“Oh yeah, that one.
I don’t know how it happened.
We didn’t know each other.
Hell – had we met?
No. We hadn’t. Not till much later.
That was her idea too.”
“We talked a lot. I don’t know what about.
There was Leonard Cohen. And Moody Blues.
As if I created these guys and she was the first one to know.
But she talked.
Okay, well, we talked.”
“What about? No idea.
One day, she told me she liked talking to me.
I didn’t doubt that – we hadn’t stopped talking for a week now.
I liked her. I don’t know what about her.
But she made me spend my time with her.”
“I’m drawn now. Why, I don’t know. I never knew.
Of course it wasn’t love – I hadn’t met her.
I couldn’t hear what she said most of the time.
But you get used to her voice.
And her worry. And her endless topics to talk about.
Days fly, you know?
And one day, we are waking up in each other’s arms.”
“She was my girl.
Mine to talk to. Mine to keep.
Mine to hold. She loved being held.
Do all girls do that? Like being held?
This one did. I don’t remember how.”
“She’d panic if I got late.
She’d ask me about my day and my plans.
I still don’t know why people ask me that.
And she waited till I asked her too.
She wrote my name, and decorated the letters.
I was scared it was her wedding card,
But she didn’t want to get married.”
“Relief. None of us knew what was happening.
She thought she did.
And I was scared for both of us. My freedom
And her sanity. She’d cry for me. No one did that.
I didn’t want her to.”
“The worry increased. That place is nowhere to live
But I have been on my own.
And she didn’t understand.
The freedom of being unattached. Unasked for.”
“She wanted to be with me. The weeping increased.
Oh, did I mention, we hadn’t met yet.
But boy she loved me. Or thought she did. I loved her too.
I don’t know. I can’t give my word for it.”
“What I did know is I had to leave.
This place was eating me up. That place was calling.
And there is a life I needed to live
Education, ambitions. Stuff normal people do at 23.
And she helped me pack.”
“She had a check-list. Added items to it
And asked strangers who knew what I’d need there.
As if I wouldn’t have done it myself.
She needed to stop being like that.”
“Then we met.”
“I thought she’d never make it.
But she did, and I was crushed.
“I won’t forget how she held my hand.”
“She held my hand like she knew she could keep the universe, her world between our fingers and she was holding it right there, like that. She didn’t speak much. But she held my hand and I wanted to not let her move and keep her right there and look at her and hold her hand back for the rest of my life. Her drooped smile was mine. Her eyes were mine. Her hair was mine. And she was holding my hand. There, like that.”
“Sorry. You don’t forget the smells and the sounds.”
“We didn’t let go of our hands.
I should have. She was latched on to it.
I showed her the city. She smiled and held my hand.
The beach. Held my hand.
We’d kiss and laugh and walk about.
We fought then too but she was
Holding my hand and she didn’t let go.”
“Then she asked me if this was it.
I said it was. I didn’t see another answer.
I’d be a world away.
She did but she wasn’t the one answering.
She shrugged and nodded.”
“I walked her to where she was staying.”
“She wasn’t holding my hand then.
Her fist was right next to me as we walked.
I looked at it for a while.
It had something missing.
“I thought she was angry.
Her eyes weren’t watery. They were not shining.
You know how their eyes shine when they have something to say, right?
Like when she held my hand.
They were just looking at the road.
Her eyes weren’t on me.
Her hand wasn’t in mine.
I changed that.”
“I held her hand and I walked that way.
Her face was buried in my chest and
When I lifted her chin I knew this would be
The last time in a long time that I could kiss
Someone who’d hold my hand back the way
She did right then.”
“I haven’t seen her since.
A few months later, she decided that my time wasn’t for her.
And from what I read and heard she believed it too.
I shouldn’t have walked her home, maybe.
Maybe I shouldn’t have held her hand, maybe.
I think my hand did the damage.”
“I wish she’d not have dreamt so much of me.
That was the problem.
Dreaming too much. Her problem, not mine.
I knew what was happening.
She could have stopped. I had asked her to.”
“That’s all I remember.”