One morning, I woke up and logged in. There he was, on my Wall, after all these years. Had it been 20 years? I wondered. And did he remember?
I picked up my tea cup and look out of the window. As the gentle light of dawn crept in through the space between the tree tops, I remembered a conversation in exactly such light – a faraway evening in another world.
“There is just too much going on, J. I can’t do this.”
“But why are you shutting me out?” I could hear anger, desperation, entitlement, pleading. “What happened between yesterday and today?”
“There are people that I can’t let down. Who are going to be affected by this.”
“I know. I understand that. But that was always true right? What changed overnight?”
“Nothing’s changed.” I dawdled.
“Does it have anything to with what happened last night with K and L?”
“No.” I dawdled again. But perhaps it did. Perhaps my friends decision to move forward in their relationship had helped me realize where things were headed with J and I. And where I did not want to go. Where I could not go.
“Listen. Nothing happened okay. This is just a slow realization. We can’t go further with this.”
He sighed. I suppose he realized he was not going to get anywhere with me that day. We could both be very stubborn sometimes. “Okay we won’t go further. But why go back? Lets stay here a while.”
“For how long?”
“As long as it takes.”
“Don’t be silly J.”
“I am not being silly. I have no place else to go.” His determination, earnestness, his belief that this was true, meant to be, a “happily-ever-after” was endearing – but also sad. Because I knew it was going nowhere.
“I am going to be here forever you know.”
“I can wait. Okay may be not forever. But 20 years is plenty right?” He said playfully.
“But you hate this place. You are going to leave in 2 years.”
“Yeah but this world is not that big. Have you heard of this amazing new thing called the Internet. Apparently its great for keeping in touch.” He joked.
“Right.” I smiled wryly. “Says the person who’s not even on Facebook.” I teased.
“Well in 20 years when your time is up, I will get on Facebook and find you.” He smiled too. That broad smile, the one that spreads happiness in the world.
I smiled back too. Of course I knew it was all wishful thinking. But at that moment I just wanted to end the scene as gracefully as possible.
Yet here he was now, exactly 20 years later – with only one word.