Author: Pia Pedersen
I can see you smile as you walk past me, well aware that I've been waiting
... waiting for just this glimpse of you, this fleeting confirmation that
you are still here, and that some things don't change.
You turn your head slightly, the smile no longer gracing your lips. In
fact, you suddenly look as serious as you ever have.
I feel uncomfortable under your scrutinizing look. I feel caught. And I
look away quickly, too quickly. There's that smile again, and I know you
You always seem to know.
It isn't until after I've knocked on your door that I realize that I
shouldn't be here. I should be anywhere but here. But I stay, and I wait.
One. Two. Three.
Breathe deeply. Relax.
You'd think I'd never been here before. But then again, I haven't. It
hasn't been like this before. Never quite like this. I hear you tell me to
come in. Your voice is tired, muffled by the door separating us. I push it
open slightly, making sure I'm not disturbing you.
"You're not. Come on in."
"I just ---" I find myself struggling to find the words. "Can we talk?"
Oh, this is bad. This is terrible. When did I become a babbling fool?
I sit down, simply because I have to do something.
"What do you want?"
Wrong question. I hide a smile. You don't want to know what I want. Trust me.
"I want a lot of things," I hear myself saying. I can't believe I
said that. I mean how much subtext can one sentence carry?
"Don't we all." You've turned away, and I have to lean to the side
able to see your face. The mask is in place when you feel my eyes on you.
"Are you all right?"
Great. Just great. Why do I always have to do this?
I'm very relieved to hear that. Much too relieved. I don't know what to
say and opt for silence. Sometimes it truly is the best alternative.
"What did you want?"
Has it really only been moments since you last spoke? It feels like
forever. I had settled into the silence, drawn strength from it, from your
"I don't know," I admit, too exposed to come up with a clever and
response. This is shaky ground.
You don't answer right away. Instead you observe.
"I should ..." I stand up, my hand already reaching for the door.
"It will be all right," you tell me now, "it will."
"Yeah." I turn to the door, hesitating. "It has to."
"It isn't worth it."
"Yes." I can't get my voice above a whisper, and when I turn to face
I hope you will not comment on how the smile on my lips doesn't reach my
eyes. "You are."
You hold my gaze briefly in a silence that covers only a few seconds, but
seem to be infinite, and I wish ...
I wish I could hold on to this moment forever.