A month ago, she abruptly resigned her Words with Friends game. Granted, I was beating the pants off her (still a stirring thought), and there wasn’t any way she was going to catch up. We were both out of tiles, and I knew exactly what was on her rack.

But that wasn’t it. She was shutting down our communication channel. She had disappeared from Facebook at the beginning of summer, and her steady stream of emails had abruptly stopped. Without a word, she had backed away, retreating like a ghost.

Elle has always been a mystery to me, an apparition that never fully appears, a presence I can sense but never confront. God knows I have pictured her, bent over the kitchen sink, backed up against the wall, undressed and lying here in these sheets with me, sated, asleep. My fingers itch to text her right now, something sexy, something funny to coax her into engaging. The idea of Elle makes me restless.

But I can’t coax her back. I can’t argue with the fact that she is married, making us a bigger bet than I can risk. Been there, done that, and paid a hefty toll. Is she my soul mate, dammit, I don’t know. I can’t. I can’t break up another marriage, a union Elle herself seems reluctant to dissolve. Come to me. Trust me. Try. The words have hovered between us but they have not been spoken.

Could she trust me? Clearly, I am an insecure asshole. But I need to focus on something easier, someone more familiar, an attainable goal. Elle does not make sense. I can’t go after her. Even if I should. Even if I want to.

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