By Jaclyn Adomeit
He stared at the email from long ago. The one written by her. It was not originally meant for his eyes, but she’d forwarded it later: a voyeuristic love note. It was first sent to her aunt: an explanation as to why there would be a strange man attending a family function.
He’s funny, and kind, and he loves the outdoors. Just wait until you meet him.
It might have been the first formal declaration of their attachment. He couldn’t remember—it was a whole relationship ago.
And he doesn’t have any family in town and I just thought I would bring him around for thanksgiving. But don’t make a big deal about it alright. I don’t want to scare him off.
It was filled with so many idealisms. Did she really believe them at the time?
God, I don’t even know why I’m telling you, just that he’d never tell you himself. He’s so humble and kind about everything.
She sure didn’t feel that way now.
On the war-torn frontline that was their home, they sat on opposite sides of the couch. The bangs and shouts of the most recent battle still hung in the air. He’d kept the email tucked away in his favorites folder, and he would peek at it sometimes on his phone—after a brutal day at work, or to buoy his self-confidence.
He’s smart and got that dry sense of humor—mom doesn’t get it, but you know her.
The words of the email shimmered on the screen of his phone. Pressing the forward button, he typed in her address: a lasso in search of a target.
A ping from her phone lifted her gaze from the arm of the couch. She picked it up from the coffee table, and looked at him with a furrowed brow, but he nodded to urge her on.
His heart quickened as she read. He hadn’t realized he’d kept his own list: her humor, her joy, her wit, her compassion.
Anyways, you’ll like him—I sure do. We’ll bring the pumpkin pie. See you Sunday!
She raised her eyes to meet his and hellfire rained.
“I don’t feel like that anymore. Not any of it.”
He was too close to withstand the nuclear bomb: his skin shriveled. The bricks of compliments that were his perch crumbled.
The layers of patience that covered his love for so long were burned away.
He stood, turned, and left.