They had not talked in a while. It was not abnormal. After all, she was a married woman. They were not supposed to be talking all the time; that used to happen when they were still both single, but now that she was married, she needed to talk to her husband more.
However, she was here and so was he. He said her name, "Michelle", she replied " "Ethan, it's been long." He asked her how she was and she said she was okay. Then proceeded to say how her life was grown up and that it was very scary. She had to take responsibility for her husband, and him her.
He thought that that was standard procedure and found it a non issue. She did not take his belittling of her situation lightly. She told him he did not understand and said it was a new experience, at the same time difficult. He smiled and thought it funny, that she was talking like this, after almost a year of marriage. However, he did not back down, maintaining it was her responsibility, she had to do her duty regardless of how she felt. After all, she made vows, she must have known what she was getting into.
Maybe she got a little angry, he did not know, all he could see were the words appearing on the screen as she typed.
She seemed not to mind as she told him how she'd not been feeling well. He sympathised. Perhaps had they been physically communicating, maybe he'd have offered an embrace, maybe. Maybe she'd have accepted it.
For some reason he asked her about a certain call she had made, and why she had hung up on him. At first, she could not exactly remember, but after some explanations she did. She had hung up because she was reminding him about a moment they had shared and that while she remembered everything very well, he seemed to have no idea what she was talking about.
It was a big deal to her. And although at the time he seemed to have no idea, it was a big deal to him as well. Later as she explained, he understood: it was the time they had that magical walk across the timeless bridge. That moment stayed etched on each others heart, as though joining them regardless of how far they had separated.
Nay, it was not the only thing. For from that moment, they followed a train of conversation remembering the good times they had shared in the past. He dared that she had forgotten a lot, but as she spoke, he discovered that she had not forgotten anything and that she treasured the memories as much as he did. She called them poignant memories. A troubling thing for a married woman to say.
At the moment, they failed to see it, but their hearts were leading them on. She did not want to give herself away, she could not make it explicit. She was married. What he saw on the screen next broke his heart. "I must have liked you some. I hang out with you, so much."
When chatting, silences mean a lot and he did not want to appear caught off guard. So he told her she was in denial she had liked him all along. She said maybe she had been in denial , but added, "I don't know how many guys I would have dated unnecessarily if it weren't for you."
What ensued was a conversation they had been avoiding for ages: The reason why they had ended up apart. He had needed to choose between her and God and that time. She never understood why. They had already chosen God. Why was he leaving her now? Why did he need to change Church? She had been brought here by him. It was everything she wanted and now after bringing her, he would leave her there? She explained to him, that at that time, she had not understood. For a moment it brought them apart. Only for a moment. However, that moment remained.
It was evident for now that perhaps some mistakes had been made, that perhaps some rash decisions were taken, that perhaps in another life, the surname she would be using would be his. In this life however, that had not been.
They both felt a deep sense of regret, because on the opposite sides of the screen were the people they were had been most comfortable with, the people they wanted to be with. Even when they spent ages apart, a single session of communication joined them instantly.
Michelle told him she had to leave and run some errands, so she excused herself and left Ethan alone in thought. But she was running away, again. Some things were hard to bear.
It was sad. Perhaps better they had not had this conversation. He realised she could have been his, and kept wondering why she had gone on with the wedding? Was it her family? Was it her friends? He would keep asking himself. And that he was learning all this now?