Three weeks after we broke up, you texted me. I wasn’t expecting to hear from you ever again and I was slowly beginning to accept it. I thought I was starting to be okay. Quickly, I unlocked my phone and read the message. You told me that they were playing The Martian at the $5 theater and that I should go because you “wanted me to have that experience.”
In that moment, I hated you. I mentioned wanting to see the movie ONCE and you remembered. You always remember. I paced back and forth in my bedroom trying to decide whether I should respond or not. Four hours later, I came up with this: “Thanks, I’ll be sure to check it out.”
You didn’t respond.
For the next few days, all I could think about was how I should’ve reworded the message so that you would’ve responded.
Four more weeks passed. I was starting to feel okay again. You weren’t the first thing I thought about every morning when I woke up. You weren’t my last thought before bed. I even started talking to a new guy. He was funny and witty. He liked my lame jokes; I was starting to like him.
It was my birthday. At 7:41 AM, I get a message from you. “Hey, happy birthday! I hope you have an amazing day. I hope you got those tickets to Wicked like you wanted. Let me know if you ever need anything or just to talk. I will always care about you. Enjoy your day.”
Why did you have to text me? Why did you have to remember my birthday? Why did you tell me you care about me?
If you did, we would’ve worked out. Or at least, that’s what I kept telling myself as I tried to figure out the correct response to your message. “Thank you!” is all I could come up with.
You didn’t respond.
I spend the rest of the day thinking about how I should’ve worded the message differently so that you did respond. I wanted to tell you that yes, I got those tickets and that I’ll always be here for you, too. And yes, I care about you. I always will. I haven’t stopped.
Two more weeks pass by. By now, I’ve gone on a date with the new guy. He was just as funny in person and I loved holding his hand.
I don’t think of you much for those two weeks.
You text me again. You tell me you still had my copy of Fahrenheit 451 and when could we meet up so you could give it back to me? I tell my friends about this and they tell me to tell you to just drop it off in my mailbox, but I don’t.
I want to see you.
We make plans to meet at a coffee shop.
The coffee shop.
The one we used to spend hours at. Do you remember how you used keep your hand on my thigh as we sat sipping our lattés? How you made me giggle every time you whispered how badly you wanted to kiss me?
It was all I could think about as I waited for you to show up.
You finally arrived and my pulse was going crazy as we hugged. You pulled me in close. You smelled like Old Spice and mint.
I didn’t want to let go.
We make small talk for a few minutes and I feel myself falling under your spell again. I forget about how you lied, how we fought, how I cried.
All of it.
As you sipped your Americano, I hear the familiar ding of my phone.
“Are you free today? They’re playing The Martian at the $5 theater and I’ve been dying to see it.”
Eight weeks pass.
I don’t think of you at all.