Reviewed by SinChan
The Byte of Betrayal by Ashavan Doyon
Short Story: 73pgs
3.5 Pants Off
Caleb McDonnell lives
his life online. A thirty-year-old fast food worker, he spends his time
talking in an Internet world where his job and living conditions can't
dictate his friendships. He's found acceptance, friendship, and even
romance. But when an online friend is revealed as a fake, Caleb loses
all sense of trust. To stave off the emotional collapse of his betrayal,
Caleb leaves his online life behind and retreats into the monotony of
Nicodemus Rokos feels like his heart has been torn out.
He knew Caleb would be hurt, but he'd hoped not to be shut out of his
boyfriend's life. He can only hope Caleb still feels something when he
shows up in person to reclaim what he's lost.
has a crush on Nic but he doesn't have the courage to tell him so he
tells his online best friend, Kevin. He also can't afford a trip to
visit Nic since he's so poor, he's eating Ramen noodles and stale bread.
He's living his life online and having online friends. A thousand miles
away, Nic wants to be Caleb's boyfriend and discovers Kevin is a fake.
Nic tells Caleb the truth but he can't accept it.
is getting depressive and reliant on his online relationships to feel a
connection. When he discovers his best friend (online) is a fake
person, he spirals into depression. He's background is really sad. He
used to live on the streets so he's proud to have a home even though its
a crappy one. Not many people understand how reliant he is on online
relationships/friendships. He thinks real people on the street are
impersonal and trusts his online best friend, Kevin. It turns out that
Kevin is really Tami, who's a boring and mousy character that wants
people to talk to her and gets addicted to using a fake persona. My
heart goes out to him and hope he trusts people again with Nic's help.
is the nice guy and the perfect hero for Caleb. However, his home
situation is weird. He's financially supporting his friend and her
child. His friend becomes reliant on him and tries to break up his
relationship so Nic will never leave her. They are not husband and wife
but they give off a very domestic feel. It would be difficult to add
Caleb into the mix.
online chat format may take a little to get used to. The ending of Nic
coming to rescue Caleb and his recovery is rushed. Overall though, the
story ends with a HEA and at a very hopeful note. Fans of the
hurt/comfort trope would enjoy this story.