Work has stolen half of your day, but you got complimented by a customer today for your patience — you chuckle to yourself as a bite of guacamole and chips enter into your mouth, when has that ever been an adjective to describe you?
No matter, you shrug it off because your effort was appreciated and acknowledged and it’s a rewarding feeling in an industry built on unsatisfied clientele.
Or maybe it’s just the spicy savor of the guac that is hunger quenching.
And that’s how it happens, it’s a normal day with extraordinary potential; when you’re reminded of a feeling you thought you’d forgotten.
Your name came across my phone. A sight my eyes weren’t accustomed to anymore. Instead, panick overtook the tip of my forefinger, as it slid across my lock screen.
You say hi. I haven’t heard your voice in ages. Like bourbon, I’m instantly warmed.
You want help with an assignment for your master’s seminar class, your English failing you at the moment, half a world away, midnight ambushed your coherency for a language not your own.
I oblige. I listen to you ramble about your project, complain about the obstacles, rejoice in your grades; you’re enthused.
It’s been so long since we’ve had a normal conversation.
A few minutes of listening to your dialogue, I hang up the phone, after asking you to send me the parts of the essay that need to be reworded.
Your accent is heavy as you say bye, you must be tired, or I must not know you anymore. Before I press end the last thing I hear you say is: you’re the best, really.
Who was that? I’m asked by my coworker accompanying me on lunch break.
What I say: A friend from abroad.
What I don’t say: The person who broke my heart. The person who made me feel things I never imagined.
Oh, she has a really lovely accent.
What I say: Yeah, it’s nice.
What I don’t say: That it used to be the single sound in the entire world that calmed me. Even more than the strumming rhythms of my own guitar.
It’s really nice that you’re helping her with her English.
What I say: I love being a teacher.
What I don’t say: I learned everything I know about love from her, the good and bad. She’s the better teacher.
After work, I send over the revised essay portions.
My phone lights up again, unexpectedly. A text attached to your name. Why? We already said our farewells.
I miss you.
What I say: I miss you, too.
What I don’t say: I love you.
10/2/2013 Thessaloniki, Greece
The crisp breeze of the Mediterranean Sea hit my skin. We were atop the highest point, looking over Thess.
You had come along with me and my classmates.
Such a mom you are to me sometimes. Worrying I would get lost on the way home.
And there you were, standing in front of me, looking flawless.. hair tucked carelessly behind your ear, keys in hand, ready to lead me back to your flat.
But I wanted to watch the dying sun, amber and magnificent, and you entertained my romantic notion. In truth, I wasn’t watching it, but merely looking at you, admiration on your face; an artist through and through, you cocked your head to the side and peered at me for a moment: how do you think I can recreate this golden colour, eh?
I looked into your whiskey eyes, unable to form intelligent sentences about art. All I can muster out is a simple, I love you.
It’s been one of my favorite sunsets since.