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I Have Him in Mind, Day and Night and Night and Day

Excerpt from The Love We Had, a Novel

By Øivind H. SolheimPublished 2 years ago 5 min read
Photo by on Unsplash

I pick up the phone. I can see that he has sent a new message. I enter the four digits needed to unlock, see an alert about a new mail in the email account inbox.

I click on the message; I see the text with a smiley face at the bottom.

I think I should read at once, if only I may be undisturbed for a while.

He writes that he is thinking of me, he asks if we can meet. He can come tonight, if I agree and want to, he can come.

I enter at 2300, click on a big heart and on a smiley face, two red hearts where the eyes should be. I press send and second later my answer is on his phone.

I sit at the kitchen table with the phone in hand. I think of him and the last meeting here at home with him. I notice that I’m smiling. I put my hand with the phone on the kitchen table. I feel a feverish heat rising inside me. I think I’m crossing a boundary in myself.

I hear my husband who enters downstairs. I have to act quickly. Do what is expected of me. Dinner for him and the kids, and I have to prepare the box and thermos for the night shift.

A flash-back. It’s years ago, now. I stretched out a hand, he created distance between us. I wanted to approach; he turned his back on me. That’s how he was, that’s how he became.

He went out. It was obvious, he didn’t want me to come close. I said his name, he was distant. I wanted to talk, he wanted peace. I said his name one more time. He sat up in front of the TV. It was late, I spoke to his back, told him that I go to bed. He looked at the TV screen, I waited for an answer.

That’s how he was. He said he wanted to watch it to the end. Wanted to finish what he was watching.

And me, in this?

I said: “I’m going to bed now.”

I asked: “Are you coming? Are you coming soon?”

Earlier, as well as now — he sits up in the evening, in the night. He is busy with his own things; I am busy with mine. I may well ask once more if he comes soon, — I may well ask, but — .

I know that I do not have more to give now. I want to get out of this. I want something more than this. For what can I give to someone who turns away from me? What can I give when I feel that I am dying inside?

I am nobody, and yet I am me, I am myself. And I know for sure, there is something in me, a spark that will get me started again.

I no longer accept this. I do no longer accept suffocating.

I am beyond myself. I have him in mind — the other one, day and night and night and day. I write messages that I delete and write again.

He’s here with me. I type and delete, type and delete, and write again.

«Thinking of you.»

«You’re a wonderful man.»

«I feel I live my life a little on hold.»

I live my life through my mobile and computer. There are days that are more intense than others. I look for notifications on the phone, sometimes several times every hour. I log in to the email account and open the inbox in anticipation that he has posted a new message.

I move in circles around myself. I’m excited, restless. He’s with me all the time. What I experience is the opposite of peace of mind. I can no longer rest peacefully in myself.

I see the light coming on, picking up the phone I read a new message.

He is standing outside my door, he writes. I go down and open the door. He smiles and points inside. I look towards the neighbouring house. I can’t see anyone behind the curtain.

I pull the door and close it behind him. I smile because he smiles at me.

He puts his arms around me, he hugs me.

It is silent in the house. I feel the heart pounding in the chest. I hold my breath and listen up towards the bedroom where the kids sleep. I hold my breath and I think:

«This is absolutely wild!»

«It's far past the limit!»

I know I can take care of this. I take his hand and he comes with me into the bedroom. I’m feverish, I feel my breath. I see myself from outside. I’m inside myself, and I’m on the outside.

I think:

«This is it. This is completely outside everything I could possibly have dreamed of.»

«Is this you, Eira, standing here, in the bedroom with this kind man?»

I let his hands walk across my body, I let his fingers touch me gently over the neck, over the face.

What is happiness, really? What is it like to feel happy? A kind of lightness, weightlessness?

It is to feel that I am floating, I am flying. It is to feel lifted. Nothing can ruin the experience.

I feel light, I’m happy inside. He turns away from me and walks out. I close the door to the night’s darkness and I think:

«I’ve done the right thing!»

I feel pleasantly warm in the body, I’m full of weird feelings for the one I have had. Secretly, one more time.

I go to bed. The bed welcomes me warmly. I recognize his smell in the bed.

I close the eyes, thinking what now. What about the road ahead, what comes next?

I close my eyes. Sleep comes quietly, wraps me into oblivion.

In the middle of the night abruptly I wake up. I listen.

« — Was that someone there?»


About the Creator

Øivind H. Solheim

Novel author, lifelong learner and nature photographer: Poetry, short stories, personal essays, articles and stories on nature, hiking, physical and mental health, living in relationships, love, and future. “Make Your Dream Be Your Future​”

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