Listen

She sat up abruptly, swinging her legs to the floor. Her toes curled against the smooth hardwood and her fingers dug into the mattress.

He could never hear her pain or feel it. He had never wanted to share it, to ease it, to listen to her voice carry it, so she buried it. Often times she wondered if anyone would share it, if anyone had the gall to listen. Or maybe it was the guts to listen. She had no dark past, no dark side and no dark secrets, yet everyone wanted to shrink away from her. Sometimes she would entertain the idea of getting a drink with a stranger and telling him all sorts of things about herself, staying till the bar closed and then going their separate ways, never to see or speak to each other again. Of course the trouble with such a fantasy was finding someone who was content to merely talk.

She shivered, wrapping her arms about herself. The air in the room was frigid after the warmth of her bed. Just a few steps to the closet and her bathrobe.

Her mind came back to him again. The sting of regret. And before she could shut it off the snapshots played. An exchange of glances, laughter, a touch on the arm, emails unreplied, passing without speaking, parting without goodbyes. A whole story remembered in a moment and forgotten in the next. No one would ever know what it meant to her. The trouble was not hating the world for it. She told herself she’d be lucky if anyone ever listened, understood and cared. Those three were hard to find.

Maybe the world was just cold.

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