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Lukewarm

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The lukewarm faux rubber of the airport chair stuck to the damp underside of my bare thighs. It made an embarrassing sucking sound as I bounced my leg nervously. I stopped.

He looked at me out of the corner of his eye as I pretended to be interested in some older couple in Hawaiian shirts. Obviously knowing better, he gave my hand a squeeze. He was probably more nervous than I was, but really, he had chosen this. I bit back my words of persuasion. He needed to decide this for himself.

I started bouncing my feet.

We sat there in nervous, companionable silence, hardly moving besides the tapping of my feet and the occasional squeeze of his hand around mine.

The sappy-sweet voice of the announcer lady washed over us, calling for the first boarding for his flight. His family returned from their walk around the terminal. They were going with him, and I was staying here. I mentally flipped fate The Bird. They scooped up their carry-on and boarded without him, leaving me with a hug and two head nods. Soon it was me and him in a flurry of color around us. I dug my nails in to my palms.

“So you’re really going then?” I asked quietly keeping my voice steady. He brushed a lose curl behind my ear, not answering. I dug my nails in harder.

“I’m going to miss you so much,” he finally said. He caught my chin and pulled my face up. I took a slight step back, his fingers finding air.

“I’m sorry. I just can’t.” I heard myself whisper.

What little sparkle remained in his blue eyes vanished. “I know.”

“This isn’t going to work,” I almost gagged on the words.

He robotically nodded his head. We stood there in painful silence, reflecting on my words.

He caught me in a fierce hug. “I’m going to miss you so much beautiful, but it’s not fair to either of us.” I nodded into his shoulder. His lips brushed my ear. “Love you.”

I croaked out that I loveed him too.

But it really didn’t matter.

Gah, friggin emotions. No tears.

“One last one?”

I half giggles-chuckled uncomfortably. “Of course.”

And it was pretty much the best da* kiss of my life.

He stooped down and picked up his luggage. I swooped in and kissed him lightly on the cheek and dug my fingernails back into my palm. He ducked his head and started a slow shuffle to the gate.

He looked back one more time as the final boarding call came. My eyes connected with his blue ones, all sparkle gone. I crumpled in on myself to keep from falling apart as his eyes held mine.

The attendant at the door spoke to him and he unwillingly tore his gaze from mine. The door shut behind him with a resounding click.

I immediately collapsed on to the horrible fake leather chairs and buried my face in my hands, hunched over. After a good 5 minutes of pure pain, I took a deep breath and looked up. I was getting weird looks from the old couple in the Hawaiian shirts. The lady looked sad, and like she was going to come over and comfort me. Before that could happen, I collected myself and shakily stood up. My thighs made a sucking sound as they unglued themselves from the seat. I dug my nails into my palm and walked out of the airport, heart breaking.



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