My phone vibrates. I know it's you, but I can't look at the message right now. He's sitting right next to me. I'm hoping he didn't hear the buzzing sound because if he did, I know he'll suspect something.
He's watching. I don't reach for the phone. I act like it doesn't matter to me at all, but my heart is pounding in my chest. Hearing from you is like a drug for me. I haven't seen you for what seems like a long, long time. Messages from you are all I have to keep me connected to you. And I just know that there is one waiting for me right now, 12 inches away, but I can't look at it. Not yet.
I wonder what it says. Will it be a simple and casual, "Hey" or something more substantial? It really doesn't matter what it says. What matters is that it's from you. You have reached out to connect, reminding me that I'm still important in your life, that in the middle of your busy evening, when you can't be caught sending a message, you take the chance to steal a moment to let me know you're thinking of me. I marvel at how you can pack so much thought, intention, and emotion into a few words.
We haven't had time to communicate much for several days, and I really do miss you. Several things have happened that I have wanted to tell you about, but they will have to wait until we have time. Sometimes I wonder if we'll ever be able to find enough time to catch up on all the things that come up in between our conversations. Heck, I'm ok with just sitting with you and not saying anything (yes, I know you must be chuckling right now at the thought of me not saying anything. Haha). The touch of your hand speaks clearly to me.
Even when you don't speak, I hear you.
He stands up and walks to the back of the house to get something. I wait until he's far down the hall and I hear our bedroom door open before I reach for the phone and check the message quickly.
I sigh. That's just what I needed to lift me out of the malaise I've been in. Like a cool drink of water on a hot summer's day, your message calms and refreshes me.
I quickly type out a reply. As I hit send, I hear his footsteps coming back toward the living room. I put the phone back exactly where it was before he left, and return to reading my Kindle. I try not to smile, but the happiness I feel at hearing from you is practically bubbling out of me. I decide to let it out, so I smile and laugh, pretending that I just read something very funny.
"Good book, huh?" he asks.
"Very good," I reply.
I stare at the page, smiling, but I'm not reading. I'm thinking about you. I'm wondering what you are doing right now. I'm remembering how you looked sitting across the table at that coffee place, sipping iced tea and telling me about some of the things going on in your life. I could have sat there just looking at you for a few hours more that day, but we both had to go.
Sometimes I wish that we could have the time to just hang out together and enjoy each other's company, but time is a rare luxury for us. Every moment we carve out for each other is stolen from someone or something else - work, family, friends, hobbies - so we usually spend our time with each other in minutes, rather than hours - minutes like the one stolen for the message you just sent. Our relationship has been built over many months of a few minutes at a time.
My thoughts of you are interrupted by him telling me he's going to get some ice cream. As he goes to the kitchen, I reach for the phone. I'll have time to send you a short message while he's gone. As soon as I pick up the phone, it vibrates again.
I smile, inside and out.
It's another message from you.