as i stepped onto the plane, i was still furiously trying to mend my heart. i remember the anticipation thick in the air, the kind that is incited only by red velvet cake or something of the same richness. i drummed my fingers against the plane window. the plane arrived.

i walked through the airport, calling your phone. nervous, because i knew you were sort of dependable, but not always. i know, that is a purposeful paradox.

i left you a message after you didn’t pick up several times. i walked some more. i sat in different places.

i walked to the gate. i looked around. i probably looked for your curly, messy hair. i didn’t find it, so i kept walking.

i listened to music to keep myself from getting too frustrated.

and then i walked again to the gate, tired. this time finding you. and our eyes probably had the same tone, some kind of misguided hue, wondering, curious, because it’s been 4 years. your eyes were bigger than i remembered, you hair (or lack thereof) trimmed close and receding a little (in an endearing way), which is why i didn’t recognize you. your skin about the same, your lips a little wiser, your teeth a little whiter from your obsessive brushing. still as minimalistic as i remembered you, for your carry-on was a neck pillow and a book. you were holding your phone, which had proceeded to die as you landed in miami. you said that you thought you saw me, but my hair is longer, unrulier, and you said I looked Latina. so you didn’t wave me down.

and we laughed, kind of the start of all the bells of laughter we’d play in the coming weeks.

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