Paper and Ink

Non First Date (5)

By Emmeline Bisiikwa, Uganda:

I thought when you travelled, that would be the beginning of a new chapter for us. At first I was terrified, scared and worried. Our relationship was young and we hadn’t been separated for any long lengths. Longest we had gone without seeing each other was a week and even then we had been texting and talking on phone.

The trip was to be two weeks. It remained a mere idea until it hit me you would be leaving the next week. I expected a passionate good bye or maybe even an actual one but instead you left like a thief in the night. Having not seen you the week before you left, I was upset that I didn’t get to say bye. Not that I like goodbyes but I wanted a moment to hold on to until you returned.

I was used to daily talks now suddenly you were quiet and I couldn’t text you when I woke up for work or when I was going to sleep. We were hours apart and that seemed like planets, for it felt like you were not mine anymore.

The days we managed to talk and feel close were rare and few in between the distance and silence. I yearned for you more and more daily and the closer it got to your return, the more it felt like you would never return.

Finally you did, and I was excited to see you. I expected to see you the next day or two before I travelled but you wanted to rest and then work. That raised questions for me because it felt like you didn’t want to see me as much as I wanted to see you. I knew I would drop everything just to see you so it made no sense that you wouldn’t do the same for me.

It had been a month since I last saw you and it felt like the end. I started processing what life with you meant to me and wondering what I wanted out of this. Could I compromise from being used to talking to you lots to the rationing I had to be ok with?

I missed you so much it felt like a hole borne in my heart and I had to push you out of my mind to keep sane. Every sweet moment we had shared before felt like a dream because it was so far away. I wanted to see you, to hear your voice and hear your laugh. To snuggle in your arms and feel your heart beat. I wanted to watch you watching me.

I even missed hanging with your friends and having them tell us to relax the affection because we were always hand holding and snuggling even when we were in public. I began to forget what it felt like to lose myself in you and get lost in our cocoon.

One night I really wanted to see you and you chose to go to the gym instead. That just broke my heart. I decided enough was enough and I told you I was letting you go. I don’t know if it was me leaving that made you realize you still wanted me around, but you told me we needed to meet and talk. I realized I had to see you, if only for closure.

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