by Luke Worthington
Luke sat anxiously over his phone. Come on. She was already nine minutes late. No message. She hadn’t even been online. He was panicking. He tried to tell himself that it was just nerves. Relax. They just hadn’t spoken in a while but she wanted to speak to him too, he knew it. He rubbed his mouth with the back of his hand, and then flipped it and scratched at the stubble along his jawline. His foot was practically bouncing. He squeezed his eyes shut, sucked in his lips, opened his eyes. Nothing. Eleven minutes.
He felt the tears welling up. He had been so looking forward to this. They’d stayed in touch through text, nearly every day, still laughing, sharing, enjoying the conversation. He’d thought that things were still going really well. But it was a month and a half since he’d even heard her voice. How could he be sure? What if he’d misread things? Shit, what if she’d moved on? He could almost laugh at himself. What a gobshite, catching feelings. He thought back to the start, when it had been so easy. Meet up, drink, smoke, eat, all of the above, and sleep together. And it had been phenomenal. Great, passionate, no strings attached sex. And then, it stopped being like that.
He couldn’t place where the change was. It wasn’t meant to, but it just happened. He really cared for her. They had just clicked, they were perfect for each other. They agreed on everything of substance, liked enough of the same things to hang out a lot, but enough separate things to live their own lives too. Their senses of humour matched, their politics, their tastes in movies, and late-night comedians. She honestly was perfect. He had stupidly started to think of a future with her… before she went home. Right person, wrong time, he supposed. But still. He wondered what would happen if the right time came along. He wanted to be there. He knew that. He wanted there to be a future that included both of them. It was the only thing that he was sure he wanted at this point.
He took a deep breath. He had kind of wanted to spill his guts today, find out one way or another how she felt. He hoped he was right about how she’d answer. They had talked about the future before she left, and they had both wanted it to work somehow, at some point. But now, did she still feel that way? He missed her so, so much. He glanced at the time. Fourteen minutes late.
His phone vibrated. He snatched it up and slid the screen to answer. Then he hesitated for a second. He really did miss her. He felt, and cared for her. But what if she didn’t feel the same way? What if he was about to open his heart, to be stomped on? He took a breath.
“Hey… I… I’ve…”
She interrupted him. “Me too.”