Robert and I spent the next two days having quality time with each other. The second night I stayed, I decided I would sleep in the guest room so that we could both get some sleep so we wouldn’t just stay up all night. On my last night, I stayed with him again. We got some sleep but not a lot. This is one of my favorite memories. I remember distinctly, it was my last day there. It was very early in the morning. Maybe 6am. We sat on the edge of the bed beside each other, I had the blanket clutched over my chest. I was cold. The sun was peeking in through the cracks in the horizontal blinds on the window. Rob had music playing in the background. I leaned over and I kissed him. And everything was so perfect. Even though my hair was messy. But we had to cut it short. I had to pack my bags and get ready to leave him again.
We did our best to stay cheery despite the clock ticking away our last hours together. We went for lunch before we made the drive to the airport. We checked in, checked my baggage, and waited for our time to run out. I made him promise me that he wouldn’t cry. I couldn’t promise him the same thing. I knew better. But I wanted to stay happy for as long as possible. At this point, we didn’t know when we would see each other again. Our best guess was when he was on summer vacation which would be about 2 months. It sounded like forever. Finally the time came. I had to go. I had to kiss him goodbye. I had to walk away from him and he had to walk away from me. As I passed through security, I imagined dropping everything on the floor and running back to him. But I didn’t. I went though the detector, walked to my gate, and waited to board the plane. I reached in my purse for my new ipod. I’d put music on it already at Robert’s house. I put the buds in my ears and put it on shuffle. I made the mistake of turning it over. There staring back at me was the engraving. I wanted to cry. I didn’t. I held my breath and swallowed the lump in my throat. I focused on the pattern in the carpet on the floor. When I boarded the plane, I had the entire row to myself. The plane took off. I started to fly away from the man I wanted to give myself to in every possible way.
The movie started. They started serving drinks. I was trying to hold myself together. I promised myself I could cry all I wanted once I got home. My ipod began to play a song called “Stay” by Michelle Featherstone. I turned my face to the window and started to cry. I couldn’t hold it in anymore. I felt completely ripped apart. Only hours ago I was in the happiest place of my life and now I don’t even know if I’ll ever have that feeling again. Two months is a long time when you can’t imagine spending one minute away from someone. That’s what it came down to. I’d finally experienced real happiness, love, and respect, and I didn’t know what was going to happen next. What if I never see him again? What if he meets someone in my absence? I would let him go. At this point my ipod had played nothing but love songs of both happy and sad natures. I don’t know if anybody noticed me or what they were thinking when they noticed some teenager crying uncontrollably. And at this point, I don’t even care.
We landed in Calgary where I would go through customs and change planes. I only had an hour between flights to begin with and my first flight was 15 minutes late. This left me with almost no time. I ran all the way to customs, choking back tears. When it was my turn to go to the agent window, I was still crying. I couldn’t even speak. What could I possibly say? “Oh I’m sorry, I just have a broken heart right now.” “Oh yeah, I just left my boyfriend behind in Houston, do me a favor and don’t tell your US counterparts that it’s my real reason for travel?” I think I stammered out something about just being stressed out because my flights were so close together. I made it to my flight and continued to cry. I still can’t believe how much I cried that day. Every time I made another step away from Robert was another lump pushing up my throat.
I got to the Saskatoon airport and found myself once again waiting for someone to pick me up. Thankfully someone arrived this time. I sat in silence the whole way home. I was afraid that speaking would lead to more crying. I got home, put my suitcase in my room, and called Robert to let him know I was home. Hearing his voice was so wonderful and horrible at the same time. He told me that he broke his promise. I forgave him. I didn’t want to tell him anything on my end yet. I felt like I still had more crying to do and I didn’t want him to have to listen to it. I hung up the phone and went upstairs to have a shower. When I got in the shower and the water started rushing over me, I finally let myself break down. No more stifling for the sake of others around me. Nothing else more important left to interfere with my grieving. At first I braced myself against the wall and let the emotions flow out of me, but it became clear that wasn’t quite enough. I sat down on the floor of the shower and hugged my knees. I cried until the water ran cold. I cried until all my energy had drained out of my tear ducts. I turned off the water.
I could barely walk down the stairs to my room. My whole body was giving up. I collapsed into my bed and even though I anticipated more tears, none came.
Tags: My story