They all knew before we knew.
They saw us sitting together at a sports center, cracking rude jokes and rocking back on our haunches when we laughed. I would cover my mouth; he would clap and stamp his gleeful feet on the dirty floor. They saw us the next day, sweating in the desert heat and lazing around by the hotel pool. We talked of travel, of home and of family while people buzzed around us; we shared in-jokes and drinks from the bar. They saw us leave together, heading back to hotel for more wine and to change. Then, with livers brimming and eyes wandering, they watched us lose each other in the crowd. I've felt lost ever since.
It's been one month today since we were last face-to-face, but mere minutes since we last spoke. My life has become a mess of technology - text, email, IM, Skype and phone calls - anything to get me closer to this person that I find so funny, so alluring, so attractive and so heart-warming. I write him postcards, send care packages, email photos, text "goodnight". He writes me prose, sends me music, emails photos, texts "goodnight". I tell him about my pillow shield, shaped like his protective arm as I rest my head on his chest. His set up is quite similar - a pillow yin to my yang. Every story, every laugh, every quip and every reference brings me one step closer to knowing a person who is more in tune with me than I ever thought possible. We talk of being misunderstood by our peers, stave off tears and plan the years we will have together; there will be many. We giggle and hide behind our hands as we agree that Shakespeare was onto something with all of that yearning stuff. We buy lottery tickets and save for plane tickets. We laugh. We love.
Every morning I awake, torn by bitter-sweet thoughts - I am one step closer to spending summer with my love, but am spending another September day freezing in this chill without him. I yearn for that warm summer day when I travel to the airport, windows down, pedal to the floor and stereo loud. My head plays the moment when he emerges from the arrival gate over, and over, and over again. I can already feel his arms around me.
Each day, I feel my chest tighten and my heart swell. Shatter. Repair. Repeat. I stare at the calendar and wish on 11.11 and think, think, think. I wonder what would have happened had we spent more time lazing by that sun-scorched Vegas pool, ignoring the others and keeping our eyes on each other. But I have to move on and think of our future together - years peppered with travel, laughs and gleeful feet, and a bond that ignorance, time and geography will not break.