I'm totally obsessed with the Lizzie Bennet Diaries. I'm not (and probably never will be) into things that are happy and lovely and gushy and romantic. So, I'm sorry in advance for ruining all the Dizzie highs that are still hanging around from Ep 99.
Word count: 1,338
Her fingers hover over the screen and she taps out a few words, erases them immediately, and then returns to staring at the empty message box that reads "iMessage" with a blinking cursor.
I'm sorry, maybe, or I love you. More probably: I don't know how to do any of this so please tell me if I make you happy because who you are is very different from who I am and I never know where I stand with you.
She doesn't send anything and the damn cursor stays blinking long after she's lost the ability to fathom any words.
He is wonderful. Infuriating. Charming. Everything she could've dreamed of and- and more? Or less. Decidedly less.
She settles for typing out: Talking to you is like throwing everything but the kitchen sink against a brick wall and hoping some of it will stick, or at least bruise.
She deletes the words the moment they show up black against the stark white screen. I'm sorry, she tries again, I don't know how to do this sometimes.
His voice is like silk when he's talking to her, but the boy has a strange aversion to phones and can't be away from business for long, so here they are. Texting. And it makes her feel like a teenager, lovesick or heartbroken or maybe just a little confused. She's probably just confused, she tells herself, just a little lost because she's never done this before. All those reasons Lydia listed why she was "Perpetually single!" (she can almost hear Lydia's voice climbing in pitch, smiling the way she used to before... Smiling so big and flat the way she used to before everything.) were reasons why she used to be single and now she's not and it's different. Not bad different, not bad at all. She likes the way his lips taste when she stands on her tiptoes to kiss him and she likes the low rumble in his throat when she runs her fingers over his tie and she likes him, how solid a presence he is, like an anchor or a rock that keeps her sane even when her thesis is due in two weeks and she feels like melting into a puddle of "not this, not today, not gonna happen."
She doesn't like how it feels like he builds walls between them out of the miles and she's always reaching so far but he never reaches back. She tells herself it's because they're different, that he's introverted and she, she spent the past year of her life telling tens of thousands of people every single bit of drama that came her way. She tells herself that she needs to say things aloud to process them but he doesn't, and so his silence doesn't indicate that he's not feeling anything, but that he's just being himself.
She doesn't believe a lot of the things she tells herself.
It'd be easier, she says to him, to everyone, to herself, if he were closer. But he's not and sometimes things are so impossibly hard that her heart feels like lead.
Her phone pings, a message showing from a "Will Darcy" lighting the screen. Me neither. She exhales loudly and contemplates crying but settles for wracking her brain for a response.
It's a frightening thought that's been popping to her head too frequently as of late. They're too different, maybe, and it's easy to blame the miles and it's easy to blame the videos, but maybe the problem is them. Maybe the problem is that she's a girl with a loud voice and pale skin and he's a boy who wears bowties and serious faces and they don't fit as well as she thought they-
No. They'll be fine. It's just the distance.
I'll be home in two days, a new message from him informs her, I can fly out to see you, if you'd like.
Yes, please, she responds and it's as if a hundred pounds have been lifted off of her aching shoulders. A moment's pause, the message shows a grey "delivered" underneath. She types some more, I miss you, and hits "send."
Oh! does she miss him. Sometimes her lungs feel disconnected from her body and there's more work to be done (always more work to be done) than there are hours in the day. Charlotte's far away and Jane's gone and Lydia's amazing but not- Lydia's not him. She didn't know there could be a hole in her heart where he was supposed to fit, but she supposes there is because it feels as though an artery's been punctured right where he's meant to be. Who knew being in love felt so much like unsuccessful open heart surgery?
I love you, his words show up, another message sounding at the tail of that one, I'm sorry things have been busy lately. It'll get better.
She mouths the words to herself and tries to imagine the shape of his lips pulling into the small smile he gives her every time he says it. "I love you," she sighs with her own imaginings, "I love you, Lizzie Bennet, I love you."
The daydreaming pulls red to her cheeks and she realizes that she needs to text him back and so she says I know, though she doesn't, she doesn't really know. She doesn't know that he loves her because it's too easy to think about the dozens of Caroline Lee's he sees every day and it's too easy for him to say it'll get better because, because what if it doesn't? What if this is as good as it gets and 'this' is the constant feeling that she's missing what she's supposed to be doing, that she and he are two trains or boats (or whatever the metaphor's supposed to be) passing in the night?
She doesn't know when she first lied to him, but she's been doing it daily as of late. It's not that she doesn't love him, it's just that she doesn't know what love is anymore because she hasn't seen his face in two months and she hasn't brushed her fingers over one of those silky ties in what feels like an eternity.
I'm tired, she texts him and he tells her to go to sleep, as if it's that easy, as if she's not tired all the way down to her bones because loving a quiet man from far way is zapping away every last reserve of energy she thought she had.
I'll see you soon, he promises and she knows he'll keep his word.
It'll be worth it, she tells herself, when he's here. Every long night with an empty bed and hours of panging longing, it'll be worth it. He'll be here and it'll be worth it. Maybe she just has a tendency to forget what's not immediately in front of her, and maybe seeing him will make her stomach stop feeling so hollow and she'll be able to breathe again without feeling like she'll cry and she won't lie to him anymore ever. She tells herself that it'll get better, it'll be alright.
She doesn't know if she believes it, but it's late and she should rest. She closes her eyes and tries to think of all the things she could say that'd make it feel less like they were seeing each other through a pane of foggy glass.
She can't find any words, so instead she finds sleep. Tomorrow, maybe, she'll ask him if he means it when he says he loves her, she'll admit that she's never quite sure. She'll confess that she can't tell if she needs him closer right this instant or if they'd be better for never speaking again. Tomorrow.
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