It’s not until the pilot announces our landing that I actually start freaking out. What was I thinking, coming here on such short notice? He should’ve had to wait for me, just like I waited for him all those years.
Unless it’s been killing him to barely talk to me for five years…
Stop, Mitch, don’t do this to yourself. If he wanted to talk to you even three years ago, he would have.
So why does he want to talk to me now?
I bought seats towards the back of the plane because they were cheaper, and as I wait for everyone to file out, I can’t help but think and feel anger towards Scott again. He used me, left, barely contacted me for five years, and now expects me to fly to him? And I fell for all of it.
I’m growing increasingly irritated as I try to push past the crowds of people to get to baggage claim. But then I see him. Sitting in the row closest to my pick-up area, his right foot resting on his left knee, phone in his hand, glancing around every so often but not seeing me as I approach.
Seeing him makes my heart a puddle. A big, sloshing puddle that little kids stomp their boots in.
Nervously I walk up to him and just kind of stand there for a second. I take a deep breath because he doesn’t seem to notice me, then say, as normally as I can, “Hey.”
He jumps up, shoving his phone in his pocket in one quick swipe, and immediately takes me into his arms. It’s unexpected, and I try to stay tough, but I end up melting into him like the weak person I am. Gently, I place my hands on his back to reciprocate the hug.
He smells like rain. Is it raining here? I didn’t even notice. Maybe if I lay down in the street the Earth will just accept me as its own puddle.
He’s still holding on, looser than originally, but still there. Feeling awkward, I take my hands off his back, and he understands the cue I’m giving, and he slides his hands down my sides and looks at me for a second, eyes glimmering, before he removes his hands, but I can still feel his lingering touch.
“I am so happy to see you,” he says brightly.
I give him a tight smile, my feelings conflicted. Irritation and joy is a weird mixture. Also, my heart has picked up some substantial speed. I decide not to be angry with him right now. Right now I want to enjoy the fact that I have Scott, possibly the only love of my life I’ll ever get, standing in front of me, saying he’s happy to see me.
And now that I’ve decided not to be angry, a rush of emotions beat against my ribcage, but I keep them prisoner. There’s nothing more I want in this moment than to redo that hug and let myself hug him tighter than I did. To let him feel my love all over again. Even if he doesn’t deserve it.
But I can’t give him another hug. That’s weird. So I’ll just wait until an appropriate time.
We both jump out of our thoughts at the sound of the first thud of luggage landing on the conveyor belt.
“What color is your suitcase? I’ll grab it for you.”
“Oh, it’s okay…”
“It’s the least I can do, Mitch,” he chuckles.
Hearing him say my name again makes me shiver. A shiver that probably time traveled all the way back to when he would whisper thank yous in my ear after I laid with him for hours.
I shake my head a little, shifting the carry-on I have on my shoulder. “Okay, it’s black but it has a rainbow tag on it.”
Dutifully he nods and heads to the conveyor belt. I take this opportunity to examine him (yes, it’s his backside, judge me), and can’t deny the attraction I feel towards him. It’s unbelievable, and I hate myself for it. We’re so problematic. Always have been.