It’s a Friday night.
I’m not drunk. I don’t have any spectacular news. I have no excuses. Still, I find myself digging for your name in my contacts. I scroll to stop the obsessive ticks in my head that still count each second our silence grows longer. I click on your name and start typing “hey” and then backspace. I start typing “I miss you” and then backspace. I start typing and then backspace completely to where your name is no longer in the recipient box anymore. I stop myself and click my screen to black.
All I want is to send you a little “hi,” a little “hello,” a little message that isn’t too nostalgic, isn’t too connected. I want to send you a message that plays it cool, but also reminds you that I am there. I need to send that message. I need to feel that brief moment when my phone lights up in response, easing my fear that I am not completely gone—that I still exist, even if in the smallest fraction; I am still there.
I beg for that fraction of a second so I don’t feel so forgotten. That physical comfort—that little blue bubble—it lets me know that you haven’t erased me completely. How can someone who used to be the most important thing in your life become nothing at all? Doesn’t all of our time together count for anything? The reality that we are writing new chapters that neither of us will be a part of scares me. I don’t need a lead role, but I’d like to know I made a footnote.
I scroll to find your name again as I start on my fourth draft. I start typing, but then I think—what if my screen never lights up in return? I start to run through potential scenarios in my head. I start to run through old scenarios in my head. I start to run through everything. I map out every little detail, every little question. Did you mean it when you drunkenly told me you loved me? If you truly loved me you can’t just stop loving me that fast can you? We never stop loving quietly the ones we used to love out loud, right?Do you ever think of me when you’re with her? Do you ever think of me at all? I run through every scenario. Again. Again. Again.
You used to text me every two weeks like clock work. You used to check in. For six months past you reminded me that I was still there, that I still mattered, that I was on your mind; you always sent the “hello.” You’re the one who didn’t want to be forgotten and I was the one that reminded you that you weren’t. It’s been two months now since that last blue bubble and every day after I start to realize that maybe you don’t care anymore. Maybe you’re ready to forget.
You really have replaced me with her. You probably look at her the way you used to look at me. You probably kiss her hand when your studying. You probably sway her in your arms when your favorite song comes on. I guess you finally let me go after all this time of me telling you to, but this time you actually did it. I’d always say “move on, move forward,” but I never truly believed we would ever find a relationship that matched ours; I always thought the future would be kind to us, that time would bring us back. It pulled us apart instead. I thought and believed in a lot of things.
I should put my phone away. I should turn it off, but even then my mind won’t stop bleeding nostalgia; my thoughts won’t let me go. It hurts. I tell myself to be strong. I tell myself that if you want to talk to me, you will. I stare down at the dark screen laying in my palm, aching for that little buzz, that flash of your name. I close my eyes.
It’s a Friday night.
I’m not drunk. I don’t have any spectacular news. I have no excuses. Still, I find myself gripping onto my phone waiting for a comfort that is never going to come.