I sat on the airport bench, shaking and in tears as he held me in his arms. He was trying not to cry, but the sounds of my crying breaths weren’t helping his struggle. “It’s only three months,” we both kept telling each other, but we both knew it was useless, the feeling wouldn’t go away. I watched the happy travelers walk around the airport without a care in the world, and I envied them. Occasionally, I’d make eye contact with a stranger who would look at me with pity before quickly looking away when they realized I saw them. It was a sad sight to see; two young kids, so young and in love being torn apart from each other by things they couldn’t change.
We said goodbye to each other with a kiss. I went my way and he went his, but on his way out he turned and ran back to me. “Five more minutes,” he muttered through the tears pulling me close to him. We stood there, holding each other in the middle of the airport like fools, but I couldn’t care less because for a fleeting moment he was still here. When we couldn’t wait any longer, we kissed again, tears cascading down my face, and he turned and walked away. I followed him with my eyes, and he turned back one last time to wave goodbye.
I’d asked him time and time again to get a ticket and come back with me, but I knew it was a stupid request. We’re young and broke, so we knew if we wanted to see each other again in the future, he had to stay home now. I walked through the airport to my gate with tears in my eyes. I thought about turning back and leaving, but I knew he’d already be gone and then I’d miss my flight. As I boarded the plane, I thought, how romantic would it be for me to turn and run off the plane, out of the airport and into his arms, like in the movies.
But then I remembered that this isn’t a movie. This is my life and I have responsibilities at home. So I boarded the plane, knowing he wouldn’t be there when I land. I thought of The Parent Trap, when Annie and Elizabeth land in London and arrive home to find Hallie and Nick in their house, after having taken an earlier flight to surprise them because Nick simply couldn’t let the love of his life walk out of his life again. I wished my story could be like a movie too. I’d land and he’d be there by the luggage carousel, waiting for me to jump in his arms and spin me around. But it’s not. I landed and walked off the plane alone, as he slept alone in his bed at home. There was no magic ending, there was just him and I, hopelessly waiting to be together again, and maybe, just maybe, find a magic ending down the road.