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  • It all started with a string of text messages weeks prior. The messages turned to thoughts, which were exchanged for more messages, which eventually became a rendezvous.

    They met amongst friends, strangers, acquaintances, and people from their past. The bar was buzzing like a scene from a movie, filled with people reminiscing, reuniting, and angrily standing around disappointed in whatever hadn’t gone perfect in their night. They exchanged interrupted words, interrupted stares, and interrupted feelings. It was a heavily interrupted night. But that had become a normality in whatever this had become.

    That night turned to a few more text messages, a few more conversations, and many more thoughts. Once again, it turned into drinks. Some of the quietest, strangest, most boring drinks ever.

    One glass of wine.

    They both departed for separate dinners, with separate friends, and what he suspected were separate feelings. He wanted to pace himself because he thought he would see Her again that night, but after the creeping feeling of separateness, alcohol served both as a lubricant for the upcoming dinner, as well as something that he knew he loved and would always love him back.

    Four cocktails.

    He managed to go to dinner with his friend Brian and then met up with 2 others. He, Brian, and two of Brian’s female friends were more than happy to see him. It was a consolation that could lead to a possible distraction so he caved in and opened up, opting to engage in shallow banter with the people around him for the time being.

    Two beers.

    Over the next hour or so more text messages were exchanged with Her. The messages only lessened his desire to deal with the entire situation, at least so he told himself. After a difficult exchange, the four of them went to meet up with a larger group that included Her, friends, and others. The group was filled with the type of people that everybody has one of in their friend groups, except for him. These people bored him, angered him, disappointed him. He knew that none of them would ever feel the way he felt, crave the way he craved, live the way he lived, and dream the way he dreamed. They were zombies living in an image given to them by pop culture, old stories, and misinformed ideas of what reality and life should bring.

    Two more drinks.

    They stared at each-other from across a long wooden table. He was so angry at her. It wasn’t because he didn’t know what to do, or what she wanted, but because he knew exactly how this would play out. He wanted nothing more than to kick everyone else out and just be. He wanted to exchange the same stares, the same conversations, the same smiles, and the same words that he had thought actually meant something months prior. He just wanted to talk.

    She eventually motioned for him to come over because they were too far apart. But they had been too far apart all weekend, and the weekend before that, and what would physical distance do to change the mental distance that had grown larger and larger after that conversation months back? What could she possibly want?

    He couldn’t help but smile and walk over.

    One more drink.

    After about an hour of suffering through pointless conversations, silently and not so silently judging everyone around him, and continuing to attempt to understand what was going on that night, Brian and his two friends opted to leave. He hestitated, hoping to salvage a night with Her, despite knowing deep down that he was fighting a battle he could not win.

    Brian and the two girls left and he knew he had missed an opportunity but didn’t care, or so he told himself. Brian came running back and like a good friend grabbed him and told him to leave now. He made one more judgment and did what he never would have done before. He left.

    No more drinks.

    He, Brian and the two girls headed back to the apartment to fuck separately. They each peeled off and did what they were supposed to do, and what, after over 6 hours of drinking and talking, they wanted to do. At this point she noticed that he was elsewhere, briefly questioning his motives. He quickly re-assured her that he wanted to continue. And he did, just he preferred it be with Her. So they fucked.

    45 minutes later.

    As most nights with too many drinks and not enough time do, things took awhile. As the girl slipped off to the bathroom, he checked his phone one last time, still thinking of Her. It’s 4:27 am and maybe she was still awake, and maybe she was thinking of him, and maybe she was somewhere else in this mess of a city, looking at her phone, wishing that he would text her. Unable to control this irrational thought process, he typed the words “I miss you” and pressed send.

    No response. Not that day, not the next day, nor any other day after that. They haven’t really spoken since.

    Every now and then he still thinks about that text when he is sleeping with the other girl, or when he’s sipping on another drink, or when he’s walking on the street, wondering if that will be the last time he thought there was was a chance or the last time they say something meaningful to each-other. Just the last time.

    He doesn’t think she thinks about it much, but at least this string of events closed out a whirlwind few months. As he has navigated a world without her, a world where other people move in and out of his life and his bed and his mind and maybe someday his heart, he has learned a lesson he will keep with him forever. Fucking isn’t what makes things messy, texting is.
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