Some days, I do better than most. Others, I feel like I want to shoot myself in the face.
My phone rang. I could see who was calling; Ianna. How long has it been? Far too long. I clenched my jaw and stared at the phone. Fuck.
I answered it.
The café was fairly crowded. Why did everyone want to be so happy and social? Look at me, sitting alone, with a café au lait cooling between my hands. I was waiting for Ianna. It would be the first time we met in person. All those years spent using AIM, chatting online or talking over the phone, staying up till the sun rose.
I couldn’t do this. I loved her.
No, I didn’t. Not anymore…right?
Ianna. She was beautiful, though I knew she didn’t think so. She had jet black hair and slightly browned skin that she liked to edit to be pale in her photos. Her eyes were big and dark, like mirrors. I thought she was perfect the way she was.
Her full, glossed lips pulled into a smile when she saw me. I smiled back, stood and hugged her.
“Vivian,” she said.
Wow, she actually said my name, in person. My heart began to race.
“I’m so glad you came out this way,” I said.
“Only for a day or two. Like I said, my mom wanted to come see her auntie,” she said. “She’s dying.”
“I’m sorry to hear that.”
“You want to order something?”
We were sitting down and I was looking right at her. She wore a long sleeved, black blouse to cover up the scars I knew would be on her arms. I remembered those times where she couldn’t take anymore of life. I loved her then and I wanted to fix her.
We would talk on the phone late sometimes and she would talk about how much she wanted me. She would tell me how she undressed herself and slipped her hand down her panties. In that breathy voice, she would call my name in the darkness and giggle because she didn’t want to wake her mother and sister with her excited moans.
Ianna, my first love. I wanted to make her happy and give her the world. I wanted to be with her and she told me she wanted to be with me. In that same breathy voice, she would say she loved me.
“I never get to talk to you anymore,” she said.
“I know, I’m just…busy,” I said.
Wrong. I just couldn’t bear to talk to her, even online. I hated looking at her post where she’s smiling with her boyfriend.
“I know. I just miss you,” she said.
Please, just stop.
“I miss talking to you. It was so fun.”
“It was,” I said.
My heart hurt, yet it was racing. Why did I agree to this? Why did you ghost me for months? And near the end, why did you tell me it was all a mistake? Did you ever truly love me?
“But you’re happy now, right?” I asked.
She looked at me and gave a sheepish smile.
“Yeah. I have a job, a wonderful boyfriend and a place of my own now. I’m actually living life. It’s great.”
I held back my tears and drank my coffee.
That’s all I ever wanted for her.