Iwaizumi sat on his bed, legs crossed and phone in hand. His finger hovered over the screen. It was such an easy thing, pressing ‘Call’. It was so easy, so simple, so uncomplicated, so manageable. He kept telling himself that, but if it was so easy, why hadn’t he been able to do it in 3 years? Every day that he let pass him by made it harder to reach out and grab what he once held on to. The sun rose, the sun set. The night passed. The seasons changed, trees lost their leaves. Yet Iwaizumi was stuck in the same fucking spot. He was frozen in time, between the 4 white walls of his bedroom. He had long since taken down every picture from his wall. Pictures of him with his team, of him with his friends, pictures of him with… Yeah. He took the pictures and gifts and letters and notes and everything else where his memory lingered and stuffed them into a cardboard box. He sealed it and buried it deep in his closet. He wishes he could do the same with his memories, just take them and hide them in some deep crook in his brain. Somewhere deep enough to stop the dull ache he always felt. What use was burying all proof he existed when Iwaizumi knew the memories haunted his dreams and took home in his heart.
He knows pressing ‘Call’ wouldn't be hard. But if he hasn't done it all this time, what does that say about him? All the buried feelings and implications that come with making this call scare him. Iwaizumi’s finger shakes slightly. He’s tried to call a thousand times, only to back out at the last minute. But it’s been 3 years. So he calls.
After a few rings, someone picks up. Iwaizumi’s words die in his throat. He didn't expect him to actually pick up. His mouth is dry and his mind can’t form a coherent thought through all the chaos happening in his head.
“Hey,” he simply says. It’s a kind of emotionless whisper. He knows he should say something else, maybe apologize and explain, but he's stuck.
He could hear shallow breathing on the other end of the line. “Iwa-chan?” the other person questioned tentatively.
He hadn't heard that voice in years. His eyes welled up and tears threatened to spill.
“Hi, Oikawa,” his name tasted foreign in his mouth. Time had stilled for Iwaizumi for 3 years, and it seemed to still even more as he waited for the other boy to respond.
“Iwa-chan,” he paused. “Where were you?” Iwaizumi can hear Oikawa’s voice break.
Iwaizumi doesn't know how to respond, he doesn't know where he's been. “I was busy,” he said simply.
“Busy?! You were busy for 3 and a half fucking years?!” The resentment in Oikawa's voice is evident, but Iwaizumi can’t blame him.
“I just needed time.” It’s a stupid excuse. Everything is stupid. He doesn't know why he called in the first place.
“I called you! I texted you! I sent you letters, and you never fucking responded!” Iwaizumi felt the guilt creep onto him fast. “You can’t just appear out of nowhere like nothing happened!”
“I know, okay? I just want to talk,” the call was going as well as Iwaizumi expected.
“Talk? You had three years to try and talk. I didn't hear anything about you for three and a half fucking years, Hajime! You disappeared! I needed you and you just fucking disappeared,” it was obvious that Oikawa was crying, and so was Iwaizumi.
“I’m sorry, I just-” he tried to respond before getting cut off by Oikawa.
“Where were you, Hajime?” His voice was quieter.
“I don't know,” Iwaizumi responded, silent tears falling onto his lap. “I wasted 3 and a half years of my life sitting around, stuck in the same spot.”
“Why?” Oikawa questioned. His voice had gone small and quiet. He sounded fragile. That question carried the weight of a million others. “Why did you leave? Why didn't you call? Why did you fucking abandon me?” Oikawa sobbed lightly.
“I-” Iwaizumi didn't know how to respond to anything. He had known that calling would involve lots of questions. Some that he didn't know how to answer. “I didn’t,” what could he say to make up for vanishing? “I didn't abandon you,” he said, voice lowering. Even as the words fell off his tongue, he knew he was lying. He left without a trace, leaving Oikawa in the midst of starting his new life.
“You did! I told you I loved you and you ran away and left me!” Every word felt like a punch to Iwaizumi's gut. “Do you even know how much it hurt wondering what the fuck I did so wrong for you to leave me so fucking alone? You were supposed to be my best friend!” Everything was silent except for Oikawa’s harsh breathing. “So I just want to know why you did it.”
“I don't know,” it wasn't a complete lie. Everything was a blur. “I don't know, I don't know, I don't know,” Tears were streaming down his face now as he stared at his hands in his lap. He would hear sniffling on the other side of the line. “I knew you were going to Argentina. A-And I just,” his voice kept breaking. “I just decided it’d be easier if I left first. I figured losing you wouldn't hurt as bad if I just left first. And it was stupid, it was so so so stupid but I didn't want to have to watch you leave me behind and learn to be happy without me.” Iwaizumi's voice was now an almost whisper. He stared at his blank wall, vision blurry.
“You weren't gonna lose me,” Oikawa said.
“I didn't want to hold you back,” Iwaizumi said solemnly. “You deserved to go fulfill your dreams without having to worry about me.”
Oikawa scoffed. “Well, obviously I still worried, dumbass. You left me with nothing but a note.”
“I’m sorry. I'm sorry for running away and I'm sorry for hurting you,” Iwaizumi's tears continued to fall.
“Hajime, I don't know how to forgive you. I want to, I do, but this isn't fair of you,” he sounded tired. It was probably nighttime for him, and here he was, wasting sleep on Iwaizumi's bullshit.
“I don't understand,” Iwaizumi said confused.
“It's not fair because I still love you even after you broke me and left me stranded,” he said slowly.
“Tooru,” he didn't think there was anything he could say to make it okay. “Please just let me be by your side. I want to make up for everything I missed. I want to prove I’m sorry. I really love you, I swear, please just,” his voice broke as his tears stained his bed sheets. “Please let me stay by your side.”
There was a long pause where time seemed to stretch on forever. The two boys in different countries, sharing the same tears.
“I don't know how to say no to you,” Oikawa finally said. “Please don’t leave me again, Iwa-chan.”
“I won't, I promise. It was hard getting by without you.”
“Will you stay on the phone until I fall asleep again?” Oikawa asked, still sniffling from all the crying.
“Of course,” Iwaizumi responded, fond smile tugging at the corners of his mouth.
“I wish you were here. You’ve been so far for so long,” Oikawa mumbled, face pressed against his pillow.
Iwaizumi smiled this time. “I promise to visit soon, love,” the term of endearment came to Iwaizumi easily as he listened to Oikawa breathe.
“I really missed you,” Oikawa whispered, voice thick with drowsiness.
“You won't have to miss me anymore.”