love in x’s and o’s (4.23 pm)

three thousand miles away is a friend whom i have known since we were young enough to think that life went as far as we could ride our bikes, and stories could only end in happy ever after.

despite the distance, we are bound together…every twist and turn of  life strengthening ties.

we text daily and sometimes there are phone calls that suck up the space between us  like a vacuum.

both of us are wear-your-heart-on-your-sleeve, can’t-hold-back-the-love kind of people.  our digital conversations are generously peppered with Xs and Os.

over time they have become a grown up version of a child’s made up language . the kind you giggle over as you create, but are quick to defend because it matters.

 

love you.

i’m here. i care.

thinking about you.

i hear you….processing.

i know this is hard.

thank you for saying that.

busy but love you.

and even …hugs and kisses.

 

now thinking of all the Xs and Os that are the secret language of my family. phrase we all know the story behind.  hand on the arm in passing, smoothing of hair that is already smooth.  squeeze on the knee. leaning on that says i love you. childish nickname.  treasure hunt map drawn by mum’s fingers on each one’s back in turn.  don’t they all say the same?

i’m here. i care. thinking about you. i hear you….processing. i know this is hard. thank you for saying that. busy but love you. and even…hugs and kisses.

___________________________________________________________________________

 

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