As I saw her come through the airport arrival gates, my eyes filled with tears and my throat burned; it took all I had to not burst into a massive pile of sobs and snot. A massive wave of relief and emotion rushed over me.
The last time we’d seen each other was when I’d said goodbye in Bristol, back on the other side of the world. It was only when I saw her in the airport that I realised how alone I’d felt for the last five months. Not lonely, but just alone. I was used to being surrounded by friends and family, with love and attention, from people I knew well and I realised I’d effectively spent 5 months without that, with no one.
I had a partner, but it wasn’t the same. Deep down I knew he wasn’t invested in me the way I wanted him to be. His friends and family were lovely, but they were his, not mine. The friends I’d made were new, and didn’t really know me. I didn’t really know me at that point.
I was unravelling, and I didn’t quite know how to deal with it by myself. Having Marsha here allowed me to feel familiar to myself again.
I dropped her at the airport on a Tuesday lunchtime, a couple of weeks after she’d arrived.
“Have a great trip up to the North Island won’t you. Enjoy it, and send me pictures!”
“I will. See you in a couple of weeks.”
That night the guy from NZ ended our relationship. No warning and no discussion, it pretty much came out of nowhere. A real rug-from-under-my-feet moment. The few little things I had that were familiar were gone. I had to find somewhere new to live, I didn’t have a car anymore, not much money and no real support network here. On top of that I was about to start a new job.
I had to keep going when all I wanted to do was scream that it’s not fair, and I had that [completely normal] mild panic of wanting to cling to anything I knew and was familiar, of which there was little here. My confidence was pretty low.
I didn’t want to cling to the relationship, I knew that was over, but I clung to Marsha like a lifebuoy.
“I’m so sorry I’m not there.” She told me. She was hardly to know what was going to happen.
“No need to apologise,” I told her. “I’ll be fine. I actually just need to go be by myself, but I do need someone to talk to.”
She rang me every single day.
Just to say hello.
Just to ask how I was.
Just to listen.
Just to make me feel loved.