He used to ask me all the time if I was okay. He always asked me how I was feeling. As though he never knew for sure. Somehow, his gaze straight in to my eyes did strange things to my defenses. I remember how the first day I ever looked into his eyes I felt my entire world flip.
His favorite line was to ask me if I was okay. He would ask me when he was tired or frustrated or when he felt helpless. He would ask me the same thing when he was afraid.
He asked me the same question right after we stopped being lovers. We didn't break up abruptly. We decided to remain friends.
"Are you okay?" He would send me a text on a lazy summer afternoon or he would whisper on the phone late at night.
He hasn't asked me this question in years, but I am certain he still thinks it. His question still reverberates in my mind like a broken record and secretly I still wish that he calls me up and asks me this question.
It was always the same question, over and over again— like the bee humming over his favorite flower. And it took me months to recognize the unsaid words that marched silently behind.
Are you okay? Because I love you.
Are you okay? Because I need you.
Are you okay? Because I am not sure how to live without you.