“I must look awful,” I muttered, tugging at my scarf and smoothing the sides of my perfectly crumpled dress. My eyebrows knitted as I mentally scolded myself for not wearing a crease-free dress that could endure hours of restless sitting.
“Don’t be silly,” she laughed. Her eyes still beamed without once blinking their gaze away from mine. She folded me into another embrace before my sister in law cleared her throat to indicate it was her turn to give me some loving.
I was scrunched on the plastic seats as she walked in with my sister in law. It hadn’t been planned that way. No one plans to meet their mother in law with their mouth slightly ajar, eyes twitched shut, and luggage buried beneath their legs. My eyes fluttered open at the recognition that I’d been discovered in such a state; it didn’t matter that I’d been in the airport for 12 hours – it was bad form.
I ran my hands over my face, as though they could wash away the sleep I so craved. She was beaming. Her face illuminated with the joy of the news that I’d travelled out to see her, unannounced. After almost a year of transatlantic calls between London and Melbourne, the woman who birthed my other half threw her arms around me and cry-laughed, “I can’t believe it.” And neither could I.
“There was a time when the sun used to shine,” he said, chin tipped skyward; the struggling straggles of hair that line his chin kiss the missing horizon.
“There was a time when we threw our curtains open and invited her rays to bathe our homes. We were warm then. Even when it was cold, we still felt warm.” He pulled me from my side of our battered sofa and held my hands in both of his.