|When I did not respond in what my
Mother thought was a lifetime, she started banging my door. It was Don, she said. During those few moments as Mother handed me the cordless phone, several thoughts flashed in my mind – I was excited to finally hear from him, but I was not prepared to talk to him yet, despite the fact that I had prepared myself a million times for this call. If I talked to him now, I will end up blabbering rather than having a meaningful conversation in which I could impress him with my intellect.
closed the door, I could barely manage to greet Don. All the excitement that I wanted to show him about how pleased I was to hear from him did not come. In fact, I sat down on the edge of the bed, which I hoped would slow my heartbeat. Don seemed so relaxed over the phone. Here I was about to have an
anxiety attack while Don wanted to talk about his latest passion – classical music. I knew Mother liked classical music but I knew nothing else beyond that. I was prepared to talk about existentialism today but Don beat me again – and to add to the embarrassment, he seemed to know more about classical music than I did though I had told him casually that my mother liked it. While I tried to steer him away, he was so excited about his discovery. I could visualize him gesticulating with his hands and twisting his whole body as he spoke. I imagined what it would be like to sit right in front of him and just admit to him in simple words –
"Dearest Don, I have no clue about classical music. Tell me more. I want to learn from you even though I am supposed to know all this." (Related:
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I badly wanted to talk about us. Did he miss me? Did he think about me? Did he ever dream about us together? I could not hold off any more. “Don, I want to tell you something. Since the moment I left you, I have thought about nothing else but you. I have waited for this moment to hear your voice so anxiously that I have lost track of time. I want to be with you, right now, if possible. I
want to touch you and feel you against me. Being away from you is very painful to me – it is even harder since I have never felt anything like this before. I don’t know what to do”.
When I was done, I realized that I had not acted like an intellectual. I expected that Don would be shocked with my blabber. Instead, he said, “You and I are simply one. That is the truth, you know. Neither of us can be described without the other." I knew
Don was literally quoting from Simone de Beauvoir’s L'Invitée. Thank you, Simone. I now knew exactly how Don felt. I felt a surge of emotion for Don that made tears roll down my cheeks. My voice was still steady but Don understood how I felt because, in the most soothing voice, he said, “Nancy, everything will be OK. We are now together and that is what I want you to know”.
So little said, but so much understood. I was still feeling uncomfortable that I said more than I needed to. Don summarized his thoughts in 20 words and that too by quoting Simone de Beauvoir. I realized how unimportant and irrelevant words were – all my life, literature played a defining role in my personality. I almost revered words but Don was beyond words. As I tried to recall our first interaction, I realized how he communicated with his hands and eyes – how I understood what he wanted to say simply by looking at him.
When I hung up the phone, I slept like I had never before in my life. It felt as if the problems of the world were over and I could finally move on, along with Don. My dreams could be real. I could
sleep every night with the comfort that there is someone in this world who thought of me as part of him. Regardless of how the world treated me, there was one person who would just accept me as I am.
From then on, I spoke to him every single night before going to sleep. Mother was understanding enough to let me take the phone with me when I went to bed because she knew how much I needed it. Plus it gave me the freedom to call Don anytime I wanted or whenever I couldn’t sleep because it seemed that Don never really slept. Regardless of the time of the day, Don was always alert and talked to me if it was middle of the day.
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