long Way

I take the long way around.

I go up the stairs instead of taking the elevator because I know that’s the way you take most of the time. Exhaling and inhaling deeply, trying to hide each breath so that I can appear as if I climbing these stairs aren’t as difficult as they are; here’s a secret, I’m tired. To add insult to the injury of my exhausted lungs, I didn’t even see you. Haven’t seen you in a few days, but I continue to wait patiently. And by patiently, I mean, I go upstairs more often than I truly have to. Because if I could see you, just one more time, I swear I’ll speak this time. I promised myself.

Filled with day to day distractions, a few days later I was working late and irritated. Standing in an empty corridor. Boarded an elevator looking down at my phone, looking through missed texts, emails and calls, trying to decide which would get a response first. I hear, “Working late, huh?” I knew, I knew it was you. How I didn’t see you when I walked on I don’t know. How I didn’t feel your presence in the vicinity like I usually do, I don’t know the answer to that either, but I feel it now. And I cower, all I can manage to say is, “It’s been one of those days.” As I turn around to look in your face. It’s just the two of us. “Yeah, I know what you mean. Only 2 more days left.” Absolutely nothing special about the way you spoke to me. But, our very existence together in this moment felt like it was wrapping its fingers around my neck and suffocating me. I smiled and all I could muster up was, “I know what you mean. Cheers to the weekend.” I prayed the elevator didn’t get stuck because then I would have to act like I wasn’t excited. The elevator stops to let someone else on, our gaze broke and we said nothing else. Intentionally, I walk to the back and stand next to you, very close. With your head tilted back, you cracked your eyes open just enough to peek at me. You smile, which made me smile, then closed your eyes again.

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Photo by Josh Sobel on Unsplash