If you stay we can figure out how long it takes. [...] Don’t say a word. [...] Boil a pot of water. Two cups will do.
—Brett Elizabeth Jenkins
He had lived in silence for God-knows-how-long, as if standing behind some unspoken promise he once gave her. He, more often than not, found himself daydreaming of the two of them, mostly sitting side-by-side on the odd bench by the river, not saying much, if anything at all, yet he felt as if—in these daydreams of his—all had been said in the most eloquent of ways, without the need for words, for consonants or vowels, not because they had ran out of things to say to each other—and how could they, having never spent enough time together, enough by their own sense of time and space and number of words—, nor because they could read each other's mind, but simply because—and that was something they would both admit to having been given the chance—that sense of being together seemed to be enough in itself. Daydreams aside, he'd lived in silence, he'd reminded himself on a daily basis how he was alone, alone as one can be—and that was it. Not that it was something that grows on you, something that becomes, slowly yet steadily, part of reality and eventually merges with your routine, discolors over time and renders itself transparent; in contrast it most resembled, this persistent sense of loneliness, a pain you live by but never quite learn how to cope with, or, for that matter, one you never tell your G.P. about. And then one day, the sense of solitude and the daydreaming present as always, he heard the front door flap make that noise that used to startle him in his sleep when he first moved here, the noise of an envelope being shoved through the hole, and although he had long lost interest for incoming mail as they invariably were bills, advertising flyers, or mis-addressed letters, he jumped—with all the difficulty that his unwilling body brought with in such an effort—out of bed and got the unforeseen intruder in hand, one that did not at all resemble a bill, a flyer, or a mis-addressed letter, rather one with a nice, unnervingly familiar handwriting on the outside, and a lavender-colored paper inside decorated with the same handwriting, which, however, became more broken up and undecipherable towards the end of the single, not very long paragraph that—in what appeared to be the transcription of an impulsive, single-string thought process—deployed on one side of the lavender-colored paper, and had hardly any punctuation marks. That one paragraph was the final blow. You see, he had lived his life in a 'self-avoiding walk'—a Physics' term where a given polymer can keep twisting and turning in 3D space unrestricted so long as it does not turn back on itself—always holding out for that portion of time he would call enough, alongside her, on that bench by the river, where not much, if anything at all, would be said, and it took nothing more than a single paragraph of her handwriting on a lavender-colored piece of paper to render his whole life-agenda... well, frankly, a mistake, for what was the purpose of it all if he was never to get the chance to walk into one of his many daydreams? Obviously, time and again, he had entertained—toyed would probably be a more fitting verb—the idea of her being engaged in a happy new life, completely detached from the long-lost shared reality—reality being a rather strong word, given the hundreds of letters and texts and emails they had exchanged and had stayed restricted to—, probably having turned what he perceived as a life-together-waiting-to-happen into a fondled yet stored-away memory, bound to be forgotten or changed or blurred by silence; one both of them imposed, mind you, though under different terms. Nonetheless, no matter how prepared, or unprepared, one can say he was that one paragraph was the final blow. I find it impossible to give you a summary of that one paragraph, let alone write out the exact words therein, but as he lay there, his eyes wide-open, no tears, no breath, hundreds of heart-beats per minute, and then none, I do recall those last few words: I wish there was a nowhere, one we could pin-point on a map, because that seems the only place us two are ever going to get a chance to spend enough time together—do forgive me though for not remembering if those were her words laid out on the lavender-colored paper or his, spelled out letter-by-letter; and then none.