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You see, no one who hasn’t had their hearts broken would know what that sounds like. You never forget the first time it happens, especially. The feeling, the memory of what was going on around you at that precise moment, the sound of the rain and screech of the trains, in my case, and the inability to move or even stand – this is something you can’t fake. The sound of your cries; the way the air seemed to swirl; the way your lungs felt like they weren’t getting enough air because you had stopped breathing.
So, if I ever spoke about it, I know now that that’s where I’d start. The sound of a heart breaking.
In the end, I’d never told anyone about us; my new-found bravado to announce the sudden realization that I didn’t love men; that, in fact, I loved a woman. I loved you. That bravado, born in the confidence of an eternal love, seeped away on that train station as I surely as I did, in a metaphysical sense; that bravado was gone by the time Adam found me.
Oh, the sounds!
First, the sound of your voice. A sound that previously reminded me of waterfalls that echoed in the background of a pristine tropical forest – from your first “Hi, I’m Jo” there was something pure and sure, knowing and kind, about your voice. It made me tingle, it made me feel a heated rush of blood to the head, it made me weak, it made me feel strong, this voice. But after that day in the train station, I no longer wanted to be reminded of it. It haunted me. For the longest time I didn’t delete the two voicemails you’d left on my phone – I didn’t listen to them, but I didn’t want to lose them forever, either.
I once heard a voice that sounded like yours in a quiet restaurant, impossibly, I thought, and I looked around the room desperately but didn’t find you.
My date that night was considered a catch by most people, and, until your voice, or the facsimile of it, cut through the funny conversation we were having, I was ready to agree with that opinion. I’d almost forgotten I was heartbroken — he made me laugh, felt desired, and he was impossibly flirty. I was enjoying myself for the first time in a long time. He was still funny after that voice sliced through the air between us, and, although he was still handsome, charming, earnestly trying to impress, he soon realized that I’d somehow tuned out despite his best efforts.