Heads/Tails…Saying ‘I Love You’

Heads

It’s the end of the day, you’ve had a wonderful weekend together, nothing could make you happier, in fact, you’ve never felt this way before. You’re at the station about to say goodbye as you go your separate ways, you embrace on the platform…three minutes to go…if you don’t say it now how will they know how you feel? Have you got everything? Ticket? Keys? Yes, yes…two minutes, the guard is ushering people onto the train…you’ve got to say it, after all, it’s true, it’s how you feel and after such an amazing weekend now is the perfect moment. One minute…they climb on the train and blow you a kiss…now! Do it now! ‘Wait!’ you call their name, they turn what is it? Say it! Say it! ‘I love you!’ That’s it, it’s said, there’s a pause, a strange heavy pause in which time slows down, their face, once briefly etched with concern after you called them back softens, they smile, eyes filled with tears. They jump off the train and throw their arms around you as you embrace together on the platform surrounded by the swirling steam of the engine. ‘I love you too.‘ Neither of you notice the train pull away their bags still in tow, it matters not, you’re together and you’re in love and nothing else is important. Next to you the bewildered station guard composes himself mutters ‘kids’ softly, with a wry smile and leaves the two of you alone on the platform as the summer rain pours down, drenching you. You laugh and dance in the rain knowing that this euphoria won’t be tarnished by the weather. Fifty years later you smile to yourself from your rocking chair, remembering where it all started, they’re there opposite you, channel jumping or arguing with the newsreader, you catch their eye and you both smile. ‘I love you’ ‘I love you too’

 

Tails

It’s the end of the day, you’ve had a wonderful weekend together, nothing could make you happier, in fact, you’ve never felt this way before. You’re at the station about to say goodbye as you go your separate ways, you embrace on the platform…three minutes to go…if you don’t say it now how will they know how you feel? Have you got everything? Ticket? Keys? Yes, yes…two minutes, the guard is ushering people onto the train…you’ve got to say it, after all, it’s true, it’s how you feel and after such an amazing weekend now is the perfect moment. One minute…they climb on the train and blow you a kiss…now! Do it now! ‘Wait!’ you call their name, they turn what is it? Say it! Say it! ‘I love you!’ That’s it, it’s said, there’s a pause, a strange heavy pause in which time slows down, , their face, once briefly etched with concern after you called them back slowly morphs into one of horror, they open their mouth and close it again, unsure what they could possibly say to soften the blow. They get off the train and give you an awkward hug, Oh God, oh God! It was too soon! You should have kept your big mouth shut! How can they feel the same way!? You’ve only known each other a few weeks! They smile at you, a sad, sympathetic smile like one you give to a senile old man who still thinks all Germans are Nazis. ‘Aww, that’s so sweet.’ they say. That’s it, the world might as well end now, there’s no embrace, there’s no swirling engine steam – what is this 1945? Suddenly they notice the train pull away their bags still in tow, wait! Stop! Oh my God my phone was on the train! This is obviously your fault, now not only do they not love you but they hate you too. Next to you the station guard rolls his eyes at you and gives you a look as though to say ‘you idiot’ leaves the two of you arguing on the platform as the rain pours down, drenching you. You curse yourself for being so naive, so stupid and slowly realise why none of your relationships have ended well. Drenched and umbrella-less you call them a taxi home and wonder if you’ll ever hear from them again as you slosh through puddles on your way home. Fifty minutes later you arrive home in your lonely, dank apartment, the screen of your phone lights up and their face glows before you, bright and beautiful and smiling, a single line of text reads: I don’t think we should see each other any more

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