The phone ringing at 2:21 a.m. for the most part isn't usually a sign of good things to come. We've all been there; somehow at our most courageous and honest when bolstered by one too many drinks, rationalizing that making a phone call at that hour really isn't a bad thing, and besides, there are things that you just have to get off your chest. Right now. Sleeping and the humiliation of what you did in the morning, be damned. Only this phone call, the caller wasn't drinking, he was wide-awake, brutally sober.
My 2:21 wake-up didn't just nudge me from a slumber, "Wake-up sleepyhead", it slapped me in the face, and threw water in my face, "Are you awake, because you need to be awake for this."
Because it was Him.
Little A's dad.
My former best friend and the person for whom my heart aches when I look into Little A's bright blue eyes...I've seen blue like that before, but I try not to think of it. When he casually wanders into the paths of my mind, I physically envision pushing him out, shoving him, as hard as I can, back to a place where I can close the door on him and continue on with my life. I knew he was still there: I could hear him knocking sometimes when I put lotion on Little A and looked at her toes...she has his feet.
I would sense his presence when I did something that I had once shared with him, or laughed at something that I knew we both would find hilarious, but I trained myself to ignore it. "Noise, what noise? I don't hear anything. If you think you hear something, that must be you imagining things again....things like him showing up one day, out of the blue, telling you that he's sorry and that he misses you. Things like him saying that he wonders what Little A is like. These are dangerous, dangerous things...and they don't exist. You don't hear them. There is no noise." (Except for the sound of me mentally rocking myself just enough to let the pain pass, but really, that hardly makes any sound at all anymore)
Before the phone call, I have to say, there were days when I woke up, and the first thought that I had wasn't, "Maybe he'll call today". There were days that I woke up and sometimes he didn't cross my mind for a good hour.
I considered that progress.
Then he called, and the things he said broke my heart in places that I didn't know existed.
Nothing horrible and awful, but words that floated so sweetly, softly, then pierced me with each sentence.
Like daggers disguising themselves as flowers.
Words like he misses me. He needs me to know that he thinks of me everyday. He misses my smile and my hair. My easygoing personality. My laughter. And finally, was there room for him in my life? Yes, there's room. It's a room; it lives inside of me. But I keep the lights off and the door bolted shut. My happiest memories and deepest heartbreaks lie within...and he holds the key.