Thursday, April 1, 2010

Airport 3

Harrison didn’t turn back, true to himself, although Mac longed for one more look into his eyes or a glimpse of his smile. Instead he found himself face to face with Jill.

Mac had already found the card she had left for him on the dresser at home. In it she had implored him to come back home to Australia and be ready to give her his whole heart. He knew he couldn’t do that. She hadn’t given her whole heart to him. Talk about hypocrite. She had already ripped his heart from him and discarded it. Right now he had to get through this goodbye thing and get her onto the plane. Then he could go home and start to work on preparing for his imminent return to Australia in eight months time as per the plan that Jill had initiated and to which he had given complicit acceptance.

They hugged, kissed, tried to make it meaningful. Jill picked up her hand luggage and moved to follow Harrison who was already out of sight and probably putting his shoes and belt back on at the other side of the security checks. Unlike Harrison though, Jill turned back.

“You can always come home earlier than we’ve planned.”

The comment infuriated Mac. It was her typical style; have the last word, make sure you’ve covered all bases. Mac discovered later in conversation with some of his friends that Jill had told them that there had been conversations about Mac returning earlier than the end of the school year. No there hadn’t. That one line as she departed was her version of the conversation. True to her controlling communicative habit she turned away before Mac could respond. Mac nodded his head upward, as the locals do when they wanted to give a noncommittal recognition to someone or to something that had been said. Jill didn’t see as she was already on her way having said what she needed to say.

Mac had anticipated something other than what he felt. He was certain that twenty-three years of marriage would contribute to a certain degree of sadness, disappointment, broken heartedness. Nope. Nothing. Nothing but a gigantic wave of relief crashed over him at that moment. She was gone and he didn’t have to see her again for eight months. He didn’t have to hear her on a daily basis for eight months. He didn’t have to touch her.

He knew there was something wrong with this picture but he realized that at this point there was no sense of loss in him and in the days and months ahead there would be benefit on benefit; gain on gain added to him because of Jill’s absence.