Average Jane



You know nothing’s wrong, but I don’t.

You know something’s wrong, but I don’t.

When he doesn’t call you back, you’re annoyed. I was, too. You check your phone more frequently than you should. I guarantee I checked mine more. You get mad. I get angry. You count the days. I count the hours, the minutes.

Not with friends. Only men. And recently it got pathological.

First he was away. Then it was the holiday. Next he was with family. Finally he lost interest.

These theories, my friends’ theories, were reasonable and logical, but to me less probable. In my gut, something was wrong.  “Nothing is wrong. You know nothing’s wrong.” But I didn’t know. Nothing felt right. He last message was, “I miss you too babe.” And then silence.

My first boyfriend lived in England. We met there, I moved back here. In college we are whimsical, we are deluded. Our promise was to talk every night. His night, not mine. And then he didn’t call. And the next day he didn’t call. So I used my calling card to call and leave a message, I was so disappointed. Where are you? Why didn’t you call?

And then he did call. And he was in the hospital. He had been run off the road, hit by a car. He was fine. “Fine.” And the last message from me was not concern, it was selfish.

It didn’t dawn on me until now that he is the reason I obsess. He is the reason I can’t let go. In my mind, a missed connection means danger, he has been harmed. It is not logical. It is not reasonable. But I go back to that day, that call. The last call. He was hurt and I was annoyed. Until today I wasn’t about to let it happen again.

But logic can now prevail. If he’s ok or he’s not, it’s not my fault and no amount of checking will make him OK if he’s not, or call if he won’t.

I can put the phone down.

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