“What were you going to say?”
Those unsaid words haunt me. I want to throw my damned phone into the swelling ocean! Now my heart beats loud and strong. Thump, thump, thump - like a drum announcing me and my narcissism. But on that day, it was silent and still while yours quietly wept.
“Nothing.” You replied as you looked down at your lap.
We sat, surrounded by mundane small talk and the pervading lilt of Dido playing through obnoxious speakers. I was hot. Were you hot? I think your cheeks were pink, a little flushed. But you didn’t take off your green jacket. I love that jacket.
And you went to talk. We’d been coy and quiet while the waiter created a buffer with her questions and intrusions. You choose a sticky scroll and I envied you as you bit into the soft and doughy bun. But I was too proud to join you.
Another interruption when your cappuccino arrived with its heart shaped cocoa design. That waitress annoyed me. Yesterday. Now I wish… well I wish it were me delivering your coffee with a smile.
My cruel words cut your golden glow. I saw it dissipate like a storm cloud blocking the sun as I told you about my ‘someone else’. And you were going to say something. I saw my reflection in your welling eyes, your lips parted, your fingers trembling ever so slightly.
Then my god-forsaken phone rang. And it was her ring tone. I know my mouth turned up before I could stop myself. And you caught it. I saw how it pierced you, like an arrow hitting its target straight through the heart.
Her words were as thick as honey while your razor sharp stare bored into me. I averted my gaze. I didn’t want to face your accusation while I allowed the delicate perfume of her seduction to envelop me and take me away from you.
I didn’t hear the words you wanted me to know, instead a wistful, gentle sigh is all I remember. I didn’t know, as I watched you leave, your unsteady steps through the door I can no longer bear to be near, that it would be the last time I watched you go.
I want to throw this wretched phone into the icy sea! But your voice is locked into the small box and I know I never will part with it. It will be my cross. The message I keep are not the words that I missed. Those words were stolen.
And how was I to know, when you touched my fingertips and I withdrew my hand so thoughtlessly, that it would be the last time your skin would connect with mine?
Now my hopeless tears join the fierce waves that you loved. Too late.
Photo by Gayatri Malhotra on Unsplash