We stood in the corridor between our gates, just staring into each others' eyes. The crowds parted around us as if we were a stone in a river, most ignoring us as we ignored them, some making the impatient tsk sound or grumbling.
“I had a really wonderful time this weekend,” I said, breaking the silence.
“I'm glad” he said.
“And your mom was so sweet. Please tell her how much I enjoyed meeting her.”
“Of course. I know she liked you a lot.” He took my hands in his, and we dissolved into silence again. Trying to lighten the density of the air, I laughed quietly.
“Great luck our flights are leaving from the same terminal, right?”
“Yeah...” he said, his large, green eyes never leaving mine.
“Are you okay?”
“Yeah...sorry...it's...just going to be so much longer this time.”
“I know. But we're both going to be busy...the time will fly.” I said, half trying to convince myself. James was off to a six month film shoot in LA and I was on assignment for five to six months in India reporting on some sort of guru who claimed to actually know the exact date of the apocalypse (for real this time)...heavy stuff I know.
“And that's what Skype is for, right?” he laughed, cracking a smile for the first time since we had arrived at the airport.
“We're toughies. We'll get through this. Unless of course, you get dazzled by the synthetic perfection of the LA populus.” I winked.
“Well as long as this guru isn't collecting a harem, offering salvation from the earth's impending doom...”
We both laughed and slowly embraced, my head only coming to his chest. He rested his head in its normal place on top of mine.
“Think you'll grow anymore between now and the next time I see you?” he whispered into my hair.
“Ha. Ha.” I retorted, breathing in the scent of his crisp, fresh ironed cotton shirt, trying to commit everything, his smell, his hands, the way my arms could fit perfectly around his torso, to memory.
“I'm really going to miss you, Scarlett.” he murmured, the feeling of his lips still moving softly against my head.
“Stop. You'll make me cry.” I said, removing one hand from his back to wipe my eye. Too late.
“British Airways Flight 264 with non stop service to LAX, your flight is now boarding from Gate A2. Passengers on British Airways Flight 264 to Los Angeles, please report to Gate A2 at this time.”
We didn't move.
“That's you.” I said.
“You'll miss it.”
“I have at least ten minutes...”
“But you'll be the last one on.”
“You won't get any overhead space.”
“Why? Can I put you in the overhead? You're regulation size, right?”
“Ha. Ha. I wish.”
“Come with me?”
“I wish I could.”
“I could seriously stick you right up there...”
“Not anymore. I can see the line. It's miles long. You' never have enough space.”
“Even if you squeezed?”
“I love you.”
“I love you too.”
“I'll miss you.”
“I'll miss you too. Have fun.”
“You too. I want to hear all about it.”
“Email me when you get there?”
“You really have to go now.”
“Just one more minute. I've been counting.”
We pulled away slightly as he leaned down and our lips met. Six months without this? This guru story had better be hot. Slowly, we parted and once again I drowned in the sea of his eyes.
“Bye” he said.
He backed away into the crowd, still holding my hand, disrupting the river. As he slid his hand out of mine, he squeezed my fingertips with his, and then he was gone, swallowed up by the crowd. I strained to see him join the end of the line, but as luck would have it, the airport seemed to be crawling with giants. And I thought James was tall...
Trying to compose myself, I checked my watch. Still a half hour to go. Better get my obligatory bottle of water. I took one last glance at gate A2 which was now closed, the giants having moved on, and set off towards the overpriced kiosk.