Monday, 3 January 2011

Lost and found

I'm sitting in front of my laptop having missed two calls from the musician. I don't know what he wants. I'm not sure if he knows either.

I've had a sober evening driving, and he is catching up on festive cheer having worked through Christmas and Hogmanay. His tongue loosened by alcohol, he has been playing a risky game this evening. I don't know what to do.

It worries me because I don't want to be the other, complicit in a betrayal. It worries me because he reaches a part of me so rarely seen by anyone and I am glad. Tempted. Scared. Excited.

He does not try to seduce me.

He tells me again and again that he misses me. I ask what I am to do with these words of his. There is no answer.

Comfortable amongst friends he pays me a little too much attention. He brushes my hair from my face in front of other people. When I leave to smoke, he follows. He kisses me. I do not reach out to him. I want to.

I am scruffy in jeans and jumper when his beautiful partner appears, lean and glamorous in fake fur and a dress.

He follows me to the door. I am only leaving because I am scared of these feelings being exposed. I ask him where he's going, he simply says he wants to be with me. I brush off his 'I wish....' statements. He can't be with me.

'I miss you'

'Me too'

A peck goodnight.

A voice emerges from the dark street. Someone calls him by his name. Has his acquaintance heard the declarations of want, need? These are not words my words, at least. Mine are only those of 'I know', 'what am I supposed to say?'

My phone has been ringing in my bag as I drive home. I send an innocuous text. A holding statement: neutral. Has the acquaintance asked a question? Has someone else seen our legs too close under the table, his hands reaching for me? Where is she as he is phoning me?

It is dangerous. It is emotional. It is not a flirtation. It is soulful and full of sadness. Snippets of each others lives and dreams learned over a couple of years and only now connecting in this dance of the past few months. A little joy in the moments when we find each other.

We don't call or text or email or make plans, knowing an affair is not what's wanted. There is no hiding behind excuses or lies. We circle round our folk, mostly in a friend's bar which has become a home for this lovely group of waifs and strays.

My phone rings. He has slipped away to tell me he misses me. To tell me it may take a long time, but the risks are his and he will bear the weight of the hurt that may come, that he wants to be with me, loves me. He chides me for protecting him, for pushing him away from something that could easily become an explosive situation. He takes responsibility for whatever this is.

He tells me he loves everything about me, stealing these moments of simple glances. He tells me I am beautiful. There is much silence. I can hear him breathe and sigh. I miss him too.

He is under my skin, in my head, thoughts of him are part of my day and I am part of his.

I want someone to whom I can give myself wholly. I cannot do this with him whilst he is not mine. I cannot, will not.

The choice is his. He will only be welcome in my heart if he is free to be there.

I want him and I must find a way not to.

I am angry at the situation, myself, him. It would be so very much easier if nothing had ever been said. I try to be angry with him for making it this way.

I want to be angry with him, but with each time his eyes reach beyond my masks and fear, my resolve weakens.

We say goodnight at last. I do not know when these words will come again, but I know they will.

He's found me, found the me that exists in these words and less often in reality. My layers are stripped away and he is there with me.

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