Phone in hand, she dials with her thumb. It is a number that has traveled from a dog-eared phone diary, to an organizer, several internet address books, an online contacts list and a couple of mobile phones.
As the number dials, she thinks back to the last time they spoke, her mind’s eye showing her the pages of a calendar flipping, instead of the hands of a clock. Ah, yes, she pauses at a memory. And then the calendar turns again. Oh, yes, that too. More flipping…
Not much. You?
I’m at work. Talk to you another time
Just a casual call, wasn’t this? Or did you need to talk about something?
No worries. You run along.
She smiles to herself. Sometimes you need to dial a number just to hear the call being answered. She snaps her flip-top shut and tosses it into her bag. Knowing they won’t talk again for awhile. Hoping they won’t. An occasional impulse may be indulgence, more often would be neediness. On her part would be mortifying shame, on his would be dismal disappointment.
What, she wonders, would I call him? Something other than a lover, someone not quite a friend and yet…definitely not a stranger. One of my own.
Friend-lover. She stops, lips smile-tinged, remembering. A title that someone once tried to confer on her and she cut that thought to shreds. But stored away the thought in her mind if she ever needed it. Noted for future reference. Neatly filed away as always. Now she pulls it out, finding a use for it and she knows it fits. Perfect, no one else could be described quite this way. That crazy dance on the fine dotted line between scorching sexuality and prudish platonicity. She smirks…if we ever danced baby, it would only be the salsa.
It works because there’s just enough on each side and we always stay on the dotted line. It works as long as we stay on the dotted line. Life on either side is just the way it always is. But the dotted line makes it different. Special? Who cares? The dotted line justifies its own presence. Connections that could be made. A series of blanks. Whichever way I want to look at it.
Some things are not meant to be. And then some things are meant to be…flexible.