It was brave, what he did. Admitting you’re scared is never easy to do.
Truth is, they were both scared. Since they both admitted it, maybe it would get them somewhere. She was hopeful but not holding her breath, no matter how much she longed for peace and happiness to return.
But she wanted and needed more than peace and happiness. She wanted excitement and love and longing and “that look.” That look he’d give her when she came in the room. Every once in a while she saw it. Fleeting. But there.
She smiled and watched him roll a cigarette for several long moments just yesterday. He glanced up and then quickly back down at what he was doing. Then, again. She’s still looking at me. She could practically hear his thought. Awkward. She looked away.
Today isn’t easy. Tomorrow and the next several days will likely be no easier.
I’m scared, he said.
Me too, she said.
I feel helpless, she said.
Yeah, helpless, he said. Me too.
She had too many questions, as usual. She knew asking them would make his head explode. She knew if she didn’t, hers would. She held her breath and asked anyway. The answers didn’t come quickly. They almost never do anymore.
We both deserve to know what the other wants and needs, she said. And then she asked him what he needs from her right now. The urgency could turn him off more, but she wanted to make him realize she understands his needs could change tomorrow. She wanted to help right now as best she could. So: urgency.
I have no idea what I want or need, or deserve, he said.
OK. Fair enough. I love you. No matter what. It’s all she could think to say. It was true, but the words hung in the air around her. There was no answer. He was already gone.