As we headed to the station, to take that small train that goes around every terminal, I decided to take his hand in mine. Normally I would never do that but I decided this was the best moment to do it. It was time not to mind anymore about who was watching or if they had things to say. All the hate in the world could fall on me but I didn’t care because I understood what he was going through. He needed much more than just my hand in his, but I was happy to feel he took and squeezed it a bit, as if telling me “Thanks, I needed this”.
We hadn’t spoken in several hours and I decided I didn’t wanted to be the one to talk first. For me, it was a decision he had to make because it was him who needed this time to reflect and think about many things. Well, that was my guess anyway because I couldn’t be inside his head. I did wonder though, about his thoughts and his secrets. But all of that was his to have and not for me to know. I respect a person’s life, and a life always has secrets and things you rarely share with anyone.
The train station was a bit crowded and, oddly enough, most other passengers were foreigners, just like us. We were in San Francisco international airport and in our train there wasn’t a single Californian. We sat down, put our bad in front of us and felt the pull of the train beneath us, moving slowly towards the next terminal. I noticed my eyes were closing a bit, rocked by the movement of the train. The flight had been very long and we still had another one to go. I had never travelled so far before and felt a bit guilty, as I hadn’t paid for one dime. It had been all him.
He squeezed my hand again and I turned towards him. His eyes looked sad but they felt stronger than before. He looked at me as if wanting to tell me something but there was no need. I proceeded to lay my head on his shoulder and he did kind of the same. I closed my eyes but I couldn’t really sleep. I just felt closer to him now and didn’t want that moment to end. But the train, after two other stops, finally arrived to the terminal we needed to be in.
When we stepped out, we walked slowly towards some escalators and eventually to a commercial area. We passed a coffee shop and I asked him if he wanted to grab a bite. He didn’t say anything, just nodded as he yawned from exhaustion. As we wouldn’t let go, he joined me in the queue. We bought two big sandwiches each with cappuccinos and a big muffin to share. After we paid we found a little table a bit separated from the rest of the people and sat there. Our baggage was there too, with the few things we had been able to bring for such a short trip. We started eating in silence, watching people go by.
We let go for a few seconds, to take our coats off, but he grabbed my hand again as he ate his sandwich. He ate it a bit too fast, he was hungry and he hadn’t told me. I wanted to ask him why he hadn’t told me he was hungry if maybe his stomach hurt or something. I was growing very mad for a moment out of such a silly thing and even my hands began to sweat so he noticed I was going through something. He looked at me and I saw his watery eyes looking at me. I had never thought they were as beautiful as they were in that moment and I felt bad for that.
I at my sandwich as he drank his cappuccino, drying his eyes with a thick napkin they had given us. I saw he wasn’t feeling good, I saw he was still broken and I hated him for not talking to me. I felt so far from him and I didn’t understood what I was doing there, why he had brought me there if he wasn’t going to tell me anything. I had had it with all the silences and considerations. I didn’t wanted to wonder anymore about what he was thinking or what he wanted to say.
Suddenly, he stood up and left. When he was two steps away I thought I heard the word “bathroom”. He had used his voice once only to tell me such a stupid thing? I almost made my cappuccino cup make a flip in its own plate but luckily my fist landed in the right place. People looked at me anyway and I just covered my face and lowered it to finish my sandwich and the cappuccino. I took the muffin and took a bit chunk of it with my teeth. The sweetness of the chocolate helped my spirit feel a little bit better.
When he came back, I noticed he had been crying but I didn’t say a word. I only gave him his half of the muffin but he didn’t grab it so I ate it. I wasn’t going to waste a good muffin just because he wouldn’t talk to me. We took the baggage and started walking around the terminal, trying to make time for the next flight. I checked our gate on a screen and he stood up behind me, not even looking at the screen but at the airplanes on the tarmac. I hate to see him do that because I felt I just couldn’t leave him, ever.
We got to our gate and sat down by the counter in order to be ready when they called us for boarding, which would began in a matter of two hours. I wanted to fall asleep or at least feel I wanted to be asleep but that time had passed. Maybe it was the coffee or the fact we had eaten something, by I couldn’t fall asleep.
Then I felt his hand grabbing mine and, of course, I didn’t push him away. Because I wanted to feel his hand and smell his scent and taste his lips. But I didn’t now when I should go for a kiss, a hug or a conversation. I felt lost and kind of in a disadvantage. After all, we had just arrived from his mother’s funeral.
He squeezed my hand and also stroke it and I just had to look at him. But he wasn’t looking at me but, again, at the planes outside. I squeezed his fingers softly and he did look at me at then he came close and kissed me. His face felt a bit cold, his lips a bit dry, but I knew those were the kisses I had learned to love although covered in a veil of sadness I had to understand. He let go of my hand and put his hand on my face and just keep kissing me. We stopped after a few seconds, smiling.
Our hands stayed together as people arrived. The plane was going to be full, that was certain. He kept looking to the planes and then he started watching his watch. He was clearly anxious to get back home or maybe worried he had to go back in a plane. He wasn’t that friendly with them. Finally, the boarding process began and some minutes later we were already inside the plane, sitting side my side with and old lady as our neighbor. She was the first person to speak to him and he responded.
Hearing his voice was the best thing for me. I loved it so much it filled me with joy, tumbling down all the feelings that had gone through my body earlier. I smile at the lady who told me I had a very charming husband. Of course, I didn’t correct her but my blushed cheeks should have been enough to tell anyone she wasn’t exactly right. As a matter of fact, we had been boyfriends for a bit more than a year. That’s why I felt so strange doing all of this, the trip and meeting the family and all that.
I mean, I had met them earlier, his mom too. Bu that situation was like getting to know them all again, especially his father who was obviously different now. He interrupted my thoughts by whispering in my ear: “Would you like to?”
He caught me completely unprepared. I started to sweat again, my heart racing as the plane separated from the terminal and made its way to the runway. He grabbed my hand and from his pocket took out a small box. I started coughing right there. He knew I did that when nervous because he just opened it to reveal a very simple but beautiful ring. He took it out from the box and took my hand. Now, he asked me in a normal voice, making some heads turn.
- Would you marry me?
I felt all of them watching me, even if there were maybe only three people paying attention. In my mind, I revisited the funeral and what had happened earlier and the day we met and how we shared our lives and then, I remembered him watching the planes. I remembered that feeling I had when saw him standing there, his back towards me, looking at the tarmac.
I knew his body and his way of dealing with things. I knew how he ate, how he peed, how he showered, what his favorite curse word was and how high he could jump. I knew I like his hugs and his voice. He had said to me he liked my body and my eyes and my mind. I also knew there were things he didn’t know about me and I didn’t know about him. There were secrets and thought that were private. So many feelings.
- Yes. Yes, I will.