She thought of writing him a letter. The task was daunting. She felt that all the paper in the world wouldn’t be enough if she had to put in words everything she felt.
She could write about the first time she met him. She would not write, ‘you had at me hello’, because he didn’t. It took time. It took the realization that their wavelengths matched. It took smiles exchanged during several small, seemingly insignificant moments. It took incessant laughter over shared jokes. It took rare proclamations of personal truths. It took long walks with the smell of salt in the air.
She could write about things she liked about him, though that list was yet to see its end. The way he removed his spectacles to rub his tired eyes. How any form of mediocrity annoyed him. The twinkle in his eyes when he discussed something that he loved. The outer guise of insensitivity. The air of self-assurance. His phone voice. How he saw the world around him as pretty photographs. The way his back arched while he was working. The way chocolate stuck to his lips. How he always knew what to say. She could go on forever. About things she liked about him and about things she wanted to do with him, to him. She wanted to explore him, mind and body.
She could write about how it was no surprise that she didn’t get what she wanted. Sometimes words are just that, words. Ego, manipulation, cynicism; the flip side is never as pretty. The smile she thought she could trust would never be just for her. Nothing she said or did would ever change that. She knew any reciprocation she felt was a farce, just her heart deluding itself. But that’s the thing about love, you fall anyway. She would write how he was never hers and yet she would take his name under her breath whenever they talked of first loves and broken hearts.
She could write about moving on, and how it’s never an option. You don’t move on, you just make peace with reality. You realize that for a moment you put the reins of your happiness in someone else’s hands and that person didn’t do a great job. It’s time to take them back. She would write about having no regrets and about the world of new possibilities that lay in front of her. The unread books in her shelf, the interesting recipe she tried out in the kitchen, the exciting new job opportunity she was contemplating about, the Euro trip she was planning with her friends, the text from a guy she’d just met, that made her heart flutter anew.
That’s when she smiled, because she realized she wouldn’t need much paper after all. Hers would probably be the shortest love letter in history.