risk.

A moment pasted before either teen typed.

DustyNines109:ok lets set another date

Olivia gazed at her clock, watching the long pink needle spin as seconds continued to past.

2muchOlives:Maybe we should stay distant.

Her leg jiggled as she anxiously waited for Dolan's reply.

DustyNines109:Yeah screw meeting. We'll make better pen pals anyway.

Olivia smiled then wondered about his prediction.

2muchOlives:How do you know?

DustyNines109:I dunno.

DustyNines109:Guess ya might say im taking a risk w/trust, huh?