The clouds race past the window of the plane. I usually don’t get the window seat. In fact, I usually do everything I can to avoid the window seat. I hate to fly. The continuous fidgeting, rubbing my hands together, running them through my hair, checking the piece of paper in my hand, is helping to keep the palm sweating at a minimum but I know I’m green. The woman in the seat next to me instinctively moves away, eyeing the barf bag in front of the seat all the while.
It’s worth it. That’s what I keep telling myself. I need to know. I need to see him. I met him a month ago online.
“You have a pretty smile,” he had said.
That was all it took. The connection was instant. His words, the way he said them. I felt like he was the other half of my soul. It was as if we had known each other our entire lives and we had never even actually spoken. He told me he had known me in another life, that it was fate. He told me that he would keep the promise he made to me and that he would always find me. Though I didn’t really believe in reincarnation, I believed him.
The weeks passed and our conversations took a different turn, he started pulling away. Confused and hurt, I asked him why. Was it something I had done?
“No, of course not. I just need some time. We’ll be together soon, I promise.” His words were fresh in my mind.
The plane landed and I began to lose my nerve. What in the world was I going to say? Hi. Nice to see you. I had no idea. I kept telling myself that he just changed his mind. Folks were entitled to change their minds. I looked at the piece of paper I was cluthing in my hand for the hundredth time. I didn’t have any luggage, just a carry on bag. I walked up to the first cab I saw outside the airport and gave him the address.
It was a short trip, not nearly long enough for me to decide what to say. I handed the cabdriver a fifty dollar bill and asked him to wait. I was sure it wouldn’t take long for him to tell me to get lost, that I wasn’t who he thought I was after all.
A woman answerers the doorbell and my heart drops. He was married.
“Yes, can I help you?” She asks in a friendly voice.
Perfect. “Yes, I’m sorry; I may have the wrong house. Is Tom here?”
Her face falls and she swings the door wide open. “Why would you ask that? Why would you come here and ask that? Is this some kind of sick joke?”
Confused, I start to apologize, certain now that I did in fact have the wrong house. “I’m very sorry. This must be the wrong house. I’m looking for Tom Davis.”
She starts to weep. She slams the door in my face and I am too shocked to move. I finally turn and make my way back to the cab. I am shaking uncontrollably when I slip in the backseat and ask the driver to take me back to the airport. This was a mistake.
He turns to look at me then. “Hey lady, I don’t know who you are and I don’t usually get involved in these things but that woman has been through enough. Just leave it alone, okay.”
“I have no idea what you are talking about. I was coming to meet a friend and I must have the wrong address.”
“You asked her where Tom was.”
“Yes, that’s my friend. See I met him online and I wanted to surprise him…”
“Lady, Tom’s dead.”
“What are you talking about?” I wanted to hit him. What the hell was wrong with everyone? I just talked to him last week.
“Tom Davis died in a car accident two weeks ago. That was his mother. Geez lady.” He turned back to the wheel.
“Wait. Can you take me to the graveyard? Please? PLEASE?” I was in full blown hysterics. The nausea that I felt on the plane came back with an intensity I couldn’t fight.
We drive to a small Catholic Church and park near a small graveyard. I open the door and begin to run. I know where to go. I don’t know how but I know where to go. I fall next to his grave. The date was there, etched in stone. Two weeks had passed since he had been buried. One week had passed since his last email.
I just need some time. Those had been the last words he typed me. Time for what? I feel like I am losing my mind. My heart starts to hurt. My chest is on fire and I can’t breathe. Lightning courses down my left hand and my arm loses all feeling. I collapse face first into the dirt. There by his grave, I died.
The light was bright. He was there with me. Stephan, Collin, Christopher, Dylan, and most recently Thomas. We held each other for the few brief moments we had.
“Will you find me?” I ask him.
“I always do my love, I always do.”
I held his hand while the fates pulled us in different directions. Yes, he would find me.