The serene rivers of humanity keep floating quietly in the wee hours at airports. I was packed for my next adventure, and we reached the airport. After a long drive and repeated discussions about the dos and don’ts of the travel, it was time to get down and take that flight. We spoke about everything, yet there was something unsaid and unasked and untold. I sat there in silence, taking a moment again to be with you in that space of quintessence, trying to experience the tranquility. You, too, sat there, but were impatient for no reason at all. From the corner of my eye, I could see the growing impatience and the struggle you went through to break the silence, but … the silence continued. After a moment or two, I said, “So…!” you asked me back. “So…?” both sounded the same but felt miles apart…
I composed myself, and with a make-believe smile on my face, I stepped out of the car and went to the back seat to pull up my bag. In a flash of a second, you stood there behind me, ready to give me a goodbye hug. In the cold winter gust of chilled air, your bear hug was the warm blanket I wish to wear always. Though this was not a goodbye, but only a short trip where we both knew I will be back to you in a few days, despite all that, it felt as if it was the last time, we would be together. With a lump in my throat and tears just ready to crawl down my cheeks, I pulled back myself and started walking into the airport. Previously the travel junkie in me would feel taller and pumped with all energy taking bold strides to walk into the airport with boundless excitement for the adventure waiting for me. But this time, it was different than I had ever felt before. I started walking into the airport. It felt more like dragging myself as though something was pulling me back. Every time I turned back to check on you, you were there standing and looking at me. I always had an option of getting back to you, but that wasn’t what I was doing; I kept walking inside, plugged my pods, and started playing the songs trying hard to distract myself. And, one more time when I turn back from the see-through glass wall of the airport entrance, I see you there standing and looking at me. I wondered if you were also struggling to let me go….
Trying hard to get distracted, I notched up the volume of the music player and walked into a book store; damn again, it’s like I am supposed to only think about you; I came across a book we both loved reading again and again and keep discussing the same again and again. I wanted to talk to you immediately and tell you what was happening with me, but at the same time, I knew it would take only take a “Hello…” from you, and I will crumble down there.
It was simply torturous to stop myself from reaching back to you; I took a peek again towards the glass wall and saw you there, still standing looking inside but maybe lost in thoughts. The song on my music player changed, drawing my attention, and suddenly a broad smile appeared on my face. I walked towards the boarding area, and I was confident now you were to stay for me. Right when I was about to board the flight, I received a message from you saying, “I’ll also miss you …” that is when I knew I had left a piece of me behind with you. And automatically, my walk became taller, and my stride became bolder; I got into the flight with a broader smile.