I was gone 47 seconds (give or take a millisecond). That’s it. You were about to give me an update on how your grandmother is doing — if the doctor is going to remove the feeding tube he’d put in the last time we spoke. But I just couldn’t wait anymore. I had to, you know, go. So I typed “brb,” hurried to the bathroom and when I came back you were offline. You didn’t say goodbye… didn’t say “Sorry, I’ve got to run, maybe we can catch up over coffee later this week?” You were just gone.
Did he come home from work? Is that why you left? That’s all I can think of. It’s a shame, really, because we were just starting to get into our old “groove.” And I only messaged you because I was excited you saw Attack the Block. I knew you’d love it. You’re one of maybe five people I know — the others of which are guys — who would appreciate it. When I saw it, there was a part of me that really wished we were seeing it together… but don’t worry, that’s not the sort of thing I would’ve brought up if we’d continued chatting.
I really wanted to hear about your grandmother. I wanted to know how you were dealing with everything. It’s funny to think, she was almost my grandmother. Would she have been my “grandmother-in-law?” I’ve never heard anyone say it like that before. I’m sure you would know, too — you’re good with those little bits of trivia. Me? Not so much. Though I did memorize that Animaniacs song (the one about the state capitals). Remember when I sang it to you? You about fell over laughing and then you pulled my forehead to yours and told me that you loved me. It was the only time you ever said it. Afterward you seemed so embarrassed… but anyway, that’s not the sort of thing I would’ve brought up if we’d continued chatting.
I wouldn’t have brought him up either. I wouldn’t have told you what I really think — that his eyes are too close together and his fashion too ornate for someone employed part-time at a Family Video. How does it work? Does he even pay half of the rent at your apartment? Does he chip-in for groceries? Bills? This can’t last. You’re too smart for this to last. The question is: when it’s over — when he’s taken everything from you that’s good and reduced you to a quivering, insecure mess — what will I do?
Will I build you up again? Will I vigilantly extol your every virtue until my position is as weak and vulnerable as yours? Will our desperation lead us to an awkward and disappointing sexual encounter filled with rushed, closed-lipped kisses? If so, I know you’ll want me gone as soon as it’s over — but you’ll be too scared to say it. I’ll know this and I’ll stay. And after a long, sleepless night, I’ll ask if I can use your shower; I’ll smell his body wash and wonder if you picked it out for him the way you used to do for me… but of course, this is not the sort of thing I would’ve brought up if we’d continued chatting.