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Airport

By the standards of the thousand and one ways I’ve imagined meeting you, today should be disappointing. But what I imagine is my dream world. This is reality. In this reality, I think I always knew the day I meet you, I will stand at the edge of a crowd wondering if you’ll recognize the longtime dreamer waiting to see her sun. That little voice in my head is being extra logical today asking, does the sun notice a blade of grass waiting for its light? Yeah, that’s the bummer with reality. Even the voice in my head is too practical!

 

I can see the crowd of fans a few feet away from where I’m sitting and waiting. You can tell they are your fans from the way they’ve dressed and behave. Almost everyone has a gift bag in their hands. Everyone wears some article from a brand you’ve represented. Most can’t stay in one place, walking back and forth while whispering excitedly about getting to see you. Too much nervous energy, I imagine. For many of them it’s not the first time. But their excitement is still infectious. I feel glad to finally get to see how much joy you bring to the world with my own eyes. I know the place will be a zoo when you finally do cross over from the restricted section out to the arrivals lounge. That’s ok. As long as I get a glimpse of you, I’m ok to share my sunshine with everyone.

“Are you waiting for someone too?” the little girl with an intricate hair braid that was bouncing on the seat a couple of spaces away had moved to the seat next to me while I was lost watched the crowd.

“Ummm… yes… are you?”

 

“Yes. Our Papa is coming home.” Her voice kept going up and down as she continued to bounce. “His plane landed but he’s not out yet.”

“Oh… I’m sure he’ll be out very soon. How long was he gone?”

“A long, long time… I was a tiny baby. So, I don’t remember.”

“Really? That long ago? How old are you now?”

“I’m this many” She showed me three fingers to indicate her age.

“Oh… wow… you are a big girl. Dad will be surprised how much you’ve grown. Do you think he'll recognize you?”

“yes, yes he will because I'm gonna run to him and give him a big hug. Mommy said he’ll know me anywhere, right mommy?” the mom smiled from a few seats over but barely had the chance to nod before the girl squealed and jumped out of the seat. Next moment she streaked past everyone to jump up to the arms of a young officer in camo. To his credit, he dropped the duffel bag and grabbed her in one smooth motion as she went sailing in the air.

It was better than any ad the military could make. To watch both their smiles warmed the heart. But watching the officer, it was obvious he was combing the crowd looking for someone. The moment his eyes landed on the mom it was like a curtain lifted to let the light in. He very gently put the daughter down and took her hand in one of his as the mom finally made it to them. The way he hugged her, folding her into his arms and holding her close to his chest for an extra heartbeat, resting his chin on top of her head with his eyes closed made me sigh.

It’s the kind of image that burns into your brain and never leaves, makes you yearn for arms that will miss you and treasure you that way. As I watched them walk away, mom and dad holding hands and the little girl bouncing in front of them, I wondered how their story will unfold. In these times when five minute love stories are the norm, will their one be the exception? Will they hold hands and grow old together in a forgotten corner of this pale blue dot we get to visit for a short few years?

My reverie broke as someone squealed again. This time it was a grown woman expressing her excitement. It seems you had finally emerged. For a moment, I saw your tall frame languidly walking through the ‘no entry’ doors with your bodyguard and entourage fanning around you. Seeing your fans, your tired face lit up. Next instant you were blocked from my view by the crowd around you.

I didn’t really mind. For that briefest of moments, I saw the way your eyes light up when happy and my entire world was brighter from that sunlight. It’s the moment I had waited for all this lifetime. I had no right for more, despite all the thousand and one ways I’ve imagined being a part of your life.

I made my way to the edge of the crowd, tapped the shoulder of one of the lesser known members of your entourage and handed him the gift bags I’d brought. I could picture your face when you opened the gift. I hope it’ll really make you laugh when you see it.

Though I couldn’t really see more than the top of your head at that point, I still walked at the back of the crowd. A small part of me still held out hope that I might see your face a little closer. An even smaller part of me hoped you’d recognize me. From what I had no idea. Maybe from a long lost past life when you were mine and I was everything you treasured, like in the stories I wrote. It didn’t really matter. Truth is, I was collecting my own mental photographs for the days when I needed a ray of sunshine to chase the dark clouds away.

Perhaps because the Universe has a strange sense of humor, the military family’s truck was parked a couple paces ahead of the sleek black SUV waiting for you. By the time you and the crowd following you reached the SUV, the dad was done putting his bags in the trunk and mom buckling up the little one in the backseat. Instead of walking over to the driver’s side, dad walked over to the mom as she closed the back door. The way he folds her into his arms had its own rhythm. The way she buried her face in his jacket and inhaled his scent as if she wanted to memories every little thing about him, was a scene a movie producer would die to get right. When she went up on her toes to nuzzle his neck before turning her head up for a kiss, I felt weak in my knees. I couldn’t contain the sigh escaping my lips, anymore than I could stop my heart from wishing for a love like that.

What surprised me however, was to see the look that passed over your eyes as you watched them. It was for the briefest moment and I may have been completely mistaken but it felt like a kindred longing. Given what little I knew of your life, the women who wait for you are a thousand fold more glamourous than the mom there. Probably much better at kissing than any ordinary woman too, given the practice they get. But perhaps, that’s not what the longing was for. Perhaps it’s the fact that you’d never be able to walk out to the arrivals lounge and experience what that soldier got to. Or maybe it’s the kiss of genuine love that is not about meeting a physical need but that of remembering your soul’s mate.

I know you love your life. It is one you’ve worked hard to build. But in that instant when our eyes met, I wondered, if the longing for something as mundane as the waiting arms of an ordinary woman that treasure every moment you give her is perhaps the luxury you left behind.

As the doors of your vehicle closed and it pulled away from the curb, you rolled your window down as usual and waved to the waiting crowd. For a split instant I thought you looked for me in the crowd and when you found me, I wondered if you might have actually recognized me... that tiny part inside my head happily sighed. Content in its own misguided belief that however irrationally you knew I am the heart that loves you the most through all time.

Ch1

Chapter 2 -  Year Apart

unwritten.

Unwritten 3 

Unwritten

Unwritten 4 

Unwritten

Ch2
Ch 3
Ch 4
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