She was up early that morning. She dressed carefully, taking time to select the perfect dress, and spent a little longer in front of the mirror taking extra care in her appearance. She felt pretty, and the joy of what the coming day held added a sparkle to her smile. It had been too long. Too many days, weeks, months of taut emotions. And today marked an end to that ache, and a joyful new beginning. Years later she realised that beautiful summer’s day was more significant than they recognised at the time. It was the start of a whole new life.
The minutes dragged, and while she tried to relax and settle the pound of her heart, there was no calming it. She found herself unable to concentrate on an activity, her thoughts dashing here and there and always coming back to dwell on what the rest of the day held for her. For them.
When it was finally time to leave (and still excessively early) she left the house and drove the short distance. Her palms were sweaty with excitement, and she felt a little shaky. Restlessly she wandered around the arrival gate trying to find just the right place to stand, and never found it. Finally people started to walk through the rotating doors in ones and twos. She could never remember whether he came off the plane first or last or somewhere in the middle, just that suddenly she was in his arms. Powerful emotions overtook them, and she felt as though time stood still.
They stood together for a very long time, drinking each other in. She was acutely aware of only him. His warmth, his arms, his familiar smell. Emotions welled, like a sigh of relief. It was over. No more goodbyes. No more missing. No more wishing. Finally he was here. She was here. They didn’t speak. There was no need for words right now. Their bond was palpable.
Gradually they remembered that they were still standing there in a public place, and broke away. They laughed as they realised the gate lounge was empty. The people had all disappeared. Just one lonely bag was left on the baggage carousel, riding round and round all by itself. He picked it up, took her hand, and they walked.