Call, Hang Up

Hey, how are you? What are you doing? Do you miss me? Hey Adam, did you happen to know-- I love you?
I have to stop thinking on these things, as my phone rings, echoing the peppy beat from the song on the radio.
“Hello?” I say, and look, it's you Adam!
“Hey,” you say, and I wait, wanting you to say something else, to sweep me along like you do so often. And you do. You tell me of your day, and how awful it was, and that you just needed to tell someone. This makes me smile. You let me be the one who you confide in, who you tell everything, who you like to be near.
I like to be near you. I'm always thinking of you, of your face, your clothes, how you laugh, what makes you frustrated, which is sometimes me. It's not intentional, heaven knows best how much I prefer that smile of yours to the scowl, but what am I to do? Change me?
I may love you, but I’m not going to change. Sorry.
But you don't notice. You don't notice how I do these things for you. Sometimes I think thoughts—awful thoughts, thoughts that make me want to cry—that tell me you don't care. You never cared, that I'm along for the ride because you think that (for now) I'm interesting. That's not true is it? I'm not just some toy you enjoy playing with? Please, tell me it's not!
When you call, I have a certain song for you. Nothing special, I know, all of my friends, family, other people I need to know are calling so I can avoid (my important people, as I call them) have those songs, but yours is something more. A song I had to search for, something to sum up you and me and what we are in that mere 30 seconds it has. The song is happy, with the piano, and a woman's pretty voice sings of them, us, laughing and singing and how they, we, must breathe until our dying breath. I kind of like that.
The few times I happen to miss your calls, I feel guilty. Guilty for having wasted your time, but also for feeling so happy at being able to hear your voice, over and over, and over as you drop off a message.
Do you do that?
Have I ever told you that I love smoothies? Ones that are weird colors, and you fear to know what's in them, even though they still taste so good? I bet that you don't know a lot about me, which makes me feel... strange. I know so much about you, yet you don't know hardly anything about me. Does that make me weird, or just head over heels in love? I don't feel in love, not like 'I'll-never-be-able-to-live-without-you' kind of thing, the type that's written in books that make girls swoon while everyone else rolls their eyes and walks away. No, my love is... A constant worry. I worry about how I look, what I say, how I act, whether you'll tell me something awful about us. But at the same time I feel so happy. You make me that happy Adam, you know that right?
“Hello?” I say, pretending I don't know that it's you calling, that my heart didn't just leap for the sky.
“Hey,” you say, and I wait. Wait for you to say something magic. And you do. You say “Do you care if I tell you how much my life sucks?” And just like that I'm wrapped up. I say no, I don't care, and you head in, about how your dad is a jerk, leaving your mother just like that, dying of some disease that you think is idiotic. How the people you know are always out to get you, and you never do anything. Not unless you regret it so much later.
I nod, even though you can't seem me, and smile and ask questions that I know will help you sort out how you're feeling. And when you're done, you thank me, I say no problem, and you say goodbye. And then I hang up. I always hang up first, that's just me. Maybe because if I don't you'll say something both of us will regret.
Even though the conversation has ended, I'm sure I hear a sigh, some phrase I can't decipher. What was it? Will you tell me?
School ends, and we don't see each other so much. But sometimes at the park, sometimes at our houses, where I feel so awkward, but soon forget that as you smile and make some joke. Until it's time to leave, and one of us is out the door, for what feels like for good. It worries me when we leave, like we'll never come again. I don't want that. I always will want to come back. To come back to you, Adam.
You call again, just because you felt like it, and were positive I wasn't busy. I say that I wasn't, and it's true, just sitting there, flipping through old magazines that I had never bothered to do much with. We talk for a long time, half of it just silence, and unspoken conversation. I really love those, they give us so much more. Again we say our good byes, and this time, you hang up first. Did you know what I was going to say?
Adam, wait, I have to tell you, something that I'm tired of hiding! ...Oh. You're gone again.
Days pass, in which I help my brother through his first crush, and he gets to tell the girl he likes her. How funny is that? I can't even tell you that, yet I coach him through it. July smiles at us all, with more heat and bright sunshine, and I can't help but laugh, all month long. Isn't it glorious? I think so.
We talk more and more, hang out at the ice cream parlor with Kammy and Jessica and a few of your friends too. Sometimes we go on walks, dressed in tanks tops and shorts, strolling past everyone like they don't exist. I hope you learned more about me on those days. I learned more about you. And then there was the day where we found that lady bug, sitting on your hair? You called it a ladybird, and I laughed at the name, but you only made a face and put it on your hand, blowing so she'd get a wind under her wings. I didn't think she'd fly—the 'wind' would have been too strong, she'd fall and die, but you had faith. And of course, she did fly. Flew away up into the trees where we'd never see her again. And on that day, you held my hand. I was so surprised, I expected you to pull away and do a hand stand, then start dancing to music I've never, nor probably will I ever hear, it was so unexpected. But then again, you were always doing crazy things like that. You stayed close though, and holding my palm in yours.
August beat down on everything, and I called you. It was the twelfth, I'll never forget, we switched positions by then, I call, you hang up. I called, and we talked, speaking of random things, friends, the day, laughter and so on. But then you stopped. Midsentence, midword, midsyllable. You surprised me so much just then, telling me how weird the names of some flowers were, li—
“I'm sorry. I'm being an idiot, let me start again.”
“What,” I say, startled. This wasn't like you.
“Please, let me start again.”
I say okay, and you clear your throat.
“Hello, Miranda, how are you?”
“Uhm…I’m good. You?”
“I’m okay. But, I have something to tell you,” says you, and I, feeling bold at your sudden change of character go for the shift too.
“So do I.”
“Okay, what is it?”
“Nothing, uhm, you go first.” Not so successful at this, am I?
“Alright. Miranda?”
“Yes?” I wait, like I've always done, and probably always will.
“I love you.” I gasp, tears in my eyes. Nodding I want to tell you You do? Honestly? Yes, yes yes yes yes! Please, don't tell me this is a trick, please, don't stop because I love you too!
“Adam,” I whisper, still in shock, and you answer yes?
“I have a secret.” You sound anxious, worried, fearful, like you think I'm going to say that I hate you, I like someone else.
“And what is that...?”
“I love you too.”
And I can hear your smile, my smile, and cock my head. I never thought you'd listen, see. Never thought you'd ever give me that time, the kind that you'd never forget.
Oh well.
I guess I never knew you as well as I thought I did.





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