I like you. And then the other day you told me you like me too. How natural and normal that sounds. This hardly qualifies as either of those, but it feels nice to pretend.
It started last fall. I saw you through the room and I didn’t think you’d remember me. I like to assume the worst because it’s safer that way. But you did remember. And we talked for a little bit. It was long enough for me to think about you for the rest of the night. And then for days afterwards. I kept my friends close the whole time because I was nervous. But you probably don’t remember that part.
I liked you right away and I made sure not to show it. I noticed myself falling back into a few favorite habits. Don’t tell him. Stay quiet. Hope he notices. Maybe it will work this time. But it didn’t. And so I said something.
Not to you though. I told one friend and then a couple more. We giggled, I “friended” you, and then I let it go. Because we lived in different cities and because it seemed silly and because what was the point. And so I wrote you off.
Except by then it was too late. I had already cleared a little space for you. And when I saw you again, it reminded me of what I already knew. I drove away and I felt satisfied. It felt like enough. Now let it go.
But I didn’t. I held onto your sentences. They were stuck to me and I liked the way that felt.
Time passed and you surprised me. You showed up unexpectedly and it was face to face and it was so nice and I didn’t say no. You left quickly though. And after that I didn’t hear from you again. So I let you go one more time. But something had already begun. And I guess I didn’t let you go at all. I did the opposite. I waited for you instead.
I looked forward to listening. I liked breaking up bits of my thoughts and handing them over. It felt so good to give them away. I hadn’t done that in a while.
I held onto the back and forth. I wanted to because I liked the idea of you and the words we typed and the way we kept it up. I didn’t know all of you but I let trust happen anyways.
But it wasn’t real.
And then when what it really was revealed itself, I couldn’t take it. It was something removed, something lacking so much of the mandatory. We both knew this. We had toyed with the idea for so long it seemed. We tossed it around until it cooled off. It couldn’t sustain itself. And then it didn’t feel so good anymore.
You were there and I was here. We thought there was too much space and then when the space grew, that was that. And so you powered down and shut me off. I wasn’t ready for it. I had grown into what we made but soon I retrained myself. And then I let you go, I thought. I expected nothing and nothing was what came.
But I had to ask you if you meant what you had said.
You said yes, but I couldn’t live off of so little and you admitted that there was not much to base this on anyways. And so when it was ready to fade back into the vapor that these kinds of things are born into, I watched it leave. I stood and I stared and I waited until there was nothing left to let go of anymore.