There Is No Light – The Australian: Chapter 10

The drive to the airport with Ian was too short, although it seemed to take an eternity. I kept thinking of things to say, yet no words would come. The silence from the driver’s seat did nothing to free my voice. Already, the bleak loneliness of leaving him was creeping in, barely held in check by his warm hand on my thigh. There, on the curved muscle, I felt the connection. I focused my thoughts on that hand, memorizing it’s lines, scars, shape and marks, the feel of it, the weight, its gentleness.

“I don’t know how to say goodbye to you,” came a whisper from his tight throat, “or even contemplate it.”

I looked to the left, just in time to see the sunlight catch the tear falling from his cheek.

“I’ve never felt this much for someone or been in a situation like this, so I don’t know either,” I said, looking down, not able to look up for fear of losing the tiny grip of composure I had on my voice.

We pulled into the airport parking garage. It said Short Term Only, an appropriate epitaph for the day. We found a space and parked without his hand ever leaving me. And then he turned in the seat and pulled me against him, caressing my hair and covering my face with light, gentle kisses.

“I love you Marian,” he said, his voice at full strength again, “And no matter what happens, remember, there will always be someone in Australia who loves you very much.”

My chin trembled and my green eyes filled with tears and, as I nodded, they spilled over. Ian gently wiped them away, before kissing me once more, ever so softly on the lips. I did not want to leave the car, but airlines wait for no one. Even those with breaking hearts.

We walked hand in hand to the terminal as I contemplated what a fitting term that was. Terminal. The end. In those last seconds, I was full of joy because I was still with him, but also overcome with a sadness so deep I had yet to discover just how far down it went.

“I’ll never forget this as long as I live,” I whispered in his ear as he hugged me tightly.

When I stepped away to get in line for security he stood, hands in pockets, watching me, his eyes saying what his mouth could not. I turned and then heard, “Marian, wait!”

He was coming toward me with long, purposeful strides. And then I was in his arms again and his mouth was covering mine with hot, fierce kisses. He held me hard against him and devoured my lips like we were alone and like no one was watching. My normal reserve with public displays of affection was completely forgotten and I returned his kisses with total abandon.

“Email me when you land, my darling,” he said when he finally broke the embrace.

“I will,” I promised and made my way once again to the security line, oblivious to the stares and well-meant smiles.

He stood where I left him, surrounded by masses of moving people, an island of stillness watching until I had made it through the tedious shoe removing, bag checking and body screening process. On the other side I turned, thinking that perhaps he’d be gone, but no. Ian had not moved. We both stood there, making eye contact over the heads of those around us, neither willing to make the final split. And then I heard my final boarding call. With a last wave, I gathered my carry-on and my heavy heart and trudged to the gate. The sight of him, blowing me one last kiss, is forever burned into my brain. A sweet memory, frozen in time.

The plane lifted off and I plugged in my iPod, set to random play. As the city fell away beneath me, where all my teenage fantasies of meeting a foreign stranger in a classically planted garden had come true, Andrea Bocelli’s soul-piercing tenor rang out, “Quando sono solo, sogno all’orizzonte, e mancan le parole…”

Translated the lyrics go: “There is no light if you are not here with me. Lands that I never shared with you, I shall experience with you on ships across seas that exist no more. With you, I will go. I know you are with me.”

I put on my sunglasses, leaned my head against the tiny, cold oval window and stopped trying to hold back the tears. They fell down my face and onto my clasped hands as I silently wept for what could never be.

The flight touched down several hours later but I remained motionless in my seat, emotionally drained from the  pain that came with each minute that took me further and further away from Ian. And then I remembered he had asked me to email him. My heart soared at the thought of that little bit of contact, that distant touch, so I took out my phone and began pecking away.

I’m home and so very far from you. I miss you more than I can say. —Marian

I hit send and listened for the whoosh of my words being transmitted across the country to Ian, the man I wanted with all my heart. I was walking through the airport, the wheels of my bag beating a staccato rhythm along the tile floor with each bump of grout, when the chime of my phone alerted me to an incoming email. A tornado of butterflies filled my stomach at the thought of him writing back so quickly.

Then I read the subject line: Delivery Failed-Email Address Does Not Exist

What? Had he given me the wrong email address? I checked my typing against what he had written down. No. There was no mistake. I felt cold and began to tremble. Making a dash for the nearby restroom I locked myself in a stall and allowed the contents of my now nauseated stomach to empty. An icy sweat covered my body. I didn’t know what to think. I just knew something was horribly wrong.

30 thoughts on “There Is No Light – The Australian: Chapter 10

  1. Pingback: And the World Fell Away | Creative Noodling

  2. Marain, just to let you know, I couldn’t bring myself to relive that last part you wrote when you found everything out. I had too much memories just from when you originally wrote about it. I was just much of the pain. It is a great love story. You always express beauty and pain so well…along with all of the other regular things in life. Hugs to you, Jayne

  3. Nooooooooooo.

    I know this is not new for you but as someone reading this for the first time…I can just feel the heartbreak off the page. “Liking” it felt strange. I’m hoping at least the writing helps, at some level?

    • It does help. And also it all seems so surreal in a way. Like, “Did all this really happen?” And then I look back at the photos and listen to the recordings of our voices and I know… yes. It was real.

  4. Well my dear, I am caught up. If you can live it, I can surely read it. Misery may love company but heartbreak has no room for another. So, knowing the pain, I stand just outside of it, in case you need anything. All for one and one for all. XO, J P.S. Your writing was beautiful too.

  5. Strength Marian. Of course reliving it will turn you inside out once again. Beautifully written, I sit here with tears hanging on my lower lids. And that was quite the cliffhanger you ended with.

  6. My stomach churned right along with yours. I shouldn’t have read this this morning… you write too well, my love. My heart is aching for you.

    Xoxo

  7. Whew, I struggled to maintain my composure on my morning train commute just now. Marian, I could literally feel your heart ache, every tear drop, every ounce of emotional energy draining from you as you wrote. So beautifully written, as painful as it is, I hope you feel some relief for having putting it all down in writing. (Shared or otherwise)
    Hugs coming your way from me too.

    • Thank you sweet Anon Aussie. It does help to write it out. Sometimes I wonder if you pass him on the street. I know it’s a big country and all… but at least you’re on the right side of the globe.

    • Hi Cara. I’m terrible for missing this comment and not replying right away. So sorry!!! There is turmoil for sure in the story. As to the lead in… you know what they say about all good things. It’s sad. Plain and simple. It’s just sad.

  8. Pingback: Undiluted Cocaine | Creative Noodling

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