365 x 2
He was, of course, the first thing she thought of when she woke up.
There’s nothing unusual about that; over the last 730 days his presence had been perpetual, even from afar.
This day, though, is different. It was on this day two years ago that they met. It was on this day two years ago that the most impulsive thing she had ever done played out over twelve intense and glorious hours. It was on this day two years ago that she was convinced the Universe had put him in her path for a reason, despite the obstacles. She had met no one else that had the same capacity not only to match her in all the ways that matter, but also to challenge her and expand her realm of being.
The silence would indicate that she is solitary in her remembrance. She's not surprised. That's the way it's gone. Much life has been lived since that initial meeting, and all that came after it. And while she was prepared for the pain of potentially never seeing him again, what she was not prepared for was the pain of discovering she would be so easy to walk away from when all was said and done. Of discovering the fantasy of her had been preferable to the reality.
Silence speaks so loudly.
She's taken to holding her hand up in front of her face to prove to herself that she's not invisible. She has lost the ability to hold his gaze. But she is still here. She is still all the things that once commanded a connection.
And the scourge of love in the twenty-first century is this: Our networked lives' insistence on rubbing salt in wounds. Hiding in plain sight are those who take up residence in the heart and mind space we once occupied.
She had been dreading this day, anticipating it would come and go unacknowledged between them. But in a way, the purloined letter, that evidence hiding in plain sight, has been a gift:
It has numbed her heart.
Today, she does not feel pain. Nor does she feel what has been an omnipresent, insistent, and vicious longing. Today, she feels nothing. Today, she is hollow.
It is possible, at long last, that every last bit of emotion she had to give to this and to him has been wrung from her. She loved with the whole of who she is. There is no more to give.
It is possible, at long last, that she finally realizes she likely would never have sufficed, even if she had always been within actual grasp.
And it is possible, at long last, that she is ready not only to say that she is letting go, but also to uncurl her fingers.