" Mamihlapinatapai "
" Mamihlapinatapai " is a word from the Yaghan language of Tierra del Fuego.
Translated it means. A look shared by two people. Each wishing the other will initiate something that they both desire.
But neither one wants to start.
The open plan office we shared.
Spacious, bright and airy.
Desks not too far apart.
But, not close enough for footsy.
You would say had your legs touched.
Static electricity, sparks flying, heart burn.
Her coy smile from behind a ream of A4.
Dancing eyes as hair is brushed to one side.
Soft red lips part a smile in your direction.
Amidst the paper clips, envelopes and elastic bands.
Fingers touch at striped HB's
Tug of war ensues, that one's mine teasing with a smile.
You nod in her direction, help me.
The copier, it's jammed again, deliberately.
Small and intimate.
In silence, watching her fingers catch the flow, cold, warm, then hot.
Hot, like the blood coursing through your pounding heart.
Wash cups together.
As you stand next to her, heart bleeding.
Pass a paper towel please.
Stay and dry your hands.
The request for another stolen moment or two.
Name chalked on board.
Out of office, not back till...
Anguish as days slip by without sight of her.
Joy as she sweeps in through the door.
Uplifted, you walk tall, drink you ask.
The usual she replies smiling.
'Relocation...' she whispers sadly.
Heart break at the news.
Go back in time a dream.
The office party, the farewell.
Gifts, cards, handed over.
Your scribbled kisses kept discrete.
'I can pop in and see everyone from time to time...!' she says.
Forgetting it's four hundred and twenty-nine miles away...exactly.
A hug, a kiss, a wish for more.
Photographs, a chance to stand close.
Take another photo please.
You smile linking arms.
Another hug, another kiss, lingering.
Breathe in her perfume.
Caress her hair, wish for a fallen lock to cherish.
The photographs, a copy kept.
To look upon alone and weep.
You must keep in touch.
An email, a phone call...
You say with a hint of desperation.
Before she departs.
The inconsolable feeling of finality.
And think how you will miss her voice.
Miss everything about her.