The Rules Are Different For You & I.

You said we should never speak again, and yet ten years later there’s a message on my phone, one that I find myself reading a thousand times over, “I miss you, can we talk?” I ignore the years I spent forgetting how it felt to receive a message from you, and reply anyway, “sure, now?” At the time I didn’t realise, but in the few minutes I took to type out the perfect nonchalant reply, the rules had already changed- you took another few weeks to reply. And when you did, this time you said, “I can’t stop thinking about your lips.” I tried to feign arrogance, send you a reply better suited to your behaviour, and yet, all I could do was type a weak, “I’ll never forget the way you kiss.” This time, you reply faster, “I still remember how you taste.” My knees go weak, I try not to let my heart rush on ahead of me, and yet, “I miss the trail of kisses you would leave on my back.” The rules changed again, I was still unaware of how your game worked- the rules extremely unclear- you replied after 23 days.

“Hey” I read and reread your message a few hundred times, searching for a hint of affection in those three letters. “Hi” I replied. “How are you?” You asked. I was beginning to understand, the rules were wavering slightly, my next reply could determine the course of this game. I thought for a while, took a bit longer than I needed and said, “I’ve been good, hope you are too.” I know better than to put a question in there, for you’re not one to answer promptly anyway. Somewhere, wherever you are, you smile, your girl is now understanding the rules. “I’m good too.” Your second message comes in quickly, “Can’t stop thinking about you.” My reply is already ready, “Oh, what’s on your mind?” This question, I know you will answer quickly. This conversation lasts around 8 minutes, you start my telling me that you miss my soft kisses, and end in well, when you do. My heart deceives me, I type, “I really miss you…” The rules change and you’re back to your world, and I’m left staring at my phone, reading our conversation with a bitter taste in my mouth. If this game was being scored, I was at -100 or -10000, minus everything… and you… well, as things always have been between you and I, you would be winning. Almost eight months later, you send me another message, this time, I’ve understood the game and I choose not to reply. I leave you on read and go back to my world. Despite doing this, I’m still left with minus points, because every few minutes I check my phone to see if you’ve texted again. You’re online, I wonder if you’re also staring at my name, the way I am yours. Instinctively, I change my profile picture, this one is a little sultry, I know you will message me soon.

“Love this picture,” You send me a message. +100 to me. “Thank you,” I reply casually.

Our game goes on, for a few months, which turn to years. You’re always changing the rules, just when I seem to be grasping them. I tried being the first to message you, “Can we talk?” and “I miss you” messages are all going unanswered. I go through the stages of anger, depression, grief and when I finally reach acceptance all over again, there’s an unread message on my phone, with your name on top.

“Hey” you say.

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Wandering Coffee Writer.

Wandering Coffee Writer.

Storyteller | Love: ☕🍿🍷| 📸 for the ‘Gram: @WanderingCoffeeWriter | 👩🏾‍💻: Brand Communications Manager for an Indian Perfumery Brand | 📰: MintLounge.in