Gone were the eloquent declarations of love, the phone calls that began at midnight and ended at daybreak, and the constant sweet nothings that led them to look forward to each day. What took its place were carefully measured words, toned down emotions and a thin layer of ice. It was something more mature, concrete and rooted, arrived upon after much emotional upheaval.
They both agreed that it was more appropriate. Neither of them wanted to continue wearing their heart on their sleeve. But they sought each other’s company. Couldn’t live with, couldn’t live without. The inherent need to talk, to communicate, to express hadn’t waned. Its absence had only egged them more.
They found ways to discuss the mundane and the small, to enquire about how the day transpired and generally keep in touch. It was gratifying to be able to salvage a dying friendship. More gratifying than it had been to ace an exam in school, to relish an ice lolly on a muggy summer evening and to stroll in the crisp winter air, by the sea, in the morning.
It turned them into stronger individuals. Perhaps, better too. They now had more respect and appreciation for they had between themselves, which made it dearer and more special. Individually, they smiled more. Laughter came with greater ease. And that for them was enough. All else would also fall into place eventually. Step-by-step, word-by-word.