Here is the final part of my incredibly long date! I’ll kind of start where I left off:
As I sat in my car with my dad, I felt at peace. Somehow it didn’t really feel real. It didn’t feel like he was leaving, and I didn’t think about the 9 months that separated us from being together.
My phone buzzed gently in the seat, and my hand grazed over the screen to see who was summoning me. I squealed in excitement when I read the text. It was from my guy, saying that his flight was canceled and inviting me to stay with him one more precious day.
Then I realized my dad had just driven well over an hour to get me. I grinned sheepishly as I read the message aloud. Dad was surprised, but just happens to be the best, so he took the Snickers bar I had been snacking on and told me we were even. I hugged him as I said thank you, and hurried back inside to find my date.
We looked at each other in excitement, as we realized we were lucky enough to tell each other “goodbye” one last time before he departed. We just didn’t have to say it yet.
After gathering some important military documents and reporting back to his team, we headed back to the hotel that would be our home for the night. We ordered pizza and stayed up far too late talking and watching reruns of Seinfeld. It was the perfect evening.
I scored a pretty sweet PT shirt.
The next morning we overslept. It was fine, though, because we had all day to spend together. This was such a blessing.
We packed our things (Or rather he did, as I did not have anything but the clothes on my back from the day before — I borrowed an Army t-shirt and basketball shorts for the night. I kept the shirt.) and headed off for our next adventure.
The mall was our spot.
That day, though, we decided we wanted to take it easy and just chat as much as we could. One thing I really love about our relationship is that we never run out of things to talk about. I’ve never had quite the same dynamic with another guy, as I genuinely feel like Robert is one of my very best friends. I always thought being chatty was solely a girl thing, because my last relationship was full of me talking and my boyfriend listening. I like this back-and-forth a lot.
We circled around the shops a few times, holding hands while people-watching and dodging oncoming mall traffic. After realizing it was way past lunchtime, we popped into one of our favorite restaurants, (Or mine at least — I am starting to think we go to The Cheesecake Factory so much because Robert knows I really like it. What’s not to love at a place where it’s mandatory to get dessert?!) which just happened to be in the middle of the casino. It was fun watching people sit at slot machines and pull the levers like zombies. My favorite part about the lunch, though, was just that we were still together.
Our day was coming to a close, so we decided to end our adventure by going into the Bass Pro Shop. It was a very strange place, especially for a girl who knows absolutely nothing about fishing. I did like seeing the aquarium of giant fish, though, and insisted on getting a picture with the cute, large, and slightly derpy one.
I was an un-hot mess at this point. Sadly Robert does not own a hairbrush, and I desperately needed one.
As we headed back to the airport I felt a wave of sadness come on. My eyes began to fill with tears, so I stared through the car window as I kept them to myself. My name’s Blurryface and I care what you think. I tried to focus on the music playing in the background; I hate that song, but enjoyed listening to Terese, our Uber driver, sing along and bob her head to the music.
Once we arrived, we were able to sit and chat for about an hour before I noticed a change in the scenery. The airport had a new gloomy feel to it. How did it develop this trait overnight? Yesterday was so happy and I felt excited to be in this very spot, but at the exact same time the very next day the place had done a complete 180. Or maybe it was just my perception.
Remember how I wrote a post a little over a month ago about how he was my hardest goodbye? He beat his own record — the same rang true this time around.
The tears came rushing back when we said goodbye because unlike the second time, leaving felt real. The hug and kiss hello had been beautifully warm, but there is something different about hugging someone you know you won’t see for a long time. It was as if my arms hoped they could somehow become strong enough to hold him there and keep him in Virginia. My brain told me to let go, but my heart wouldn’t let me. After a minute of this, though, it was time to part ways.
He turned and gave me his cute half-smile I love so much, and walked down the hall until I couldn’t see him anymore. I sat on the bench by the baggage claim where we had first met, as the tears I had been struggling to hold in rolled down my cheeks. I hadn’t felt sad like this in a long time, and I tried to come to terms with the fact I wouldn’t get to see him for 9 long months — until I realized I didn’t have to. I could take on this beast the same way I have so many other things, and take our relationship day by day. This might just be a cool little story we’ll have, along with our saved letters and emails as badges of strength and love.