It’s hard being left behind. It’s hard to be the one who stays. I wait for him still, pocketbook in hand, knowing that he’s never coming back.
I am alone in here, amidst all the people rushing about with their busy lives inside the airport. The inflow of their words are all lost in translation. Suitcases being pulled, parents being consoled, it’s the same cycle every day. Everyone’s busy with their own goodbyes, and I think of how I never got to say mine. The lounges are filling up fast, it’s rush hour right now. Among this chaos, I find a calming sort of contentment, a sense of detachment. No one’s giving me a second look. We’re all disconnected here.
Right now, my cheeks are warm; they are the color of autumn and in my hand there sits a crossword puzzle waiting to be solved.
A plane soon descends, it’s 7:30 pm. The scene is suddenly reminiscent of a Tuesday night from two years ago. A woman in a wine colored velvet dress and pearls, with a shawl draped around her shoulders for comfort. She seems to be waiting for someone. She looks like a Botticelli by way of John Graham with huge gray eyes, a long nose and a delicate little mouth. Her skin is so pale, she looks like a waxwork by candlelight. She inspires a story in me and I fall into writing on my notepad.
Long ago, men went to sea, and women waited for them, standing on the water’s edge, scanning the horizon for the sign of a tiny ship. Some ships never sailed back. And I still wait with the others, even though I know he’s never coming back. Why has he gone where I cannot follow?
This bench, this place, it’s the store room of everything bitter. Terrible memories awaken here. Yet I always come back, thinking that maybe, just maybe…
I’m hopeless and so lost but I am not ready to leave just yet. Right now it’s my favorite, I spend here all my days. I count the pigeons perched on the vorite place, a place where it could have been. When he died in the plane crash, it was so casually cruel to leave me hanging behind. So when I come here, I like to pretend I’ve gone back to the Tuesday of two years ago before anything happened. That the universe and time has bent to my will, and we’re back in the past. And you’re coming back even if you’re not. I will never let go of our promises or our vows.
One day, I’ll leave all this behind me and maybe build a family of three. But today I’ll be sitting right here again, watching the pigeons perched high on the window sills. The smell of leather pervades my surroundings and an old couple walks by. I look at them with envy but I still smile. Just think how I haven’t left, I’m still waiting right here. I’m giving him his last chance to reappear and make the past two years disappear.
Today I’ll leave with this still being my favorite place. It’ll either allow me to finally move on or embrace my lover again. I have two paths set ahead of me and I’m liking them both.
So I wait. I’m waiting still. It’s close to 3 am but no one sees me not leaving yet. I thought I’d walk out of here today for the last time, but I am not ready to move. I thought I’d be okay again, but I’m not fine at all.
The sweet disposition that I’ve been left in kills me inside and the agony of it all is coming back in pieces. I remember it all too well to say goodbye.
I smile just then, standing up. Not saying my goodbyes. I’m coming back again, dear fate, aren’t I?