I turned around at the sound of your voice. It really was you, laughing at something someone had said. I couldn’t see them – all I could see was you. And then you turned around.
I couldn’t believe you were there. You were – you were supposed to be – ugh, I couldn’t remember. You weren’t supposed to be there. I couldn’t remember why. All I could focus on was that you were there. And that’s all that mattered to me.
You turned to me, and walked up to me. Your hand closed around mine, our fingers locking around each other so familiarly that it felt like home. Almost immediately, a smile bloomed on my face. You asked me if I wanted to go for work. I looked up at you, puzzled. I didn’t know what you were talking about. But as we walked towards where ‘work’ was, I realised it didn’t matter. I didn’t care where you took me, as long as I was with you.
Before I realised it, we were waiting tables at a restaurant. I knew all of these people, but I wasn’t quite sure where I knew them from. We walked past, and you slipped a note into the pocket of my apron. I moved away from the tables, and opened it. It said ‘Meet me outside in 5’. A thrill of anticipation went up my spine, and I moved as fast as I could to finish my work before we met.
Five minutes flew past in no time. Magically, there was nothing left for me to do in the restaurant. Somehow, the restaurant didn’t matter anymore. When I went outside, I knew exactly where to go. And there you were, waiting for me.
There was something different about you. I couldn’t pinpoint what it was. But I knew it was you, from the entirety of my being.
I ran into your arms, and it felt like home. We kissed, and it felt like it was just yesterday that I was in your embrace. Some part of me told me that it had been a while, and I couldn’t understand it. But I didn’t care. You were there, and that’s all that mattered.
You said something to me. I didn’t understand what you said; I couldn’t hear you correctly. I responded to you – I somehow knew what to say, and that made even less sense to me. You chuckled – it had been a while since I’d heard you chuckle, since I’d seen you smile up close. But there you were.
I sat up with a start. The door opened, and slammed shut loudly, with another bang. I was in my room, the sun was shining through the skylight. I looked down. I’d kicked one of my blankets to the floor in my sleep.
Then I remembered. You were hundreds of miles away. But, at least, in my dreams, I could enjoy your embrace.
Inspired by the dreams I’ve been having of spending time with my partner, who I can only see virtually, on my phone screen during video calls. I miss being in the same room, in the same timezone as my partner. It gets tough, but there isn’t anyone else I’d rather be with.
Here’s a hug to everyone who is miles away from your loved one, whose physical presence you can enjoy only once in a very long while. You’re strong for loving someone who you’ve chosen to support and wait for, even with so much distance separating you. Hang in there – better times are waiting for you!