Your bubble is always offline. Always. Whether it’s early morning or late at night, we never seem to cross paths. At least not virtually.
I knew when I boarded the plane there was a chance we would meet again. Never awkwardly bump into one another at an outdoor market or get the feeling we had spotted each other somewhere in a large crowd. I accepted the idea that we just might not make it, thousands of miles between anyone can have its consequences. The only thing I never realized before I boarded my flight is just how easy it is to hide on the internet.
Your bubble is always offline. For so long that I came to the conclusion you had figured out the feature that allows you to always appear offline to me. I convinced myself you weren’t that cruel, only to realize you most likely didn’t think of me enough times in a day to make any effort to avoid reminders of me.
Today at work though, as I sat in my cubicle under the harsh fluorescent lights, your bubble was no longer a soft gray; it was orange. Looking at that orange circle felt just like when I used to stare at the sun as a kid. I should look away, knowing that staring for too long will cause my eyes to water, but something causes me to continue to stare in amazement.
Weeks, possibly months, have gone by with that stupid bubble in a constant state of gray. It was strange knowing that you were somewhere out there, sitting in a room on the opposite side of this earth, checking your email, and maybe even watching one of those YouTube videos I never understood why you loved so much. We spent so much time together that even months later I remember your routine, while I doubt you even know where I currently am living. Everything in your life has stayed still since I boarded that flight, while I’m on my side of the planet my life seems to drastically change with every new season.
In between replying to repetitive emails, I realized you hadn’t blocked me at all, you were simply absent. And sadly, for those few minutes that your chat bubble glowed like the end of a lit cigarette, I came up with the stupid idea that maybe we still had a chance. Despite the months of silence all I could think was, “he didn’t block me, which must mean something, right?”
Whether orange, gray or green, your bubble has always been just that, a bubble. An invisible barrier that you never quite let me cross. Weeks filled with late night conversations, marathons of our favorite shows and hours spent feeding the ducks all ended with me sitting in my cubicle, thinking of all the things I wanted to tell you all those times your bubble was a cruel gray.
So instead of clicking on your name and letting the cursor blink for minutes in the empty chat box, I’m going to carry on with my day pretending like this never happened, switch my status to offline, and accept that no matter how often my bubble was an inviting green, how many messages I sent you hoping for a simple ‘hello’ in return, you always chose to carry on your day like our entire relationship never happened.