Now all I know is hope.

Hope—that’s her name. To anyone but you, this is all an enigma, this section at least. I wonder what she’s like aside from the descriptions you provide—sure, you’ve noted “strawberry blonde” and “straight teeth” and “high nose”—but what more? Does she write like I do? Does she laugh through her teeth at your jokes or with her whole head thrown back, bearing all of them, pearly and perfect? There’s a difference.

I wonder about this a lot. It’s not because I even wish remotely to trade places with her—that’s not it. But I just wonder what colors she adds to your palette, whether she complements them—the forest green to your firetruck red, sounding, blaring into the night. Does she cover her ears? I know I did, sometimes.

I wonder how she takes her tea. Or maybe she’s not a tea person, which is very much a possibility. All of this imagining: mere possibilities. I do not know the girl you speak so highly of—I can only speculate as to what won her that sacred pedestal.

And I do not wonder out of jealousy, an envious, blinking eye. I wonder out of curiosity itself, the part of me that adores putting puzzles together, matching the jigsaw pieces into an image worth looking at. I wonder—how do her fragments mesh with yours? Because it’s an art, really, that order and arrangement, crafted precision, part to whole. I hope for your sake you aren’t missing any pieces. In fact, I pray for your full picture, a complete image, even if it is not one I am part of. I had my time. This portrait is yours.

I almost love how much I do not know her. She is your best kept secret and perhaps it is better this way, her whole life just a name to me—Hope, Hope, Hope—not a body you like to hold, nothing more than the ink my pen holds—Hope, Hope, Hope—just hope and hope alone.

I almost love how there is no physical body that comes to mind when I consider her, just a void where an image should be. I know nothing of her freckles except for the fact that you probably know them all, that you have labeled them individually the way God counted the hairs on our heads and numbered all of our bones before we even came into existence. I think about that a lot. Hope is your creation I still have not met. It’s better this way, not knowing Hope but knowing of her—more theory than marrow, more concept than skin, the same way I’d like to be, if I had my way.

Enough of Hope. I just hope that when she touches you she knows how to do it right.

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