Dear stranger

Dear stranger,

It has been a while, hasn’t it? May was the last time we spoke. May 8th. Not that I am keeping track, but I remember the day. Since then, I deleted your number from my phone. Not because I despise you or don’t want us to be in touch, but you told me to wait for you and that’s what I am doing. Waiting has never been my strongest quality and I know that I am waiting in vain. This – this entire situation is harder on you than it is on me. I guess it should be the other way around, but I can’t change it. And I don’t regret it either. Sure, for you everything is different and I can’t pretend to understand you, your motives, your reasons, or your actions. I can’t and that’s a fact. Once, we agreed that we need to be friends and trust one another. Maybe we trust each other but I don’t think that we are friends. We never shared anything that really mattered. We never were in love. Just in lust from time to time. And with our lust, desire, passion, we broke limits and boundaries. Maybe a couple times too often? Yes, maybe. Certainly. Some of it was my fault. I enabled you and didn’t stop you when I should have said no. I gave you my control when I should have taken control. I let you be the dominant one when I should have been. I write this right now because I do miss you. For a week now, I wasn’t sleeping right and I blame it on you. Your presence in my mind. And I worry. Also, I want to know how you are. And selfishly, I also want you to remember me. You will never forget me. I know that for sure and yet… I want to touch you again. I like your social media posts just to make you see that I am still there. Maybe we will never speak again. Maybe we will be an active part of each other’s lives soon again – truth is, it doesn’t matter. We will always have our memories. You will be a memory. And in many years time when I can grandchildren, I will tell them all about you. (The censored version! But come to think about it, then there isn’t much to talk about.) I wish that my presence how ever short or intense left some sort of impact on your life. Preferably a good one. I will never know what you won’t tell me.

I am still there…

xx

next November

​What a difference a year makes, don’t you think. Last year, you spent two weeks in Australia for work. You called daily. Sometimes twice. I remember that one call, when you were crying because you missed your daughter. We talked a lot that night. About your kid and her mother and about my kids and the way I raise them. You said that you liked the way I talked about them and it was the first time you called me beautiful. Another time when we talked, it was my turn to cry. The past had caught up and an apology had been issued. It had meant so much that I teared up when I told you. And you listened patiently. It was also the time when I told you about my family dynamics. I remember those things clear as day. And I miss those talks. Quality talks. I was never someone to cry a lot in front of people. But I cried with you. Three times. Yes, I counted because crying is such an intimate and personal thing for me. I don’t mean the tears I shed last night after I watched that movie, but the real emotional tears that come straight from the sad and overwhelmed heart. Yes, that meant a lot. And you know, those tears, those explosions of emotions, they felt so good with you. It feels like a lifetime ago. Do you remember that time you called very early in the morning. My voice was thick with sleep, my brain not ready to translate the words we were saying to each other. We laughed so hard. That’s a sound I remember and miss too. Your laughter. It’s true, last November, we were so close. This November we couldn’t be farther away. You will probably be abroad for weeks, you mentioned the Netherlands to me the last time we spoke. I am not sure about your schedule and it is not my business anymore either. Just, yes. I had this thought that last year everything was different. Last November we were one. This year we are worlds apart. Next November life will be different yet again. And it is good.

waiting…

Thursday night. 7:56pm. I am waiting. The sun is setting. It’s getting colder. But I keep waiting. Every once in a while, I take my phone out of my pocket to check for missed calls or messages. People are looking at me. I keep waiting. It’s only our second date. A concert date. A band that I like a lot but I had no one to come with me tonight. I asked him. Enzo. He said he would love to come. Enzo is Italian. Looks like one too. Dark long wavy hair, brown eyes with a sparkle. Really pretty eyes. His voice is a bit nasal, and he seems nervous all the time, buzzing with a restless inner energy. I have a cousin named Enzo too. Italian heritage and all that. But I am still waiting. The music started inside, and the crowd waiting outside where I am is thinning. The bass is droning. Where is he? I hope nothing happened. Another look at the phone. There’s a message.

Sorry. This is not going to work. Enjoy the show. Sorry. Delete my number. We shouldn’t get in touch. Got back together with my ex.

I read it again. But I don’t understand what I read. I had no idea that he considered going back to his ex. Then again, it was not a subject we had breached. I am torn. Should I go in, buy a couple of beers and listen to the music? Or should I go home? Yes, I was excited for our date tonight, but was I that attached that I will drown in self-pity? I consider my option. I look down the street. It’s nearly empty. Illuminated by the orange city lights. I look back at the club’s entrance. Two men who wouldn’t fit into my closet are guarding the doors. They are laughing. It makes them appear even more intimidating. 8:25. Shit. I have never been to a concert on my own. But I really want to see this band. I take a deep breath. It’s funny how sighing or taking deep breaths relaxes me. Out of my huge tote bag, I get my ticket. I paid for it. I’m going in. One of the burly guys scans my ticket while the other ask to see my bag. I should have thought about that earlier. Could have saved me the embarrassing moment of showing how many used tissues I carry around. Love will tear us apart says the man who scanned my ticket. I don’t understand. He must be good at reading people because he jerks his chin into the direction of my bag that is inspected. Indeed. The words he said are written on my bag. I just smile and nod. I hold out my hand for the obligatory stamp. It’s a teddy bear. Childish. Who chooses these things?

I walk inside. The music is loud. Too many people. And I am alone. I try my best to fit in. But I might look lost. At the bar, I see an opening. Maybe I am lucky and can order a drink without feeling out of place? To my surprise, it does work. The usual shouting and international signs for beer are used, but I get what I want. I turn around to make my way closer to the stage. A man stumbles into my path and something cold is poured down my front. Jeez. Jerk. I shout, looking at the mess he made and the merged beer and whatever liquid he drank that are now on my shirt. I am not sure if he heard me above the music. Our eyes meet. I know those eyes. They are green. Very pale. I take a step back. Small, cautious step. It’s him. Fucking hell! Him; the band’s guitarist and singer. And I just called him a jerk. I feel the heat rising in my cheeks. He looks at me. Watches me with his head tilted to the side. There is something like disappointment on his face now that I recognised him. Should I apologise? I didn’t do anything wrong. But he’s famous. Everyone around us is here to see him. And he poured his drink down my shirt. It’s a weird moment. I only see him. I know that there are people around us. Many people. But they are out of focus. Blurry side notes. Come, he orders and gently wraps his hand around my wrist. Too stunned, I just follow him. He pulls me toward the merchandise stand and asks for a T-shirt. All the time he has his hand on my wrist. He must feel my pulse against the calloused skin of his fingers and hand. I can feel it. Mine. My heart beat. It’s very fast. Almost uncomfortable. He turns to me and smiles. Again he orders me to follow him. And I do. It’s actually not careful to trust him. A stranger. But somehow, I do. Maybe I fell for the illusion that I know him because of his familiar face? Apart from my two greeting words I haven’t said a word. My mind is racing. My heart is too. He pushes doors open and shows his access all areas badge. In one hand he holds a shirt. In the other he holds me. What’s happening here? The music is not as loud anymore after we walked through another door. There are tables with food and more strangely familiar faces. People are laughing and teasing each other. Others are checking instruments. Batteries are put into guitars, strings are tuned. He shows me a door and gives me the piece of cloth he had been clutching in his hand. The one that hadn’t been on me. The moment he releases my wrist, goose flesh spreads where his touch has been. My skin is already missing his touch. Silly thought. I should dismiss it. And I really don’t want to wear a band T-shirt. But I am soaked. And so I give in.