The Text Message


“I can’t stop thinking about you.”

I stared at those words, the tiny blinking cursor at the end flashing, begging me to hit delete or send. My heart raced in my chest and I knew that sending this would change everything. Up until this point, we had flirted. The comments about how good she looked in this outfit or how she had a nice smile or even how that color really complimented her eyes. This though, this would be crossing that imaginary line between fantasy and reality. This would make it real.

My finger hovered over the send button. Everything that I was putting on the line rushed into my head. My marriage for one. Sure, things hadn’t been good between my wife and I for a while now. Our bed had become a place of sleep rather than an escape from the reality and her arms had long ago stopped being a place where I could find refuge. Over the last few months I was more acquainted with her back then any other portion of her body. Even sitting her, in bed, I can look over and see her, her back bare to me but just out of reach, just like the rest of her.

Our marriage had become perfunctory. A good morning as I was walking out the door, her offering me her cheek to kiss. Lips no longer met. In the evening, dinner was accompanied by whatever show was the latest fashion on the TV. Conversations were almost non-existent, just cursory in passing or a to-do list that she needed me to take care of. I can’t even remember the last time we had a laugh together.

My eyes bored into her back, the feelings of anger and neglect swelling inside of me. How come she couldn’t connect with me anymore? How come her life was made to be more important than my needs or desires? Wasn’t this marriage? Wasn’t this suppose to be a compromise? How come I was the only one feeling like I was the one giving in?

I breathed out, dropping the phone on the bed, conviction setting in. Conviction over knowing that I still loved her and what I was doing, I knew was wrong, but I needed to feel needed, I needed to feel desired, I needed to feel important.

I needed to not need.

The phone screen went dark, plunging the room into mostly darkness, the soft glow from the TV casting an eerie glow around the room. The volume was low enough that I could just make it out over her breathing. She looked so peaceful and beautiful as the light cast her in silhouette. I reached my hand out to touch her shoulder, trying to pull her closer to me, convincing myself that one last attempt to reconnect with her would make my desire to hit that send button go away.

My hand brushed against her shoulder as I pulled on her. She stirred and mumbled a disapproving grunt toward me. “Come her, I want to snuggle with you.” I said as I moved closer to her under the covers. She turned her head toward me and said, “Don’t wake me. I need to sleep.” then turned her head back.

I sighed, longing for her quickly dissipating as I ran into an all too familiar wall. I sat back into my pillows, searched for the phone, thumbed it on and looked at that message again.

“I can’t stop thinking about you.”

/send

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11 thoughts on “The Text Message

  1. I really liked the way you began and ended with the same sentence. It really conveyed the tussle he had with whether or not to send it. It was also really interesting to get a male perspective on the end of a marriage/beginning of an affair. That’s often not presented in fiction. You covered a lot of emotions in that short space, well done.

    Liked by 1 person

  2. this was fun. to be honest, after the first paragraph i skipped to the bottom. saw the ‘send’ tag and let my imagination play out a little first, before i went back for the details. really enjoyed the read.

    Like

  3. I really liked this piece. It’s been stuck in my head these last couple of days. There’s a painful amount of psychological realism in it.

    Like

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