I peered into my email, surprised at the notification that somebody had commented on my blog.
Nobody ever comments on my blog.
In fact, I wasn’t even sure why I had comments enabled, the whole idea makes me anxious. There’s a safety in being invisible, in knowing that I am not yet skilled enough to warrant a response from the remorseless hivemind of the internet.
My curiosity transitioned almost immediately into distress. It was her. She was the inspiration for much of my writing. In particular the slightly ironic love story she’d just commented on.
We travelled in overlapping circles. Had friends in common. We’d had drinks together, the occasional meal, but never found that connection which inextricably draws new couples together. In the meantime, our lives carried on their parallel paths, each largely oblivious to the reality of the other.
Except that I wrote about her nearly every day. Seated alone in front of my screen, I transfigured text into veiled stories of hope and love.
[she] Lovely story! I don’t suppose I know the person you’re writing to …
I can’t think, but I have to respond. Fumbling for words.
[me] Ahh … yes. Yes, I think you probably do.
She was still online, her reply came almost immediately.
I always struggle with this. On the one hand, directness pays, I know this, but it’s not in my nature. Directness works 80% of the time, the rest of the time it ruins friendships or makes you “that jerk”. I get trapped thinking about how unwelcome my interest might be. Recall all the stories I’ve been told by women about how this guy just wouldn’t get the hint. My pride rebels at the very thought and I lapse into the self-sufficiency of silence.
But now her reply is staring at me. I have to say something. If I back away from this, I have no one to blame but myself.
[she] are you trying to tell me something?
And suddenly, I relax. I smile as the words flow from my fingertips.
[me] I was kinda hoping that I just had.
Commitment has never been my strong point. I’m adaptable and opportunistic, not determined or strong. Being brave rarely comes easily or without doubt and self-recrimination when it goes wrong.
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But, it’s all going to be okay.