I left work with a smile stretching from ear to ear. This was way bigger than the usual sigh of relief that occurs on my way out. Yes, this was way different.
Someone who observed me smiling might have attributed it to the fact that I was going on vacation. While my footstep out the door towards my car did signal just that, it didn’t explain the smile nor the anxiety bubbling under the surface of my skin.
No, this was something big and I was so ready for it to finally happen. I was finally getting to be with someone that excited me to no end, that had challenged ever fiber of my being. I was going to experience what I had long been waiting for… a connection that I had, at some points over the year, thought may never come.
But it was coming, at approximately 6pm New York time. We had been counting down the days in anticipation of this very moment, and now it was less than an hour away.
I got into my car and proceeded to drive to La Guardia. A crazy volume of thoughts raced through my brain as I got closer and closer to my destination. It became difficult to make sense of them, having not been able to get much sleep the night before — a combination of my work schedule and the nervous energy coursing through my body for the past few days.
As I struggled to untangle the chaos in my head and keep my eyes on the erratic rush hour traffic, a sudden vibration began to beg for my attention. I looked down long enough to see my phone screen light up.
So… we got in early.
I looked back up at the road and after navigating through the maze of parking lots and ramps and taxicabs at the airport, I scanned up and down the curb to pick out my passenger.
And then, from about 200 feet away, I saw her.
It was unmistakably her. The hair, the height, the cute dimples. Okay, maybe those came into focus once I drove a bit closer, but I just knew it was her.
As I got closer, she told me over the phone that she recognized me and my car pulling up.
“Okay, I’m going to get off the phone now,” she said.
And as I stopped the car, our eyes met, and I realized that gigantic grin had found its way back to my face for the second time today.
In the fog of it all, I can’t remember if I got out of the car to help her put her bag into the car, as was my intention. But almost immediately, she was sitting in my passenger seat, with a smile matching mine, just inches away.
This was going to be amazing, I thought. And its finally happening.