not looking back

It never fails that when you meet someone it’s right before one of you are heading out of town for a long trip.

New girl is going to get a name now – let’s call her Lee. We had managed another date after the girl interrupted debacle. It was a low key one, sitting in front of the fire talking and then curling up and taking a short nap together. It was very nice. The next day I was to take her to the airport for a very long visit with her family in Ohio. This, again, is the universe slowing things down and putting distance between us.

My phone vibrated and it was Lee saying she was home and I could come over anytime I wanted. I was trying to get in a little last minute Christmas shopping before she left. I said I needed 15 minutes and then I would head her way. I wrapped a Sarah McLaughlin cd and a bracelet that had a token of a tree on it. It was so easy to shop for her because I knew she liked some of the same things I liked. I took out a funny snowman card and wrote a short paragraph in it, signed it and put it with the cd. Once that was done I drove over to her house minutes away and picked her up. (Thankfully, the ex/roommate wasn’t there) After loading her bag into the back of the truck she paused before getting in. There were two wrapped gifts in the seat.

“What’s this?”

“Just a little something to open at Christmas and think of me.”

“I don’t need gifts to think of you but thank you.” she said, smiling.

We headed for the airport wanting to get there early and have lunch before she took off. Driving in the car I felt her put her hand on my leg. I flashed to the previous evening laying by the fire. I felt a pang of not wanting to say goodbye and in my mind I saw the holidays stretch out for eternity. (I know, I can be a little dramatic) I parked in front of Delta and went around to pull her suitcase of of the back. As I set it on the curb I had to brush all the remanants of my last landscaping job off her bag. We had a laugh over that.

“Oh fine mess up my bag why don’t you.” she joked.

Sorry, sorry – you might take some bamboo with you to Ohio.”

She went to go check in and I went to park. By the time I came walking up she was waiting for me inside the doors. We walked through the big atrium area of the airport and headed for a chain restaurant that served bar food and cocktails. We had been holding a very spirited conversation with pauses for laughing the whole way there.  After ordering food the server came by and set down plates and napkins. I happened to glance down at them and thought at first they were heart shaped plates. (They were actually triangle shaped which was almost just as weird)

“What? You stopped talking.”

“Uh yeah, I saw the edge of the plates and initially thought the server brought us heart shaped plates and thought, ‘Aw, how did she know?’ ”

We both broke up laughing over that. I again had to really concentrate to keep from spitting my beer on her. I have no idea why we thought that was so funny, maybe because so many weird things have happened since we had been going out. The lady at the table next to us smiled and said, “You two are a riot.”

After lunch we went out into the atrium and sat on a couch and talked some more. Lee kept looking at her watch from time to time. We spied the security line and it didn’t appear to be too long. I leaned into her and kissed her right there in front of everyone who happened to be in that large atrium area at the airport just then. In front of people walking by with their bags, people waiting for their planes, people checking their tickets. Everyone. And, I didn’t care. We pulled away and smiled at each other. Just then a man slid into the chair right next to our couch with a grin on his face. Obviously, he had seen the display, too, and before he could open his mouth to ask us something and waste what precious little time I had left with her I shot him a dark look and grabbed her hand and said, “Let’s go walk around a bit before you take off.”

Once it was time for her to go I again kissed her and watched her walk to the security gate. I stood there and watched to see if she would look back at me – she did, smiled and we waved to each other. I still stood rooted in my spot to see if she would turn around again and she did. Same thing smiled and waved then I turned and headed to the garage. Not looking back.


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