There was a couple at the restaurant we ate lunch at once, they looked only a few years shy of 90. She was bent over and fragile, his dark hair had long since turned white, their faces wore the creases thousands of smiles and tears and days filled with laughter and dreams, and maybe nights filled with the heartache of being apart, but in their eyes, the love shined.
He leaned close to me and whispered “I want us to be like them in 50 years time.”
I believed him.
I believe in that old couple.
We’d talked about what it would be like, those first few moments at the arrivals gate. He said he couldn’t wait for that moment or recognition, that moment as his eyes searched the waiting crowd, and move over my face, then stop, look back and for the first time, our eyes meet.
As the people slowly trickled through the international arrivals gate I ran my eyes over each one, worried I’d not recognise him from the few photos I’d seen. And then, suddenly he was there. I knew it was him straight away, his eyes swept over me, and then stopped. They move back to me. His eyes are on me and I know, and he knows and only we exist in the neon glow.
I don’t remember walking toward him, I only remember moving into his arms, and feeling his body shaking, I only remember the nervous smiles and that first trembling kiss.
As we walk out into the carpark, it begins to rain. Not big wet foreboding plops, but a light mist of summer rain. After the bags are in the car, I move into his arms again, this time we are away from the bright lights and chatter of the airport, and suddenly alone. Together.
I haven’t lived with my parents for eight months now.
Today is the first day that I have driven home from work, and ended up almost at their house before I realised I was going the wrong way and should be heading towards my own home.
There are a number of things that could have made this happen to me, such as lack of sleep lately, having the guilts for not spending enough time over there, having the guilts for knowing that there’s a possibility that I may move a long way away from them, and they don’t know it yet…. but I know what I was thinking the whole way home.
I’ve not been thinking of much else for nearly a month. She’s almost within reach.
Date: 27 February 2001