I imagined that when one of my closest friends came back to the states for a visit I would break down in big hiccupy sobs when I first saw her. Kind of a mixture of happiness, relief and letting go in the way you only can with someone who knows you inside out. I hadn't seen her since she moved away to Switzerland this past January.
But when we met I was completely dry eyed. Big hugs, so happy to see her and not a tear was shed. Since she's been home we've pool partied, bowled and taken advantage of the unlimited cell phone minutes she purchased for her visit. We've swapped stories about our kids, husbands and home life. But still, no hankies were dampened during these times.
Then last night she took me out for an early birthday dinner. Gave me a silver necklace that said "Hope" on one side and just had a pretty little leaf on the other. So I could wear the hope turned inward if I wanted to. Like a secret message to myself.
And we talked and talked and talked. We agreed to disagree on some things, said "Yes, yes of course!" about others. Eventually, we were the last ones at the restaurant and so we moved to the bar until we closed that down too. And somewhere between the meal and the last call my eyes filled up and the downpour I thought I had avoided came out.
We both admitted it's really hard to stay in the moment and just enjoy someones company when part of your brain is preparing to miss them again. I so don't want to miss her again. I'm tired of missing.
When we talked about writing, my friend observed that my stories are usually tied up in a tidy package often ending with a lesson learned. Or that I would write a funny ending, like how she walked into the potted plant on the way out the door and I tried to get her to steal the giant World Cup soccer ball in the lobby, because I use humor to distract.
But for her, I won't do it this time. I won't talk about lessons or how I have great plans for self improvement spurred by her visit. Or make a funny joke about our 22 year old waitress that lamented that her life was so "done now that she was so old" while her perky boobs hovered over our table.
I won't. I'll just state the obvious and let it lie there. I miss her. And it's hard.