She woke in the dark, as she did every night. She reached for the phone on the shelf beside her bed, clicked the center circle, checked for his message. And as every night for the last three weeks, she found nothing. An orange tulip stared back at her.
She shoved the phone under her pillow and rolled over.
So much for sleep.
She rolled over again, kicked the sheets in frustration, her legs entangled in the not-so-cool cotton. She fought the sheets and the rising ache.
The pictures were killing her. The old ones, the new ones. The girl with her stupid smile and flirty eyes. The way she pressed her whole body against him. It was disgusting.
It hurt so bad.
It had been weeks, weeks. How could she still care? Why did her whole chest twist at the sight? And really, it wasn’t just the pictures. There were so many moments, in casual conversation, as she watched TV, as she drove down the goddamn street. Anything could stir a memory, a thought, an echo of a conversation. The hurt.
She couldn’t figure out how to put it behind her. Some moments, sure, she felt light and free. But it was as though a shadow always lurked just out of sight, as though she waited constantly for the next trigger, the next pang. And it never failed her. It always came eventually.
How to make it stop? She didn’t know.
Well, she kind of did. She knew what her problem was—she simply did not have anyone else. And she wasn’t sure how to heal a broken heart without someone else… she had simply always had someone else. She had always gone from one to another in relatively short succession. It had worked for her in the past.
But she had no one new. She didn’t really want anyone new. Or at least, she hadn’t met anyone she wanted.
She just wanted to be happy.
Her phone buzzed. She felt it through the pillow, a short buzz. Probably junk mail.
She had to check it anyway.
Not junk mail.
I miss you.
Her chest tightened.
She didn’t know what to say.
What did it mean?
She read it again.
I miss you.
And again and again and again.
I miss you I miss you I miss you.
It didn’t change. It was really there.
But again, what did it mean? I miss you, but… But I still don’t love you? I still don’t want to be with you? I still think we should just be friends? I still…
But it was just, I miss you.
She stared at the text.
It was still there.
If she were in a movie, she was pretty sure the I miss you would be followed by some very dramatic yet heartwarming declaration of undying love. I can’t breathe without you. You’re all I think about. You’re my one and only.
Ok, those were pretty lame. She clearly was not in a movie. Nor was she writing a movie (script, that is). [Side note: sometimes the guys in those chick flicks bordered on creeper. Seriously, how many girls would really like Edward staring at them as they drooled on their pillow each night? A little creepy? I’d say so.]
Back to the issue at hand: I miss you.
In a pretty lime green bubble.
I miss you too.
In a boring gray one.
And then the wait.
Was that it? Would more come? What was the point? Just a reminder? Hey, I just wanted to screw with your heart a little. No big deal.
She didn’t care. She’d take it.
She’d rip her heart out again and again for just a word from him.
Her room lightened with the sky.
And it looked like just once would suffice.