On the ride to the airport, the Stetson man—my older, wealthy boyfriend—sat very close to me, holding my hand and stroking my hair. The man was brokenhearted, and it was during that car ride when I realized he was very serious about me. He was even using the word love, and I knew him well enough to know that he did not use that word lightly, by any means. I asked him to give me some time and some space; I let him know that I needed to figure out what I was feeling.
When we arrived at the airport, the Stetson man retrieved my luggage from the trunk of the car, but instead of passing it off to me, he hung onto it. He carried my bags into the airport, and he stayed with me until it was time for me to go through security. When we could go no further together, he kissed me long and deeply, as if it would be the last time. When I opened my eyes, I could see the tears in his, and I felt terrible. I found it difficult to sort through what I was thinking and feeling; I knew I needed to escape.
I boarded the plane and ordered a drink as soon as the attendant came down the aisle with the cart. I was torn between the sadness of having left the Stetson man in Canada, and the excitement I was feeling in knowing that my husband was picking me up from the airport. My husband picking me up? This was not a normal occurrence. He usually had me plan ahead by taking my own car to the airport and leaving it in the parking garage, so that it would be there for me to drive myself home. I wondered if he wanted to talk about something.
After landing and retrieving my luggage, I was excited when I spotted my husband in the waiting area. We shared the briefest of kisses, and then we got into the car for the long ride home. He chatted about everything that he had done while I was away, but he never talked about us, and he never even bothered to ask about my trip. Although, that last part was probably a good thing—there certainly wasn’t much I could share. I was relieved when at last we pulled into the driveway. I was back at home, where things felt familiar. I crawled into bed and slept for the rest of the day.
I had arrived home from Canada before my best friend. Her plane was scheduled to leave much later in the day, and so she and the Stetson man had lunch together. He had called her when he got to the hotel, which was normal because he often called her in the beginning of our relationship to find out things about me and where he stood in our relationship. This particular lunch played to my advantage…