We tell each other sad stories to make ourselves feel better. When the phone rings, he still lurches as though she were returning his calls. Every call he makes goes to voicemail, but he smiles at the crack in her voice, the lilt in her tone. Dial tones are never nearly as friendly. The lies we tell ourselves are just the beginning. We weave ourselves tales of hope and promise. I tried not to cringe when he told me about the car accident. The crunch of metal against a lamppost. The taste of rust and regrets lingering in his mouth.
I made the alphabet soup of sympathy: the “oh’s” and the “ah’s”. My voice cracked a little on the words, but I knew he needed me to stay strong so I hid behind a wall of concrete apathy.
This is the beginning of a story that was stirring inside of me this morning. I’m not sure if I’ll complete it, but I wanted to share it.