Perhaps

I want to go to the coffee shop. To sling laptop and paperwork over my shoulder and find a quiet table near the back where I can finish my work without distraction, where I can focus. It takes me a half hour to realize that these are ulterior motives. That the real reason I want to go the coffee shop, to that coffee shop, is on the strange perhaps I will run into you. The strange perhaps I will glimpse you across a crowd of undergrads and the highly unlikely possibly that you would talk to me.

This morning I found myself desperate for forgiveness, especially yours. There are so few people who’s opinion I care for, but for some reason I am hungry for yours. I know we can never be friends, but perhaps we can find some hospitable agreement. Perhaps we can sit across from the same table working on our own projects without radiating hate and resentment.

I don’t want you to hate me. But I know, even if I did go to that cafe, even if you did wander in, even if we accidentally ordered the same coffee, and were reading the same book, I know you would never approach me. You would never speak to me. You would never acknowledge me as a woman you once wrapped your arms around and held for eight straight hours. You would never say you loved me again.

I always knew, even before the first kiss, we would burn each other. Why do you think I stayed away for so long? Why do you think I didn’t return those calls? Why do you think I never gave us a chance? We were bent on explosion and when I finally let you in, that is exactly what happened. I have hurt too many. I have been forgotten by too many. I don’t know if it is my ego or my kindness that wants you to forgive me. I don’t know if it is love or guilt or insecurity that wants you to smile at me again.

What I do know is going to a coffee shop on Sunday afternoon hoping to see a boy who has dismissed me as easily as yesterday’s good news will not cure my sickness. Instead, I stay home. I play the television and wrap myself in warm sweater. I work from my couch. I write this.

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