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  • Writer's pictureelise

Chapter 22 - I awoke with bittersweet feelings...

On the final day of our Chicago trip I awoke with bittersweet feelings swirling in my stomach. It was a confusing mix of excited thoughts with a dash of anxiety and a peppering of ‘what now?’

This was bizarre. I had worked so hard to stay present and in the moment while in Chicago that I hadn’t thought of what happens when the date ends. Well, the day had come and we were to head to the airport in mere hours where we would go sit at different gates and get on different planes and go to our different cities and live our separate lives. Was that it? Is that what we were going to do…forever? Was this just a good story to tell my girlfriends of the time I met a guy and went on a four-day first date, just because.

Could I ask him what he’s thinking or should I just sit back and see what action he takes next? My mind starts to race. I’m having circular thoughts as to what to do and how much I should say. I think he had a great time, but we are quite new and we do live 1000 miles apart. Maybe it’s too much for him? Maybe I’m fun and cute and nice and smart blah blah, but I’m too geographically undesirable? Anything is possible...but is it possible that he's not showing his cards?

I pull it together and decide to remain quiet. He wants to stick to the itinerary and go see Cloud Gate nicknamed,The Bean, before we head to the airport. We walk to The Bean, holding hands. He’s busy leading the way, weaving through other tourists and simultaneously answering work calls. I’m in my head. We get to The Bean. We stand near The Bean. We hug in front of The Bean.

While hundreds of other tourists buzz around us, I catch a glimpse of our reflection on the side of The Bean. It takes every ounce of me not to spill the beans on love...we look so at ease together. We look good together, like we just fit. It’s a really nice sight, and I wonder if he sees it, or better yet, I wonder if he feels it?

Alas, it’s time to head to the airport. As we sit in the back of the taxi he can tell I’m being quiet, that my energy just isn’t the same. A Camila Cabello song is playing in the background, as I watch the huge Chicago buildings appear smaller and smaller. After several minutes of silence, he says, ‘what’s going on?’ ‘Nothing (girl code for everything), I’m just a little worried about what’s next.’ He grabs my hand and assures me that we’ll figure it out.

We arrive at the airport with not much time to spare. We go through security and get to the gates. As we’re walking we arrive at his gate first. I prepare myself to say goodbye to him, but he insists that he walk me to mine even though his is already boarding.

Mine is just a few gates away. We arrive with five minutes until I board. Suddenly, the room energy shifts, much like it did right before I gave him my phone number in the restaurant. I know people are racing all around me, but somehow they no longer exist, at least I can’t see them clearly. As they walk by me, they are merely a blur of color that leaves behind a paint stroke of energy. Time has once again turned to slow motion. I peel my eyes off the floor and look up at him, and oh crap, there it is. The floodgates open. I try to hide it, but I've played my cards, he sees my tears and he gently wipes them away. I do cry easily, I knew there was a possibility of this happening, but wow, with just minutes until I board, and his plane already boarding, that's intense.

He pulls me in for passionate embrace in almost the exact same spot I had received that Hollywood kiss just four days prior. We hug. I say, ‘I hope I see you again.’ He says, ‘you will.’

We board our respective planes, fly back to our respective cities and go back to our respective lives.

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