The AirportMature

And so I was behind the metal barriers, at the front of a large crowd that had the middle of my stomach pushed gently against the top cold pole that my hands clutched. I was on my tip-toes though there was no one in front of me to see anything over and no sign of arrivals; yet I was craning to see anything through the small circular windows in the closed double doors a few metres away from me. My fingernails were tapping impatiently, making short metallic sounds the way that it does. I caught a disapproving look from a woman barely shorter than myself, who was standing so close to me our shoulders were touching, and I thought to myself, if she was being ridiculous enough to stand that close then she could put up with my incessant tapping. I wouldn’t have stopped if she was a metre away, nor if there was a thousand people pushed up to me.
The left of the double doors opened abruptly, and I saw the wheels of a trolley catch it before it closed, and push through, driven by an older man with a small girl, clinging to the rubber corner of the trolley’s handle. Her eyes were wide, searching through the crowd, her other hand clenched her long mousey-brown hair near to her mouth. I took my attention off of her, and made an effort to stand taller, now that I knew more were coming. More faces approached the circular windows, and more bodies and trolleys came through, but I could not yet see yours. My heart raced, and the feeling of sickness washed over me like it did when we got in the car to leave, and when we got out. I knew I was shaking. My tapping quickened as I did, and I stopped concentrating on finding you, and more on myself. How did I look? What would you think? Would you like my shirt? Was my hair out of place? Am I anything other than perfect? I realised then how those questions were stupid, and the answers were irrelevant, and you’d think so too.
Because you’re not here to see my shirt.
My shaking lessened as I tried to control my breathing. I opened my eyes and looked back up, and I caught a glimpse of your face through the small window of the door that was closing, when a small child running in front of you pushed it open. My breath caught as I saw you, but you hadn’t found me yet. Your face looked how I felt, as one hand gripped the handle to your suitcase. I didn’t even notice what you were wearing, what shoes, what your hair looked like. I bent and climbed through the middle gap of the barrier, and a speeding walk quickly transformed into an almost-run, to you. I forgot that I could trip and fall ridiculously in front of a hundred people, which would have probably made me cry, and I’d ruin it all. I’m way too easily humiliated, and that would have been enough to set off the frustration to trigger the tears. I didn’t trip. I didn’t jump at you, because that really would be silly. What if you weren’t expecting it and we both went tumbling down? I stopped about two centimetres from your toes, just to see your face, for no more than two seconds to allow a smile to spread across both our faces. I rose up on my toes, for the last time, so that we were more or less the same height, and without touching you, I placed my mouth on your lips ever so slightly. There was no surprise and no shock. You didn’t press harder, but you kissed me, and I felt your hand even more gentle on my lower back as you just held me there. After a few seconds of taking you in, I closed the gap between us and raised a hand to your shoulder. We still hadn’t broken apart, but I’d lowered back down to my feet so I was ever so slightly smaller and my head tilted upwards; and right then, there was no one else. We were in the way of a dozen people, and I couldn’t have cared less.

The End

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