It was 5 years ago when I found myself staring at my phone at a contact that I both did and did not want to reach out to. I was lying in bed in my dorm room, with the only light coming from my phone shining on my face. I remember my gut clenching and my heart racing, and the small voice in my head telling me that I should just turn off my phone, and that a conversation would not end well for either one of us.
I should have listened to myself. But against my better judgement, I didn’t. I didn’t know what I was feeling, just that I wanted to be with you more than I wanted anything. In the back of my mind, I knew that I couldn’t have you, no matter how hard I tried. But I had hoped that I was wrong, that somehow, we would work out.
I found myself pressing the call button. While the phone was ringing, I had this unique feeling that I didn’t own my own body, that someone else was in control. On one hand, I was waiting for her to pick up, while one the other hand I was watching myself waiting. To this day, I can still feel my heart pounding and my gut clenching.
“Hey, it’s me.”
“Yeah, how’s it going?”
“I have something to say to you.”
“I can’t really talk. I’m currently with someone right now.”
“Sorry. It’s just that I needed to tell you something.”
There was a long silence. I held my breath until she finally said “okay.”
My words came tripping over themselves. I hated the way I stuttered when I tried to get my thoughts out. “I know that we’re just friends, but it sometimes doesn’t feel that way, you know? And I was hoping that one day that one day you’d realize that I’d be the one to be able to make you happy. I feel like I can be the one to be able to do that.”
I couldn’t hear anything on the other end of the line. I cleared my throat and continued, “I guess what I want to say is that I hope you realize I’m better at the end of the day.” I knew that I had crossed a line that I couldn’t come back from.
I had so much more to say, but I stopped myself. There was already enough damage. I knew her answer before I started talking, I knew it before I dialed the number on my screen.
“I can’t be thinking about this right now.” She was trying to keep her voice light. It didn’t take much to realize that she was putting on a show for the person she was with at the time. “Let’s talk about this later, alright? It’s nice to hear about your concerns for me, I really appreciate it.”
At the end of the day, there were no big realizations. There was nothing, and the silence on the other end only further humiliating me. I had put myself out there, but for what? It was pointless.
It struck me how silent a heartbreak could be. And at the same time, heart break could be so deafening to the person it was happening to.
Then, I realized something. I loved and cared for her, but that feeling wasn’t mutual to say the least. Maybe the word “love” wouldn’t be appropriate to the situation. Maybe it was just an infatuation.
I shut off my phone, closed my eyes, and attempted to get to sleep. I hoped that when I wake up everything would be better.