When I sat down in my seat in a tiny airplane on my way to EWR, my heart stopped for a second. All the memories of the US customs came rushing back to me. The mean custom officers – usually frustrated males – with their dark uniforms, with their shiny badges, their tired eyes and mean voices. Asking what your business was, what you were trying to do here, who you’re staying with and why, how you are supporting yourself and after long deep breaths and many silent considerations, they either give you a stamp… or they order you into another room in which you sit quietly with another somewhat 40 nervous people, children screaming, the guy next to you looking like he’s about to pass out and you hear the clock ticking. Every now and then you hear them calling a name and they look at you, gesturing to follow them and someone follows them very slowly, pale and sweating (but that is a totally different story that at some other time I will tell you about).
After a couple movies, some dinner, a snack, some tea, some music, some reading, some sudoku, countless times checking the distance we yet have to overcome before landing and the pilot finally announcing that they are reaching the EWR airport, I finally felt a sense of relief. Even happiness, until I thought about the customs again.
I was standing in line of a very – extraordinarily – frustrated custom officer, my hands were sweating and wee bit shakey when he asked me for my finger prints, I however managed not to pass out and I did as required. He slowly reached his stamp and ever so slowly pressed it down into my already worn and torn passport. He then reached for a pen and dated the expiration. I grabbed all my things, looked him into his weary eyes and started to smile. I said, ‘thank you sir, thank you very much’ and off I was. The only thought I had then, was, “this is the VERY last time, I will have to do this…” – although A and I had no specifics then, it was just a very very very happy thought.
I practically ran to the assembly-luggage-line and as I approached I recognized my worn red suitcase. I grabbed it and almost fell over my own feet. Yes, the excitement set in. Another officer asked to see my passport and he looked at me and said, “You look very happy” and I smiled and nodded. I was indeed.
And then the doors opened to the EWR airport and I looked up and saw A standing on a balcony, he looked down and smiled at me. Yes, this is why I fell in love with A, because after 2 1/2 years of being with him, my heart still jumps when I see him and my heart overflows with joy and happiness knowing that he is there waiting for me.
The next day – 5.30 a.m.
See, jetlag was never any of my concerns. I was a happy camper and I thought I always will be. Not ever thinking about the lack of sleep, the lack of hunger, weird sleeping times, feeling exhausted and worn out… Well, I got all of that – the whole nine yards, which also led me to waking up at 5.30 on a Friday morning. I felt bad for A though, since he took the day off to be with me and since he was looking forward to sleeping in but since I was awake… He had to be awake too – of course.
So we finally got up, got some coffee cooking, and checked our emails. This is a ritual. Neither A nor I would be functioning correctly without being able to check our emails first thing in the morning, not that anything special ever happens (although it might), it’s just part of our lives.
However this day A was anticipating a very important email to be in his inbox. A VERY IMPORTANT EMAIL, for A and I equally important. So important, it will just blow your mind (in a bit – that is – I will get to that soon, I promise).
I was standing next to A, gazing into the distance, feeling happy, more than happy I should say. I was just home, relaxed, had some coffee and was just genuinely happy with just being.
A however froze there for a second, his whole body tensed up and he then started screaming, smiling, laughing and he hugged me and kissed me followed by a little whisper, by some tears and the words I so long wanted to hear,