It was al in her head, of course.
Unfortunately, there was no getting it out of her head. Her head was telling her he had everything she longed for. He epitomized everything she craved and the things she wished for when her mind was no longer logical, in that space before she fell asleep.
He was being appreciated, being popular, a kiss before she went to write her English paper (or not write it because it turned into more than one kiss).
He was someone to hang out with and watch the other girls look at while knowing he was hers and, above all, she was his and she was okay with it.
They weren’t dating, of course.
That would be absurd because all the things she longed for were things she knew she could never get, those things just out of reach. She remembered the conversation that had sealed her longing for him…
“You’ve never tried skydiving?” Tony asked in disbelief, having been 3 or 4 times himself.
“No,” she replied, feeling lame and unappreciated like always. She always set her goals to high, longed for things she couldn’t have.
“Why not?” he asked. She might see someday that he was not everything she could ever wish for but she longed for him now. So much.
“I’ve never been invited,” she replied, trying for a date.
“No one needs an invite for fun!” he replied incredulously before changing the subject.
She knew that, somehow, she was separated from him. She didn’t want to skydive, couldn’t ‘invite herself to fun’ or whatever he had said.
But she longed for him because he was someone who had been skydiving. Someone who invited himself to fun and inevitably had fun and other people joined and it all worked out in the end.
But she wasn’t going skydiving. She would go on longing.
She would think about the other conversation she had with him.
“I just don’t see why that’s necessary,” he said while she wrote three thank you notes, laboring over each. “Just thank them in person.”
She looked up and could see that she was on the ground and he was skydiving for all the distance that was between them. She replied, “I was raised on thank you notes.”
“I guess I was raised on telling people how I feel,” he replied contemplatively.
She continued writing. He went back to watching television.
The conversation ended. Later, she mentally pictured herself walking away from his landing area, letting him fly in the sky and moving herself away. She was not sure he’d understand if she ‘told him how she felt.’ He never longed for anything because he had it all.
Then again, maybe it was all in her head.