Say something meaningful. Something meaningful like the knowingness that passes between two people when they convey a thought to each other, one that meets the other at the halfway point before merging seamlessly into one. The beauty of a moving play; the instantaneity of pure nature; the stark death of eating meat. He says this and she agrees; he says something else and she understands; they nod, smile, secretly keeping score of how many times they have effortlessly agreed on something. She rattles off a list of deal-breakers - smoking, fatness, stupidity - and he says, I don't - can't - smoke, I'm not fat, and I think I'm not stupid. Later on, he says, I was so glad to be meeting you today; I really needed some intelligent conversation.
So say something meaningful, then. Here is your chance: he's saying goodbye to you at the Tube station. A few seconds pass as you look at each other, and you're wondering if he's going to say I want to see you again, and while you're wondering that you forget that maybe it's okay for you to be the one to say it. The few seconds are over and he's now leaning in; he kisses you goodbye and you tell him, See ya. You turn and walk away so quickly that you don't catch what he says in reply. Your retreating back conveys a nonchalance that you're telling yourself to feel.
And so say nothing meaningful. Say a load of nothingness; say nothing that you really mean. When he asks, 'When are you coming to London again?' don't say what's really on your mind. Instead, say something to mask the naked hope that his question is a precursor to a dinner date; say something, indeed, to manipulate it out of him. And so you say, What's in it for me? And so you say anything and everything that says nothing about what you really mean.
Say nothing about that. Say nothing at all. Let the silence form and set as the words that you should say - the meaningful ones - swirl around your head in various combinations and permutations. Let the words fade away quietly in this silence where nothing is said. Don't say that you're sorry for stupidly playing games; don't say that you've been thinking about him; and definitely don't say that you want to see him. Don't say that you want to go to a museum with him, or that you want to go to the theatre with him, or that you want to know what he thought of Nietzsche. Don't say that you want to see him and spend more time with him. It is irrelevant and meaningless that he carries a book on philosophy written in French in his coat pocket, or that he is a vegetarian and an atheist, or that he understands the significance of a bookshelf.
Say nothing at all. Say nothing meaningful, such as the sense of connectedness, long yearned for, with someone of similar interests, what it feels like, and why it matters. Such as the heart of the matter: the heart and where it used to hurt, its brittleness and where it has scarred. Leaving all these things unsaid.