I was sitting on a plane next to this really sweet red head. She was kind, even if quiet, and I was okay with that. We gave each other space, while partaking in niceties when the drinks came around. I was a jerk and nearly spilled water on her legs. But I didn’t. So really I was nearly a jerk.
I wondered what her story was. A backpack, constant texting, looked like she was in college, so I wrote it off as a Texas U student and went about reading my book (which was an Indian romance myth). That was until, nervousness filling her as it had most the trip, she pulled out an itinerary with a rental car attached. I beamed.
Her seat was one I sat in three times. You dot every i and cross ever t, even though on any other trip I wing it. You check your itinerary at least three times the night before, mentally check it while you’re attempting to sleep, check it three times before security and three times after, and you check it when you take off and before you land. Every. Time. Because you must show up. You must be where you promised. Because at that moment, the world would be standing there, smiling, possibly laughing, eyes squinting, and your heart feels like it’s going to burst. You want to cry and laugh. Because it’s the person you love more than anything.
I may have over thought it, but I was giddy for this girl in that moment, and I was able to remember a lot of great things. Don’t get me wrong, I’m almost positive I can say I think of my ex every day. I can even say in the past six months it’s been occasionally fond memories. It was just nice sitting by this kid, seeing what she was doing, and truly recalling what that plane ride felt like. There were butterflies in my stomach, and every looming delay (it was ridiculous the amount of reroutes we had to go through) was a boss battle of frantic phone calls and fighting with the airport attendants. What the drive on the highway for 45 minutes felt like. The way I watched my speed, the roads felt weird because New York state sucks at paving, how I needed to get used to the tiny rental car quickly, how every cop was a 20 minutes delay I needed to avoid. I didn’t even give a crap about the financial obligation. It was that 20 minutes robbed that bothered me.
It reminded me what it was to love, and to love fully. And even if it’s just today, just a couple hours of my life, it’s nice to feel it again.