… … …
Six months of worrying, wondering; unable to think about anything else; unfocused; not sleeping. Then he came back. Appearing in that church as if he had never been away; adamant that his breakdown was a ruse. A glimmer of hope.
And then he said it. Two words. Just two small words. And now she's wondering and worrying and finding it difficult to focus on anything else. Now she's lying awake for the fourth night running, replaying the scene, looking for any clue as to why he said it.
She learned early on in their acquaintance that everything Jane does or says has a purpose. Not always a conniving purpose, but he rarely says anything that hasn't been thought through. So why that? Why then?
Her first night of wondering, she had convinced herself that the fact that it was two words, not three, was significant. The absence of the 'I' made it something you would say to a friend, rather than a profession of being in love. She had experienced relief for all of three seconds (ignoring any sensation of disappointment that came with it) before a replay of their conversation in the warehouse. She had asked him what he had meant by his words. He had claimed not to remember what he said. At the time, that too had brought relief (and ignored disappointment). But further thought reminded her that Jane always remembers. So, if he had meant it simply as love for a friend, why couldn't he admit to that?
Three nights of thinking had not yielded an answer, and it wasn't looking promising for the fourth either.
She had actually also learned early on in their acquaintance that trying to understand Jane was a time-consuming task that would ultimately give her a headache but nothing else. But she couldn't seem to let this go. And thinking about why she couldn't let go was only adding to her insomnia.
For the six months he was gone, she had managed to focus her mind on worrying about him; on a determined belief that, one day, he would come back. She hadn't allowed herself to dwell on why she was so concerned; why she wouldn't give up; why she point blank refused to accept that he had left her… Why she phrased it as 'left her'. With him back; with his words refusing to stop echoing in her head; with the knowledge that he slept with Lorelei (and a feeling closely resembling jealousy that won't let her be) she can't pretend that she doesn't know the 'why' for all of those things. Which leaves her wondering whether or not his words mean that he shares her feelings.
She knows it's unlikely; she knows that she would have noticed if he was in love with her. She knows that love is more than words - and that thought makes her smile, remembering the time they danced at a high school reunion.
She likes that, now and then, this path of thoughts brings her to something nice that temporarily distracts her. That is until she realises that all the nice thoughts include Jane. Jane buying her fruit, or pastries, or a pony; Jane sleeping on her couch; teasing her with magic tricks; Jane stunned at finding her in a bridesmaid dress; bringing her coffee, asking her to join him for tea; holding her hand in the rain…
She knows that love is more than words.
She knows she would have noticed if he was…
She pulls her duvet over her head with a frustrated sigh. She can draw all the conclusions she wants. She can acknowledge that the signs were there and she just chose not to see them. She can experience a little excited flutter at the thought that Jane is in love with her. But if he won't admit it, then she's right back where she started from: Worrying; wondering; distracted and lacking sleep.
She had learned early on in their acquaintance that trying to understand Jane would ultimately give her a headache but nothing else. She knows now that she was wrong about the 'nothing else'.