Missed Chance

By Chukwudi Okafor

I still have your number in my wallet.

It is slightly crumpled,

But the ink has not faded;

It looks like I got it a few days ago.

I never asked you for it,

And so you never expected my call,

Or that from anyone else, I imagine.

 

I am never going to see you again,

Yet I still struggle with what to say to you.

Can I find the right words?

Perhaps meeting in person is easier.

 

Yes, our dialogue would be easier,

And more predictable,

Almost formulaic.

I would not have to think or feel

Or worry about your concerns,

Listen to your fears,

Or learn about your life.

Your problems would be your own;

I would just make sure you are fine.

A quick chat, and off you go.

 

But you left before we could meet again,

And I wonder about you more and more.

You see, I took note of your concerns,

I listened to your fears,

And I learned about your life.

I cared about you,

And I think I still do.

 

What would you think of me if you knew?

 

You left before we could meet again,

And all I have is your number.

What would you think of me if you knew?

I struggled to speak to you,

And I let myself remain preoccupied,

Distracting myself purposefully

Despite knowing you needed to be listened to.

What would you think of me if you knew?

 

Now you are gone,

And probably left feeling all alone.

I hope you head off to a better place,

One where you are comforted and feel unburdened,

One where you find the solace you searched for;

Hopefully, a place better than here.

 

We will never meet again,

Thus I can never really help you.

Our time together was brief,

But I know I could have treated you better.

I am sorry.

I can only promise to never act so aloof,

So avoidant,

So remote.

I promise you that to all that I meet

I will listen,

I will learn from,

And I will care.

What would you think of me if you knew?

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