We'd known eachother since Thanksgiving. She found the message board before me and while I lurked, I read fine character between her lines. She was hurting, trying to bolster the fortitude to pull away from a bad relationship. Having troubles of my own, I could relate to some of her experiences and we began writing eachother.
The new year came along with the realization that I REALLY cared about her. As friends, we encouraged eachother to call time of death on those bad relationships. I found her to be smart, funny, willing to look deep inside herself and 'call it like she sees it'. A woman to be admired, I feel very lucky in the friendship we'd found.
Our emails grew more and more regular, till they were daily occurrances. We began to catch eachother on IM with greater frequency. She asked to phone me and we had two real, live conversations. Omg, how we laughed. Her accent was hard for me to follow and some of her expressions distinctly delightful. She'd say 'erm...' just like she typed it!
The thing was, I was crazy about her. AND; she lived on the other side of the fucking world. How smart is that, to set yourself up for such an impossible relationship? Talk about pining for the moon... So I didn't let her know how deeply my feelings were growing.
During those phone calls, I'd deliberately speak much more slowly than usual. I couldn't let myself get carried away. I wanted control of my emotions. Above all, I NEVER asked for her phone number. Uncertain of what she was feeling, I didn't want to inspire hope or cause disappointment.
But in the middle of March, five years ago, I had a short trip planned. Sus and I were going to Pocatello for rodeo, but it meant the weekend without email from Lynne. *cue tight, clutching, hard to breathe feeling* I wanted to speak to her before I left, and couldn't overcome that feeling, no matter how rational I tried to be.
Late that night I found her phone number on the internet. Then I sat, sprawled on the bed for the next 45 minutes, trying to figure out all the prefixes to dial overseas. Then I had to talk to the operator to authorize overseas calls. Every minute during that time, I tried to talk myself out of doing this thing.
But I did it anyway... and I got her answering machine. I don't remember what I said...combine a regular aversion to answering machines along with pounding adrenalin.. oh, and my crap memory to begin with.. but I remember feeling deflated after hanging up.
Then the phone rang. Lynne had caught the tail end of my message and called me right back. I know I told her I missed her already and that I'd just wanted to hear her voice before my trip. I don't remember much more of the convo.
I know I didn't say 'love'. But she knew already.
Happy Anniversary, Sweetheart.