Thursday Threads Week 42

‘Everything’s going to be okay.’

Elaine reads the words over and over again, black against white on the screen in front of her. She tries to taste every letter. Rub her fingers over them. Hear them in her mind in the soft, deep cadence of his voice she’s only heard over the phone.

‘I don’t know how to do this,’ she types back. ‘I don’t know how to be so far away from you, and still feel like I’m yours.’

But it’s not enough.

There’s no way she can put into words what presses at the edges of her rib cage, what threatens to pull her off the road when she’s paralyzed with worry that she’ll never get the chance to feel his touch.

That they’ll be stuck this way, with nothing but miles in between them, and black and white words on a screen.

She never knew they would end up here from where they started. Support in an online chat group. She was looking for help when she was sick. She found Michael.

‘I know. That’s why I’m here.’

Elaine reads. Breathes. Closes her eyes. When she opens them, she sees only words again, but this time, they are so much more. They mean everything.

‘And I’m not going anywhere.’

Judge J. Annas says:

Even though there is little real action going on in the piece, there is a good sense of this woman’s desperation, her intense worry over the future, and clear obsession over every word Micheal sends her. The emotional ride becomes the story. You get a notion that she is building her whole life and sense of self around words on a screen. They are no more tangible than the long distance internet relationship, but she holds them in such high esteem that she seems to suffer anxiety over them. It begs the question of the heroine’s sanity. I like how her neediness seems to consume her. I can’t help but wonder if the relationship would last if they were to live closer. Would she suffocate him? There is enough of the character presented in such a short space to answer the question. I think so.

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