It is the Popcorn sound that I assigned for his text alert. I just heard it, will wait maybe ten minutes to answer for game playing purposes. I loved to hear it from the beginning, even before we met. Something about his blue eyes and his smile just even from his pictures made my heart skip a beat every time the magical tune would play in the smart phone that I couldn’t appreciate any more now than simply for that sound alone.
It is a happy-go-lucky jumpy “pop” sound. Popcorn. When my phone pops, it is him and no other. The pop would come a few times a week. And then we met. And the kisses and other things we shared were nothing short of magic. Though it didn’t seem to be that way for him.
He would text, he would initially. Nothing sweet or “Hey beautiful” or anything to make me feel special as other men have done. Then even the half-assed reach-outs would stop for a few days. I found myself ruminating the Popcorn sound in my head over and over again, even dreamed of it, until I would finally hear it again. I would try to conjure the universe up to do it for him, to dial my number with his freckled perfect hands.
Even that short text conversation wouldn’t be satisfactory but I would accept it just the same. And when I wouldn’t hear Popcorn pop for days at a time I would panic and sweat. But I would eventually hear it. Even if it was just one word answers I was getting, sometimes those one word answers would have an exclamation mark and I would make it be enough for me.
Then he blew me off for a date. He would start to cancel more and more. I tried not to be the panicky needy person I was years ago, so I let him blow me off on a few more. I would try to casually convince him when we did get together, how pretty I was, awesome I was, how many guys wanted me. It didn’t seem to make any difference.
No matter how many pretty selfies I took or how much of a life I tried to appear to have on social media, his behavior never shifted from the small efforts. When he finally blew me off this past New Year’s Eve after building me up to believe he wanted to see me, not even a text to tell me he couldn’t make it or anything, I told him to screw off. He did. He didn’t even bother to try and get me back.
My mother would tell me, when she had to pick me up New Year’s Day, literally off the floor, from my grief, that I whatever I pictured him to be, he wasn’t. After all I barely knew him, I just pictured a man that I wanted, with his face. And whatever I wanted him to be, he just wasn’t. And I decided that would be enough for me to stop hearing the Popcorn sound.
I started ruminating again over the next few weeks over what was supposed to be a brand new start, a brand new year. Was it his ex-girlfriend that maybe he was still in love with? The one whose pictures he never took down off of the very same social media I hoped would lure him back to me? Was I overanalyzing just like he told me I was once? Was I being too needy? After all, we really had only been out on a few dates?
I would still play that sound for myself to fill the void, pretending it was him, and crying that it wasn’t and would never be again. I would have to retire that sound, of course, because it was his. But I didn’t want to retire it. I was determined to hear that sound again. So it was me that finally caved and reached out to him. And the same has resumed. It is still a sound I’m joyous to hear, though it has changed dramatically since the beginning. The Cloud Nine I was on a few months ago has dissipated and become something more of a “skip” down a long city street with mist droplets of the cloud that once was, that would have dried by now, but I choose to keep moist, to hang onto . But no more floating on a cloud that I conjured up to begin with. I wouldn’t take that feeling back, the floating, the magic. Not for anything. I’ll most likely not get it back, not with him. So for the brief time before I turned back into a pumpkin, I’ll cherish that.
I know the day will come when I will stop hearing that sound. Either he will stop texting because he tires of me, or I will finally have the gumption to block the number. Someday, that sound will be a distant memory, and only go off in my dreams and head every now and then, until it is replaced by a new sound, that I assign for a new man. Don’t know how it will end. But it will. All I know is my heart still flutters when I hear the Popcorn sound, and I am not yet ready to stop hearing that sound.