She was sobbing into the phone when Mr. Unavailable said he didn’t “recognize that noise she was making.”
“No. No No.” She says. “I’m crying because it makes me feel better,” even though the truth is she’s crying because the end of the story is more crystal clear than if she were conjuring her crystal ball.
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“It just isn’t fair,” she breathes between tears, as she wipes her eyes and blows her nose with the half used Kleenex in the center console.
The cell phone keeps cutting out, and maybe that’s better. Maybe he doesn’t need to hear that she loves him already. She thought that talking to him would quiet the longing. Every time they see each other it’s all butterflies and magnetism, but then the following day the tears start to well. The energy pull of two people can’t be explained. When he leaves, she wishes he’d come back.
Maybe it’s an illusion. Maybe love at fiftieth text message, at sixteenth email is a farce. It’s easy to press letters into words. It’s cheap and easy.
I care about you’s and you’re beautiful’s coagulate from lonely old letters into words and sentences with deeper meaning. Bit by bit they push their way inside the human heart. Then they sit there and wait for more friends. Pretty words can swell it right up, fill up that love bank, though at the moment those words and sentences might as well be letters. She’s as lonely as a lonely old letter.
If she pays attention and quits projecting she can wrap her head around what’s right there at the end of her nose. I care about you’s and you’re beautiful’s aren’t I love you’s.
Of course, she knows this.
But when love is the answer, and the question is why won’t he share it, the tears form in the corners of her eyes as she waits in line at Harris Teeter. Faster and harder when she hears his voice from the inside of her car in the parking lot.
She sits and she cries and chokes on hopes and dreams.
She’ll remember to put a new box of Kleenex in the car.
And he still doesn’t recognize that sound that she makes.
He might never. Or maybe he will.