Waiting is always the hardest part. She was waiting for a man she had met through a friend and had never actually met, yet he invoked feelings in her she thought had long ago been lost. She knew him, as anyone knows another person. They had talked online, over the phone and even through conventional mail. Letters, love letters really, forbidden fantasies detailing longings to help cope with lonely nights. They talked regularly, about everything. They were both from broken families, keeping in touch only when absolutely necessary. They both felt too old for kids, even though neither were more than 35 years of age. They spoke often of books each had enjoyed or not enjoyed, sharing authors, poems and even the occasional online story favourite.
She was waiting, and remembering; remembering the first tentative email. He is just like you, a victim of love lost, her friend had told her. He needs someone to talk to, just like you do. Someone who could understand. A sympathetic ear. So she sent the email, expecting nothing yet hoping for everything. And waited. She waited a lot, and sometimes felt like all she ever did was wait.
Her last boyfriend made her wait too. First she waited for him to ask her out. He was a cute guy in her senior year at college, and he often eyed her, yet never got the nerve to say anything. She knew he liked her. Jimmy, that was his name, always looked her way when he thought she was busy listening to the professor, but she knew. He would watch her, and smile, but he never said anything. Until that day when he finally caught her after class, and she had been waiting 3 months for this. Jimmy finally asked her out and of course she said yes. Then she waited for his first real move. Coffee was fine, dinner was good, but what about that first kiss? How about that first real embrace? She waited. A few years later they were much friendlier, having been together so long already, she waited for him to finally make the bold move of getting together. Living together, sharing space, even, hopefully someday, marriage. And she waited. She waited so long but it never came. She loved him. She told Jimmy every chance she got how much she loved him, and she waited.
Heartbreak is a hard thing to deal with, and when Jimmy decided that she had waited long enough he made her wait forever. He broke her heart and walked away. And then she waited. She waited for another Jimmy, but none arrived. Until Eric. And now she waited for Eric to arrive. This would be the first time they had ever met, face to face at least. She felt that their hearts had met after that first email. He had been so sweet. He replied telling her how he was looking for someone who could understand that he was in pain, and not ready to get hurt again. She knew. She knew very well what he meant since she was still in pain too. She told him about Jimmy, and he told her about Mary, the girl he was destined to marry, until she decided that she was not ready for such commitment. They talked about the emotions, stages as they called them. Pain, denial, hatred, and acceptance. They knew what had happened. Knew where they were in their lives, but still they wanted something else. Something neither could have, until now.