Hot tears are pouring down my face; my sobs are echoing throughout the terminal, I don’t want to let him go but know it’s something I must do. An Asian man is sitting a few chairs over from us. I can tell he doesn’t want to let his gaze linger too long but he can’t help himself, I’m causing too much of a scene. I’m sitting on his lap and pleading with him to stay but he says he can’t and tells me to be strong and that he’ll be back soon, that everything will be OK.
This scene repeats for over an hour. Silence, sobs, begging, soothing, silence, sobs, begging, soothing, on and on it goes. I’m trying to remember everything about him – his face, smell, lips, hugs, kiss, feel. This could be the last time I see him and I *have* to remember. I wouldn’t forgive myself if I didn’t take everything in, every detail becomes extremely important to me.
“I have to go” he says. I try looking for the Asian man but has left his seat, I can’t see where he went to but I’m wondering if he had to say goodbye to someone too. We have to head in different directions, this is where we have to say goodbye. We hug and we kiss and not a lot is said other than “I love you and I’ll miss you.”
We go our separate ways. I’m still crying and will be for the next couple hours. The flight attendants all look at me with strange fascination, probably wondering what has happened to me and why I can’t control myself. I don’t care. I continue to cry until I land in Canada because I don’t know if I will ever see him again. My boyfriend has left for his first tour in Iraq and I feel extremely alone.
The writing prompt for today’s NaBloPoMo asks us to describe a traumatic experience. Saying goodbye to my then boyfriend at the Portland International Airport in June of 2005 before he deployed to Iraq topped my list.