You must have known exactly what I was up to as I pulled two pennies out of my wallet. “Don’t use your silver,” you said. We were sitting alongside a modest stone fountain in the airport courtyard as you waited for your flight home. “Let’s make a wish, I said.” “And a promise for better days,” you replied. I watched you close your eyes before I closed mine and then I made my wish. We counted to three and our pennies hit the water at the exact same moment, perfectly side-by-side.
After leaving you behind the roped security checkpoint, I sat in my car in the parking lot for a half hour. I just sat there, in the hot and silent car. And I cried. You’d think I’d be used to this by now. But it never gets easier. Each time we say goodbye, the loneliness sticks to my bones more than the time before.
Sitting there I remembered every other time we said goodbye. I remembered how quickly our new normal fades and how much I struggle to return to life as it was before you arrived. I already know exactly how empty the house will feel and how the tears will come each time I see empty shelves where your things were just hours before. I already know that I won’t move your coaster from the bedside table for months and that I’ll hate to wash the bed sheets because then your smell will be gone. I’m already expecting to hear that song on the radio, the one we danced to under the stars. And I know I’ll see the Booking.com commercial on TV and laugh without you. Laughing with you is so much easier.
When I finally started the car and reluctantly drove away from the airport campus, the phone rang. It was you and through your cracking voice and my tears you reminded me of our promise at the fountain – our promise for better days.
I don’t know what you wished for when you closed your eyes yesterday but when I closed mine I wished for more together days because those are my better days. Those are my best days. My best days are the days when your things are on my shelves and when your water bottle is on the coaster on the bedside table. Better days are days when my sheets smell like your aftershave and when I have you to dance with under the stars. Better days are the days when we laugh. The best days are when we laugh together.
So, my sweet love, when your days are tough and when life is discouraging, remember your own advice. Remember our promise at the fountain. Remember our dance, and our song, and our laughter. Remember, that things can only get better.
And remember, I simply love you.