I arrive at the airport before he does. Pacing in a continuous circle, I click the screen of my phone on and off 26 times before finally sitting and putting it face down on the table.
“You can come to Miami with me,” he’d messaged me, “but we should probably meet before that.”
We didn’t meet before that.
When I finally spot him, he’s riding past me on the escalator. I’d gone down to the level below out of boredom but was now coming back up. As he passed me, I watch him get smaller and smaller. If he didn’t come back up the escalator in five minutes or less, I would text. I see him coming back up a minute after I reach the top. I know it’s a minute because I checked my watch, and I almost never wear my watch.
“So, am I everything you’d hoped?” he says as soon as he sets down his bags. I reply, “Yeah, definitely,” too quickly. I wonder if he expected me to ask him some version of the same question.
Once the mystery had been dissolved, it felt like a lock had clicked into place. The walls of conversation we built extended into floors. The place we inhabited was created by us before we even arrived. In Miami, the rapport was easy and comforting. Distracted by the new surroundings, we buried ourselves in decadence. I lay on the beach, high in my sunglasses, roasting in the sun.
* * *
My problem is that I long for a relationship that exists in a perpetual honeymoon phase. From experience, I know that this is a delusion that you can easily maintain when you aren’t a part of someone’s everyday life.
I’m leaning against the wall outside, absorbing the heat from the cement. I’m at a party where I didn’t know or want to talk to anyone. He’s conducting business and I didn’t feel like eavesdropping on any more conversations. Alone, I smoke a cigarette and watch the sunset on the street.
The mystique would always beat out the reality, and we both knew it. We were thriving off the satisfaction of finishing a puzzle, even if both of the pieces were falling apart. I wonder, if I walk away, would he call me? Or would we agree, remotely, that the satisfaction of truth and perceived companionship, is more important than time?