700. Fiction. Based on a True Long Distance Relationship.

“For me, I think the human connection is the most meaningful thing because ultimately without that I don’t think travel or success or work or anything would have significance if there was no one to share it with.”

by Julia Price

“700”

Fiction. Based on a Long Distance Relationship.

by Charlotte Thomas

This journal entry is inspired by true events. Some of the characters, names, businesses, incidents, and certain locations and events have been fictionalized for dramatic purposes. Any similarity to the name, character or history of any person is entirely coincidental and unintentional.

I’ve never had a least favorite number. Or even a favorite number. They all seemed arbitrary to me. It’s a number. It’s the same ridiculous level as having a favorite letter. They’re all practically the same!

Until 700.

700 has a knowingness to it. A mockery. I’ll stare at the number: “700 miles”. 700 between his arms and mine. 700 horrible, flat, midwestern miles that knowingly tease my neediness and sneer at my tears. 700 miles that snicker and snort “doesn’t facetime feel the same? You still see his face, you still hear his voice, why are you complaining?” but the tears come just the same as my screen turns blank and his face has vanished. Like a baby lacking object permanence skills I sniffle, “where has he gone?” 700 between his eyes and mine.

I smile and say, “I love you too.” Hoping he doesn’t notice my voice crack at another goodbye. I let out a breath as the screen turns back and whisper to myself, over and over, “not today. not again. I can’t cry again. not today.” I smile for my family, and for him. I don’t let my neediness show, I can’t let my neediness show.

I wrap myself in Vanilla Twilight and Kid Quill and Jon Bellion and his oversized, stained green hoodie to feel some sort of connection to him from 700 daunting miles away. But they’re artificial recreations that may make me think of him, but couldn’t dream of comparing to the gentle security of his easy smile or his warm arms. 700 between his lips and mine.

700 came too soon. Much too soon. I was content staying with him, ignoring the 700 voices drawing closer each passing night when I would fall asleep beside him, feeling the warmth of his body next to mine, and drifting off to the sound of his gentle breathing as he scrolled through Twitter for the next hour. I was content with waking up in the middle of the night to his arm lazily draped over me, having pulled me to his chest in his sleep. 700 seemed like it would never arrive and take him away from me. But then I woke up and packed my things and twenty minutes later I found myself driving away.

And home didn’t feel like Home. My Home was 700 scornful miles away and my bed felt too cold and too big. The air around me felt too big. I tried to fill it with his T-shirts and pillows and our favorite music and tv shows but without him, it only felt emptier. But I can’t get warm, and I can’t get comfortable.

700 hurts. 700 is gut-wrenching and forlorn and hurtful. It mocks me with each rising day I wake by myself.

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