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Canceled Date

Up at the festival, up too late, couldn't sleep without writing. Enjoy:

In a hoarse voice better suited to a motor engine than a soft, delicate girl she tells me over the phone, “They sent me home sick from work today.”

“Are you okay?” I wonder, concerned.

“I’m fine. I just don’t know if I’ll be able to make it tonight. I want to so bad, though.”

“I want you to.” As I speak, I imagine her lips coming closer and closer to mine, but, as if it were in a bad dream, they never touch.

She coughs away from the phone, then, “When is the show again?”

“It’s at 9:30, but listen, sweetheart, if you’re not feeling well, you don’t have to come. I’ll just bring someone else. I don’t want you to come out if you’re not feeling well on my account.” It kills me to say that. Of course I want her to come.

“Well…” As she debates with herself, I can almost feel my cheek pressed to hers.

“Seriously, if you’re sick I don’t want you to feel obligated to come out here to see me. I’m not that important.”

“Yes, you are….”

“No I’m not. I just want to make sure you feel better. We can go out next week. What day works for you?"

“But you got tickets and everything.”

“I know, I know…” It’s killing me. I close my eyes and take a deep breath, inhaling the memory of her scent into my lungs: a mix of a sweet smelling lotion, chewing gum and her shampoo.

“Are you sure?”

“Am I sure? I want you to come out. You said you were sick and weren’t sure you could make it.” I can almost feel my fingertips brushing the hair out of her eyes, around her ear and caressing down the back of her neck.

It gives me the chills.

“I do want to come out, I’m just so sick.” She coughs again, almost as though she’s trying to punctuate her statement.

“It’s okay. I want you to feel better.” It’s true. But I wish I could do that with her here.

“Well, can we go out Monday? I’m off work.”

“If you’re feeling better. I’ll take the whole day off.” I would, too.

“You’re so sweet.”

“So, Monday is it?”

“I’ll let you know if I’m feeling better.”

“I will.”

“Okay. It’s a date if you’re better."

“All right. Good-bye then.”

“Good-bye.”

It wasn’t until after I hung up that I thought to say, “I love you.” Aside from this, I hadn’t talked to her much in three weeks; we’ve both been working so hard.

I take a deep breath, trying to come back to reality and it’s almost too hard. I haven’t been close to her in so long that I can feel the phantom imprint of her pressed against my body, realizing all too soon that it’s just longing.

Will Monday never come fast enough?

Perhaps then I’ll finally muster the courage to kiss her, but I'm doubting it.
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