Coming Home

She stares at the computer screen as the black letters scroll across the page. Virtual words in a virtual world. She lets her head drift down, and her black hair brushes across the keyboard. She sighs and closes her eyes. The light of the monitor gives her a soft, glowing halo.

The screen flashes, and she cracks an eye open to glance at the screen. He had responded. Her eyes devour the message hungrily. Then she pauses, looks at the ceiling, and puts her head back down. A tear runs down her cheek, hidden in the shadows of her arms. Again. He was not coming home again.

Well what did it matter in this large world? The world in which you can drift to and from perhaps any imaginable place...and if it's not there, create it. A place where someone can be anyone from anywhere doing anything. But she chooses to be herself. That tiny bit of self locked in layers of physical attributes, prejudices, and self protection. A very small self in a very big world. But isn't it the easiest way to forget about things?

The screen starts blinking again. Tear momentarily forgotten; she launches herself headlong into a heated discussion of music and its meaning. A discussion of what the key means to the piece. Of what the key unlocks. Of the opening door. The door is open. She looks at the man standing in the doorway.

"I made it back after all, sorry I couldn't call," he says, walking through the kitchen.

"Hi," she says, and turns back to her computer.

He doesn't understand why she spends so much time on the computer. It's unhealthy. When her own father finds time to be home, should she not be attempting to converse? Or at least sit at the table with him. He shakes his head, unable to figure it out. He walks out into the outside world. A very small self in a very big world.

He's left again. Why bother returning? She thinks to herself a lot. And at other people. Other people...she turns back to her discussion. And the virtual world which she has carved a place in. Click. Click. The mouse and the keyboard and computer hum sets up their own little symphony. A bit of music in an otherwise silent house.

Time flies, and days pass. Things continue upon the same way. It follows a rut. A carved path. When had these two slipped into this pattern? Where had it all started? No one knows anymore; it's been so long. Will things ever change? Life always changes.

Maybe one day, he'll come in. And maybe ask: Want to go eat out somewhere? And maybe she'll look at him, and look at her computer. She'll make a decision within herself. And maybe she'll say: Give me a few seconds. And maybe he'll nod, and busy himself getting ready. And maybe after a few minutes, she'll give the computer one final glance, and turn to him. And maybe his lips will tilt into a smile. And maybe hers will too.

And she'll turn off the computer, and say: You know, I missed you.