The bus ride from the airport was quiet. Most slept, although he couldn’t.
His head lay against the window, jostling with the roughness on the frozen streets below as he stared out at the snow covered city. It was magnificent. A marvel to him after such a long time away.
The cold was bitter, but somehow refreshing as he stepped off of the bus.
There she was, ever waiting, the pillar of his life for the past few years.
The first embrace was … indescribable.
The car ride home dragged on, like the epilogue to a long depressing novel. There was little talk. She knew he was tired and was content with glancing over at him from time to time to find that he was in fact still there. That he was sitting in the passenger seat; that he was not a figment of her imagination.
As they walked through the door, he sighed. Standing there in the entrance with his head tilted upward, he breathed deeply through his nose.
His eyes were closed.
She kissed him.
She only pulled away when she felt the wetness on her cheeks, it wasn’t hers.
Tears rolled down his face, his eyes still tightly shut.
She kissed him again, and joined him in weeping.
They were bittersweet tears. Tears of joy from finally being where he belonged, and tears of sorrow for what he’d lost along the way.
Whatever the tears were from, her touch made everything better.
They stumbled in embrace, through the kitchen and into the hall. They collided against the bedroom door that chattered in protest before swinging open with a whining creak. They rolled on to the bed in different stages of undress and fell into each other the way lovers do.
He woke with a start, laying in damp sheets. His throat was parched, cold sweat on his forehead.
She hushed to him softly, pulling his shoulder into her chest. Her lips parted and a familiar warmth he had nearly forgotten rolled into his ear.
“You’re home. It’s okay.”
And it was.