It’s 1 a.m. and I am right where you left me a year ago.
In my living room.
Chocolate brown couch.
Phone in my hand. Texting a boy who isn’t you.
And the only thing I can think about is how he is just not you. You with your uncanny charm and disaster awaits smile.
He says he loves me.
I think of how you hurt me.
He is online. Waiting for a response.
I say I have never felt love.
He says he thinks I deserve the world.
I smile. I say that would be the perfect recipe for chaos.
He says will you ever love someone after him?
I say I am hoping for that miracle.
Blue ticks. He goes offline.
It’s 1.15 now.
He calls. I pick up.
“Hi! Is it okay to call?”
“Alright! So, what’s up?” Nervousness underlines his words.
My lips curve into a smile. “I was just texting you.”
“I know. And I would rather do this in person. But I guess call will work.”
“Listen. You shouldn-”
“No. Let me finish. You’re under no obligation to respond to what I am going to say. But I love you. I love how you believe the world is a system of routines and you’re the ideal misfit. I love how you can so easily carry conversations and make even the most complex problems seem easy. I love how you’re slowly learning to love yourself and there are nights when you scream out your hatred for yourself only to wake up the next morning and love the hot mess, that you believe you are. And no I don’t care if he broke you beyond repair. Because you are healing. And no I don’t want you to feel bad about not liking me back because trust me it’s more than okay.
I am blushing. I say “who said I don’t like you?”
He says “I assumed.”
“Isn’t that a dumb thing to do?”
“Wait you do?”
It’s 2 a.m. And I am not where you left me. I just got off the phone with him.
I listen to my heart now. One thing you begged I didn’t do.
I drift to sleep.
6 months later.
I have a routine now.
I wake up to his call and fall asleep talking to him.
You are there. But on days when I have nothing better to do other than mull over how time changes.
And those days are rare.
He makes every day an adventure. A rollercoaster.
I play along. For I am still healing.
I almost said I love you once.
Now I bite my tongue instead.
Sometimes I give myself the liberty to imagine a life with him.
One thing you forbid me to do.
I think I will say I love you soon.