Leaving on a jet plane
It was early afternoon when he left on a plane to travel around to the opposite end of the earth. He rang his sweetheart as he sat waiting near his gate after having checked his bag, gone through security, and eaten lunch. And now he had some time to kill, so he rang her to say goodbye and tell her he was safely through the airport rigmarole that was required nowadays.
The first few times they parted ways like this, she would be in tears, wishing him a safe flight and also playfully cursing him for leaving her again, but things were different now. They’d settled into a comfortable routine of the last-minute goodbye phone call where she asked if he’d had a chance to eat anything before arriving at the gate and he reminded her of a few tasks at home that had to get done while he was away.
There were no more tears and everything was far less emotional than it had been when he’d first started travelling. It made everything easier for both of them, but she still had a small voice in the back of her head that thought that this might be the last time they spoke if something happened on his flight. The chances were quite slim, but something could happen, and she knew it was important to tell him she loved him and remind him to notify her when he arrived. She could never quite settle her mind until she knew he’d arrived safely and would quietly worry while going about her daily life until she heard from him.
Saying goodbye one last time and repeating, "I love you, and I miss you," she hung up the phone on her end. She imagined him sitting at the busy terminal, watching people hurry past trying to make their planes. There were probably a number of other business travellers in workwear with their sleek black luggage that was packed with just the right amount of clothing and that fit just perfectly in the overhead bin or under the seat. Maybe there were also some summer travellers eating over-priced fast food from the airport vendors while their children ran amok or watched the planes outside through the floor-to-ceiling glass windows.
It was very quiet in her head as she stared at the phone for a minute after hanging up with him. She felt a twinge in her heart and thought of all the things he would tell her when he finally rang from his destination. He’d tell her about the weather, the cab ride to the hotel, what he ate for dinner, maybe how nice the room was. Meanwhile, she’d share what she did with friends, the latest news about the cat, and what she ate for dinner. Then she would tell him that she missed him and to not work so terribly hard and to call her as much as possible. He would tell her how much he missed and loved her and then he would think about her while out shopping and pick out something to bring back that would make her happy.
And so it went.