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by Sara Genge

"This is naughty," Kinky678 linked me to a porn web page, "this is naughtier, and this is horrible." With each chat ping, another naked woman materialized in my kitchen.

"Whoa there," I said, pissed that she hadn't asked if I found porn acceptable. The pay per view holograms began to cajole me for money. I erased them with a sigh.

I'd only met her a couple of weeks ago, and she teased incessantly, but I kept coming back for more. She had sass, and made wry comments about my genitals (which she hadn't seen) as other women comment on clothes. She kept sending me pictures of herself, a foot, a wrist, a fluorescent tattooed navel. Nothing that would help me recognize her if I met her on the street, but enough to set my mind aflame. She insisted I call her Kinky.

"Let's meet in person," I asked again. She laughed me off.

"Are you sure this girl is cool?" asked Joanna at lunch-break. "She could be a drug dealer, or a minor. Have you thought of that?"

I winced. Kinky did sound young sometimes and I had considered that possibility, but I hadn't asked because I didn't really want to know. I was smitten. I looked imploringly at Joanna, but she glared back.

"Promise me you'll ask her age. And don't have another off-color conversation until you know she's legal."

I promised. Joanna was right. I wondered if I wasn't already in trouble.

When I got home, I popped the question.

"16," she answered.

Damn. I hesitated on the verge of continuing the conversation. No, I couldn't. I wondered if, deep down, I hadn't known all along. I hated myself for it.

"Nice talking to you, Kinky, but you need to find someone your own age." She wouldn't like this. The screen flickered and I wondered if something was wrong with the computer. Then Kinky's personalized chat slides disappeared and were replaced by a message:

Kinky678 is a program operating under Anti-Minor Abuse Law 278. You have not committed a crime. No charges will be brought against you. In accordance with New Jersey citizen privacy laws, Kinky678 is an artificial persona. There were no human operatives monitoring your conversations.

I stared at the screen. I already missed her. I thought for a while, and then I bought the latest dating software. I couldn't have Kinky, but her older sisters were fair game.

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