From the time I first met Ellen, I believed we belonged together. It sounds old fashioned, like the way ancient people used to believe they were made by some unseen creator. It really did feel like we were designed to operate together, better than we ever could individually. She was forgiving in all the right places, and instead of being jealous of my passion for machines, she thrived on my intensity.
Seeing her here at the airport made my adventure real somehow. I had spent the past eight years in a grueling pursuit of an engineering degree. I was never naturally good at math, and my professors had noticed. They seemed to feel some obligation to punish and discourage me for daring to try and enter their venerated filed of mechanics without possessing a savants mastery of mathematics; that language of machines. But over time, I had proven myself. I demonstrated a natural intuition for linkages, and smooth mesh gear geometry. Where pure mathematicians struggled, I shined. I could see in my mind millions of components in motion, their movements, speeds, and directions. I could trace in my imagination the kinetic energy traveling through a machine from the power source to the point of work. It’s a beautiful ballet for the few people that can see it. I don’t know if Ellen will ever fully understand, but she tolerates my endless attempts to describe it to her with an unlimited well of patience.
As we kiss and embrace again outside the air terminal, I find my eyes moistening, and tell Ellen that she must think I’m a sentimental sap for getting so emotional. She hugs a little tighter, and tells me that she doesn’t; not at all.