We had plans for July.
His semester break would start, and we would meet again.
I would cross a few dozen countries, spend the night in a frozen bird (an airplane) and wake up to see his face.
Of course, I would brush my teeth and hair, just in case. Just in case his shyness would fly away like another flight I’d have to take to go back home after 10 days. A departure where he would kiss me when people watched.
The ritual of bringing flowers to the airport would be followed, followed by an embrace that would melt away my frozen body, owing to inhuman flight temperatures.
Thankfully, no one would’ve sat next to me, and I would’ve had two blankets and two pillows. One for my neck and one to hug.
We would travel across the country, the city, the continent, or just the rooms within his house. We would cook together, and I would complain about his capsicum chopping skills. He doesn’t chop the vertical slices together. He chops each slice separately, making our breakfast take a li’l more than extra time to be prepared. I wake up hungry and so it bothers me.
But secretly, of course, I laugh. I laugh and want to cup his face in my palms and squeeze it until it resembles a fish pout.
Maybe we would have had fish for lunch. I would have to brush again then.
This was supposed to happen.
But instead, I sit at home, quarantined, 6,506 kilometres away from him.
I would have just preferred brushing after every meal for a minty kiss. I miss him.
I always thought positively about long-distance. That we would plan our meet in advance and would be so excited to see each other after a gap of two, long months. Never had I ever imagined that there would be a time when I wasn’t sure when I’d get to see him next.
Two months was perfect. Not too short, not too long. The perfect amount of time to miss someone and be excited to see them again.
Now, it has been four months.
My heart aches from not being able to see him and shout at his capsicum chopping skills. What aches more, is the problem of not being able to post him my love letters. Letters with a flower that would’ve dried until it reached him, but given the paper a fragrance that he would breathe into. Maybe, the flower fell in love and wanted to give the paper all that it could. Maybe, all that the paper could give back was acceptance. Maybe that is love.
Rather than always giving all that we can, we accept the other person with everything. We take them within us. Unconditionally.
As a lover, he is my paper. I am his flower.
People say that we are happy when we see others being sad. It might sound mean, but I am happy that every single person who I know of—who went out on dates when I video called mine, who kissed and laughed and played around when I ran around to get my visa, who held hands when I could only hold my hard-earned tickets—are in a long-distance right now.
Even if they live six or 60 kilometres away. It sounds wicked, but it keeps me sane. I hope it keeps you sane too. And I hope that soon we all meet our loved ones with fresh flowers and warm embraces rather than dried ones with lost fragrances.
Therefore, to all the lovers who are waiting to send letters and sit in a frozen bird that will carry you across to see your love, you are not alone.
I feel you and your frustration. You might even have thoughts about how it might not be worth it anymore.
Dating a neighbour is an easier option, I agree. But in all those times, I try to think of my previous airport days.
Even if the bird is frozen, her nest is so warm. It is filled with happy memories of reunion. It does get sad at times, like when we have to say goodbye. And drives to the airport feel deadly.
Yet, they are still warm. Warm with a warm hand intertwined within mine. Warm with warm tears on both faces. Warm with warm goodbye kisses.
Think of those times. They will happen again soon.
And this time when he chops the capsicum, I will cup his face in my palms, kiss him, and tell him that I love him.
Later, of course, I will take away his knife and chop the capsicum myself.
And he will do extra dishes.