Dear Gwyn, How can I tell you this? There's somebody else in my life. His name's Neal and though he's rather short, he's got everything I've ever wanted... including a place of his own.
I don't know quite how it happened. He looked like just another casual acquaintance - but soon after he moved in, I knew that our relationship was to be more personal. Neal wasn't just any old collection of bits and bytes.
How can I describe him? He's musical, so I give him lots of records, and if I ask him nicely, by typing in a message, he'll play the piano for me. He's pretty good at it too. He likes to read books and you can tell how kind he is by the way he takes care of his dog.
People say that it'll only end in tears, that we'll never really communicate, but what do they know? So what, if when he answers the phone he sounds like a hyperactive budgie in a pressure cooker. He sends me the most beautiful love letters, keeping me up to date on what he's doing and thinking. In exchange I leave food for him and the dog, and re-fill the water supply.
And yes, it's true (dare I say it?) .. our relationship is becoming increasingly intimate. Physical even! He likes nothing better than sitting in his favourite armchair while I (don't be ashamed - nothing is abnormal in a mature relationship) extend a mechanical hand and... stroke his neck!
In exchange he plays games with me. He's a master at anagrams and when it comes to simple card games, he's a little devil. But best is poker. We'll play for hours. Okay - he insists on being the dealer every time. So what? I like a man who's masterful, even if he is only two centimetres tall. After all, it's not the size that counts.
I find myself spending more and more time with him, spying on his everyday activities, whether he's watching TV, playing with his computer or working out upstairs. If only we could share those bedroom aerobics, but he never seems to tire of my observation, the little exhibitionist!
I admit that he may not be that good looking. In fact, he's very pale compared with his cousins from Commodore Court. But what does that matter when I see him smile because I've just given him a good rub? And if I ever neglect him he gets so dejected and types such pitiful letters that it breaks my heart. Most of the time he appears to be walking on air though - and I'm sure it's because of me and not just a programming quirk.
There's only one thing that worries me. Sometimes he vanishes behind a door and reappears looking happier than ever. I hope it's just paranoia but, you don't think ... has he got a little computer bit on the side? if he ever cheated on me I'd... I'd pull the plug on him!
Still, I'll stick by him, because I've never seen anything like him before. Of course it may just be infatuation, caused by the novelty of it all. But there's something so cute about him that I'm content to sit and marvel for the time being.
I'm sorry, but this is goodbye.