Yesterday I dropped my ex and her daughter off at the airport. It was the goodbye that had been weeks in the making. I had spent Christmas Eve with her at her house. We found the time to leave and go back to my place for an hour to have one last intimate moment together. Then we went back to her house to get ready for Christmas and for her trip. It was a great night, until I saw her text the other guy. I saw an earlier text from her to him pop up. “Of course I love you.” I asked her about it and she insisted that she doesn’t tell him she loves him anymore. I told her I know she’s lying, that I saw the text. She read half the text, omitting the part where she said she loves him, lying to me about it right to my face. I told her I know what she just did, and she got mad. She was more mad at him though, because this whole time, he was calling her repeatedly and texting her over and over and she was ignoring him. I assume he was going off on her like he always does and calling her names for not answering when it’s convenient for him. They got in a huge text fight and stopped talking again. I spent the rest of the night giving her a back massage until we fell asleep together.
The next morning we opened presents for Christmas and headed to her family’s place to spend the afternoon. We had a good time, and good food, and then it all came to an end. It was time for her to head to the airport. We got there as she checked her phone and realized that she was wrong about what time her flight was leaving. She had 30 minutes less than she thought. I gave her a look and she apologized and said it was her own fault for not checking earlier. She thought I was annoyed at her for making a mistake. She had no idea that my stomach just dropped at the fact that I had 30 minutes less with her, and that now we had to run for the gate, without any time to say goodbye.
We got there just in time and got through ticketing quickly. We started heading for the gate, and I picked up her daughter so we could move faster. She held onto me and put her head on my shoulder. I held her tightly and tears started forming in my eyes. This is the last time I’ll hold her. Natalie couldn’t see my face since her daughter was between us, but by the time we were on the escalator, I was crying. I think she caught a glimpse of me and looked away when she realized. We got in line for security and had only minutes to the front. When we were second in line, I put her down and turned to Natalie. I lost it. I looked at her and completely broke down. She grabbed me and held me as I cried on her shoulder. She whispered for me to calm down, that everything will be OK, and that she’ll see me when she gets back. She said it like she knew it was certain, but I knew that she wouldn’t in a million years pass up the opportunity to spend time with the other guy. I knew she’d be seeing him, and that this is the last time we’ll be seeing each other like this. Even if she wanted to see me when she gets back, we won’t be together anymore, it’ll just be as friends, and nothing more. I knew this was goodbye. I whispered in her ear that I love her one last time, and for the first time in weeks, she told me she loves me too. Then she pulled back and kissed me repeatedly, while telling me to relax and that she’ll text me.
They went through security, and I stood there for 10 more minutes watching them go through the line and the checkpoint. They would both look back at me from time to time and wave. I waited until they had walked to their gate and I couldn’t see her bright pink bag in the crowd anymore, and I turned and walked back to my car. I barely made it. I got in the car and closed the door just as I lost it. I don’t know if I’ve ever cried this hard. I was bawling and couldn’t stop it. I sat there for 15 minutes crying uncontrollably. If I had ever cried this hard, it wasn’t in my adult life.
I got a text from her suddenly that her flight had been delayed and they had made it just in time. Then she texted me something that made me break down all over again. She said “Please don’t be upset. I don’t like it at all. Everything is going to be okay.” I replied with, “I love you.” “I love you, too.” It was the second time that she had said it to me in over a month. I felt my heart drop, and I stared at it through the tears, and started crying again. I didn’t know if she meant it, or if she was just trying to make me feel better.
I finally got myself together and started driving back to her house to drop off anything she had left in my car and pick up the last of my things that were still at her house. I got there and did a little cleaning from the Christmas mess that had been left over from the morning, and did all the dishes that were in the sink. Her family came home, and we spent a few minutes talking. I let them know I’d be leaving and that I may never see them again either. We said our goodbyes and they told me I’m always welcome there with or without Natalie.
Natalie texted me between flights right up until she landed. Then I cried myself to sleep. I woke up this morning, her still on my mind from the dreams I was having, and the first thing I did was cry while my dogs scrambled to lick my face. They knew something was wrong. She’s messaged me all day today. I go through spurts where suddenly I’m tearing up without warning. It’s happened at least half a dozen times. I’m a mess. I know if she keeps talking to me, that one night she’ll stop texting me, and in the silence of the lack of reply that lasts overnight, she’ll be with him. That while my phone remains silent, she’ll be in his arms, or worse.
I don’t know if “everything will be fine” when she gets back. I hope with everything that I have that it does. Her words gave me hope. But I hope that it’s not false. I don’t know what I’ll do if she does come back and tell me it’s over between us and that she’s going to be with him now. This is the saddest I’ve ever been in my life.