I spent the entire weekend being totally oblivious to everything except being back in England with Piers. It was a glorious respite after five intolerable weeks of separation.
We spent most of the last two days holding on to each other as if our lives depended on us being stuck together like Siamese twins.
Absence does make the heart grow fonder… if your heart is locked with the right person.
On Saturday morning, Piers didn’t come to the airport in time to meet me at the arrival gate, thus negating the scene of tearful reunion we had both played through a million times in our minds.
It wasn’t entirely his fault. My plane was due to land at 5 am and he was understandably knackered from having to wake up in the middle of the night to make the 1.5-hour drive to the airport.
Plus immigration clearance was 55 minutes faster than we had both expected. The first time I arrived in England on Qatar Airways, I’d had to stand in the immigration queue for an hour because there was a full plane load of Middle Easterners in front of me, and every person (including myself) was questioned with great thoroughness.
This time, I flew in on British Airways. After I had surmounted the ridiculous 1km walk between unloading gate and immigration, I found the “foreign passports” queue to be virtually empty while the EU/UK queue was up to the neck.
It was brilliant. British Airways gets my vote henceforth.
So, that was how it came to pass that I was waiting for Piers’ arrival outside Terminal 3 of Heathrow Airport instead of him waiting for my arrival inside the airport.
Our first contact was on the phone because there wasn’t a designated passenger pickup point. We had to figure out where each other was. When we first caught sight of each other, we were about 40 metres apart.
He flew across four bus lanes to me, a wide grin visible on his face.
As he got closer and his facial features became clearer, I was suddenly struck by a strange sense of displacement. “How is it that this gorgeous creature is my boyfriend and in love with me?” My mind flung about wildly for sense and meaning.
An incomprehensible wave of shyness and strangeness enveloped me at the same time his arms reached around me in a jubilant embrace and his soft lips found mine with a gentle nudge.
It was, undeniably, an Oh-My-God moment during which the mind is incapable of all logical thought because all it can think and say is, “Oh, my god,” over and over again.
The shock didn’t wear off until about 15 minutes after we had driven off from the airport, during which I was operating on auto pilot mode. It didn’t help that I had hardly slept during my 13-hour flight and I was driven to distraction by Piers’ happy boyish grin and sparkling brown eyes.
But my mind eventually found the switch on the circuit breaker, flicked it back on, and we were in business again.
I looked at Piers, who was driving but every five seconds turning his head to look at me with a silly grin despite my admonishments for him to keep his eyes on the road.
At that moment, I remembered exactly how everything was before. The flood of inscrutable joy gushing over me at the realisation that the long, hopeless wait is finally over shock awoke my befuddled mind, and I told him, “I’m gonna cry.”
And I did.