You are there.
It is late and I am sleepless and you are there on my screen, a little box with your word there. Hi. And I imagine it is said with a kind of bounce. Just one word but there is a kind of energy about it that makes me think you are grinning. I had decided not to speak with you.
I have decided not to speak with you.
Because we fought.
There is no voice to the line of text that appears on the screen but I imagine your innocent upward inflection. You seem so keen and quick and gormless. I remind you that you like the only three girls who dislike me.
Oh, I like everyone, you tell me, and I believe that it is true.
Did you see the spa bath? I ask you. If I had stayed the night I might have had a spa bath.
Yeah, you say, me too.
A silence can't be awkward on the Internet. A silence is an indication that one person or another is busy looking up a website, or answering an email or ducking off to the kitchen for another glass of wine. Still, I imagined that the minutes that followed this, empty of conversation were a kind of embarrassed silence. Certainly I filled them with the idea that the two of us might have stripped down to our underwear and eased ourselves into the spa. Twin glasses perched on the sudsy lip of the bath, and talk about the difference between short stories and a novel, the way a story circles around a single thought, the multiple thoughts and voices of a longer work. I am playing the scene out in my head when you type, I am on the phone, and I realise that you would never want to share a spa bath with me, clothed or otherwise. You are much younger than I am. You see me as an elder, someone interesting to talk to but nothing even remotely sexual about it. It is time perhaps to admit that I have developed a little crush on you, despite the way you sometimes annoy me in real life. I know as well that if I keep this thing a secret that it will grow in size and intensity until it becomes unbearable. You are on the phone. This is why there is a gaping hole in our conversation, but suddenly the silence is deafening.
OK then I should go.
yes. Maybe we'll meet in real life again some time.
And then I close my computer and you are gone.