I send only one, of fifty texts that I draft then say it's the last. Chiselled from heartache, my words pretend to be light, love hides in plain sight. And each time I get a thoughtless response, or none I swear I am done. But these pregnant texts, seem to be writing themselves, yearning to be sent.
I got a text from you today. You just said: I hope you are ok. I replied that it was not the common cold but I was getting better, although I still missed you. I asked how you were. Good you said, you just wanted to say hi, and you were trying a no-carb diet. I said you must be suicidal since you did not eat meat either and added that I hoped you were not sick. Not sick, you replied. I told you what I was up to, gym instead of lunch, a lot of reading, and I suggested you read the Lucia Berlin book, adding that it was just powerful stuff and not literary snobbery like the English Patient (I cannot resist those barbs, where you are concerned). You thanked me since you always needed something to read. I ended by saying that I appreciated you checking in and that I always thought about you, as I was sure you knew.
Apart from opening old wounds and resetting the counter I keep of days passed without contacting you, those texts are bittersweet. They tell me what I already know, that you care, and that you probably miss me too, even though you do not say it.
I will cry again today with the pain of regret, the knife that twists in my heart with each “what if”. Even through this little text, I feel you close to me. Like the day you lent me your jumper, it felt like a physical touch, a tentative embrace.
In our short acquaintance, I felt as if I held your heart between the palms of my hands. It trembled against my fingers like a frightened bird, and as much as I wanted to hold it in warmth and comfort, it had to be set free. My heart breaks daily because I know that behind all your snobbery and pretense there is a soul, a twin to mine, a soul I have glimpsed through your eyes and recognized. Where do I go now after I recognized you as my own heart?
I did appreciate you contacting me. But it still hurts, and I forgot to ask you, since you were an expert before me in matters of heartache and heartbreak, will it ever stop hurting?
When you texted today, I told you to quit worrying and that it was all part of life, but the simple truth is this: No I am not ok.