This is your mini-fiction break. Any resemblance to actual characters is purely coincidental. Unless you'd feel better about yourself by believing its about you. Then have at it.
It started with an email from an old friend. How long had it been since she'd heard from him? She felt warm and fuzzy just reading it. Until her mind skipped to him. Not him, the author; but HIM. How little it took for her mind to draw those loose connections that took her back to HIM.
She furrowed her brow and shook her head, as if that would clear the thought. It seemed to work for a period of time. Until she got in the car later that evening and found herself saying his name out loud. At that moment, the radio station changed songs. To HIS favorite song. She was certain she said the name before the song started, and not the other way around. She shivered, even though the car was warm with the lingering heat of the summer night. She drove on, trying to shake the weird feeling, her eyes on the empty street in front of her. The pool of light immediately ahead of her disappeared into a void of blackness a second later, as her car passed under the streetlight. She startled, then laughed at herself; no one had proven there was any psychic connection to street-light interference.
It was a long, dark drive, and she was suddenly overwhelmed by the feeling of loneliness. She'd been doing this job for a long time, away from the comforts of home. She needed a connection. She needed HIM. Knowing that somehow he would ground her, she started a conversation with him in her head. She found herself crying, stupidly, and then wiped the tears away with a leftover napkin from the last fast food place she'd visited. She swallowed the lump in her throat as she whispered his name in her head one more time.
She stepped inside the corporate apartment, laying her things on the counter, and slipping into the bathroom, without turning on the lights. She stepped back out into the darkness, noticing her phone flashing at her: a message. She flipped her phone open; it was from HIM. She looked around, and turned the lights on quickly. No one was watching her; no cameras were on. She read it carefully. "Don't forget to check your email."
She couldn't get her computer to turn on fast enough. The message contained no words, just an attachment. A picture of him - one she'd taken, years ago. He wore the stupid promotional shirt they'd gotten from the client; he was posing next to the statue, pretending to grope the stone buttocks of the neoclassical piece, staring directly into the camera and smiling, his blue eyes looking straight through the lens into hers. It was the same statue she passed every day now on her way into the office. She remembered taking the pictures that day; how hard it was to look through the lens at him without feeling the warmth start in her face.
Before she had a chance to be overwhelmed from the nostalgia, her instant messenger chirped at her. HIM. She couldn't keep the smile from creeping on to her face, and the apartment didn't seems so empty anymore. They chatted, simple things, until she realized how late it was.
"I have to go," she typed, still feeling the warm glow. "I've got an early meeting tomorrow."
"Grope the big guy for me," he typed, referring to the statue.
"You kill me," she tried to type. But it came out "You kiss me." She erased "kiss" and typed "kill", telling herself it was an honest mistake. In touch-typing, the "s" and the "l" were both under her ring fingers. So what if the "s" was under the ring finger of her non-dominant hand? Anyone could mess them up.
She told him about the mistake. Got back a smiley-face. "Subconscious?" he typed, teasing her.
"In your dreams," she typed, relieved, yet saddened, that he couldn't see the flush creep up in her face.
There was a pause. "Yes," he typed, and she felt her heart skip and thud as it stopped, hard, against her chest.
She waited for him to type more. But the single "yes" hung out there, nothing more, nothing less.
She held her breath. Then bravely typed back a single-word response.