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I didn't sleep well that night. I just couldn't fall asleep. In my head were thousands of things revolving because tomorrow would be the day. I had been expecting that day for a long time, but I had never thought he would come so fast. The alarm went off and I moved slowly out of my bed. This bed, nobody will use it in the time I'm away. I imagine the week before I will come back home when my mother will arrange everything for me. The clock showed 6am. I walked to the bathroom, shuffling slowly. It looked empty to me. Normally it is full of useless things, scattered all over the place. But I had taken most things out of it. The empty shelve made me sad. I took my shower and tried to think of nothing. It didn't work. It never works when you need it. When I wrapped the towel, I had to think about my anxiety of using someone else's towel. Would I survive in an unclean house with dirty towels? I don't even drink a glass of water in my own grandmother’s home. I put music on to wish my thoughts away. It was "Comptine d'un autre été" by Yann Tiersen. His piano keys accompanied me back to my room and stayed in my thoughts.
I joined my parents at the breakfast table. Nobody was talking. My dad was reading his newspaper and drinking black coffee - his favourite one. I still can smell the odour. I will miss this ritual, watching him drinking his coffee, when I'm away.
I almost expected something special this morning but it was the same as every other morning. Only the knowledge we won't eat together at this table for one year made it different from other mornings.
Nobody had forced me to leave. To leave my family, to leave my friends, to leave my home: "This will be the experience of your life.", "Nothing is better for learning a language than being in the country itself." What did they say, "live your dream". Yes, but what is my dream?
I don't know.
The car drive was quite odd. Nobody was talking.
But what should we speak about? I followed the lines of the street with my eyes. In England, I will watch them from the other side.
Lara should come with us and say goodbye to me at the airport. She won't come. She never does what she says. But I don't need her. She has a tendency anyway for exaggeration. I can't stand it when people show false feelings even if they think they are right. I just know they aren't. She also said she will make a goodbye party. All lies.
It's a long time ago since I was at an airport. I reckon the last time I flew was to Djerba.
I still know how afraid I was because of the flying. I mean, I had flown before, but never alone. And never to an unknown future. During the whole day, and I reckon the last half year, I had been thinking about how it will be when I'm finally there. I had heard lots of bad things about the food. Will it be awful? And then? What if my host mother can't cook? I will have to exist on chocolate bars and will get fat! And what when she cooks well? What will be when I come back? Will everything be like now?
My mum interrupted my thoughts, which were getting more frantic, by starting to check my passport again. In the last weeks she was getting very solicitous and attached to me. When I was thinking about this whole England stuff I always considered my family as well. I'm the only child in my family, so what will my parents do without me? And then I was getting sad because I knew they would miss me a lot.
We were early. My parents went to a room for smokers to satisfy their addiction. I waited outside, sitting on my suitcase. Alone. Now I will be all alone for a whole year. I will be left to cope on my own. Will I find friends? There are too many questions and not one can get answered. Not yet anyhow. Now my parents will separate from me, will live and smoke together without me, while all I have, all I need is packed into one suitcase. 1 hour left until I have to say goodbye, only one hour with my parents.
After they were finished with smoking we went for a coffee next to the room. From there I could see the gate which would part us. I couldn't stop staring at it.
But it will also be the place where I will see my family again when I arrive back home. These thoughts made the gate look much more friendly.
I ordered a coke and my dad a beer. My mum drank nothing. Everywhere people, saying goodbye to each other.
From my seat at the bar was staring at me a big, fat clock in the air, which continued incessantly the way clocks do. It sprang into my eyes, I couldn’t oversee it, how much I tried. Only 43 minutes left.
Again there was just this constant silence: there was just no topic we could talk about. Everything would make us sad. Only some jokes on England, which didn't make me feel better.
Then the time ran. It had to, time never stops running. And we had to say goodbye to each other. The moment, I had been scared of for such a long time, finally arrived.
Have you ever seen the eyes of a person who loves you, who knows he won't see you for a long time? His eyes are filling with water and the view is full of sadness. The eyes try to keep the picture of you as long as possible in memory, so they can call it upon at any time when it’s needed. I still can see the view my dad gave me when we said goodbye – I reckon I will remember it forever.
It's terrible. The only time when I had seen my dad crying was when his mother died. But I'm not dying! Don't cry, there's no reason to cry. One year passes so fast! You won't feel that I'm away!
My mum - she hold me tight, as if I'm her rock and she has to hold me to not fall down, as if I'm the only one who could hold her. I felt her tears on my neck, slowly dropping down, one by one. And I - I hold her in my arms, feeling her check on mine and her heart in her breast beating, like mine. I could smell her perfume, it's so typical her, and then I could not bear my feelings any longer and slowly started tears dropping down my neck into the hair of my mum. Oh mum what did I do to you?
I do not know what's worse, the idea they will miss me too much, or that they won't.
I looked in the eyes of my parents. These eyes, full of love for me, these eyes I won't see for such a long time. But now it's time to go - I feel I can't see their eyes any longer, see their broken hearts.
I arrived the gate, one view only, the last one for a long time, and then I have to turn back and cross the gate. A woman is putting something useless in my hands and I just keep walking, somewhere, I don't know.
I can't describe the feelings I had in this moment. Something between sadness, despair, hope, excitement, anxiety, confusion and 1000 other feelings.
I don't know how I get to the plane but somehow I managed to sit in there when it started.
The plane went off and flew away from my loved, little country. I could see how the airport was getting smaller and smaller and could almost feel my parents somewhere there, sitting in silence and thinking of me.
Now the real adventure begins.