A Love Story: Part Three

Photo by Carol Jean Photography (www.caroljeanphotography.com)

It was the weekend before my big move to Sumatra.

I was sitting on the balcony at a friend’s apartment downtown, watching planes take off in the distance to destinations unknown. I found myself wishing I was on any of them headed to see him. I made a mental list of all the things I still needed to do. Even though I had the means to pull off an impromptu trip, there just wasn’t enough time. It felt negligent of me to even stay so late after dinner knowing everything that waited for me at home.

I text Kyle during his set (he was DJing that night) and told him of my farfetched dreams. How devastated I was knowing I wouldn’t be able to see him before I left. How I wish I could see one of his shows; something we’ve half joked and dreamed about since we were teens. How I would give anything to be on one of those planes headed to SF.

Just as I’m telling my friends how impossible, though wonderful, it would be to spend my last days in the country with him, Kyle returns my text with a confirmation for the next flight to San Francisco.

“WAIT. ARE YOU SERIOUS?” I responded.
“See you in the morning.”

My heart dropped to the depths of my stomach. All three of us were in disbelief. They asked what I planned to do and if I could actually pull it off. Of course I can’t. I’m leaving the country on Tuesday. I haven’t even finished packing. Cida looked at me and emphasized, “But what do you want to do?”

My better judgement was telling me what a mistake this would be, but following my heart is what led me to him in the first place. Him. I want to see him. I want to be with him. The answer was painfully obvious which raised the question of why I even hesitated in the first place. With their encouragement and support, I rushed home to gather my things.

My mom woke up for work around 4am and found me in my panicked and excited state, thrashing about my room trying to get things together.

She asked through tired eyes, “Sweetie, what are you still doing awake?” “Mom. I’m going to San Francisco.”
“Wait, what? When?”
“What’s in San Francisco?”
“But you leave on Tuesday.”
“I know!”
Realizing her next words weren’t going to dissuade me from leaving, she asked, “When will you be home?”
“Let me know when you land, okay?”

I showed up at the airport at 6am in the same dress I wore to dinner. All I had were a few belongings in a day pack, which was mostly filled with my camera equipment. The butterflies were raging out of control as I waited for my boarding time. To this day, the flight felt like something of a dream.

I remember trembling as as I pulled up to his apartment. Up until this point, I’ve been denied the opportunity to kiss him freely. And though we hugged out of instinct, our first kiss as two people openly loving each other is the kind of beauty that puts a lump in your throat. Those first moments together justified my going there.

We seized the day, holding on to one another at every turn. We wandered Haight as we chased murals, drank beers in the San Francisco sun, and retraced steps to places we’ve been together. That night we hand-made pizzas and drank wine and stole kisses from each other every chance we could. We sat on the balcony, looking out over the San Francisco skyline. This is his home, but could it ever be mine? We spent the rest of our weekend together in euphoria. The experience was such a whirlwind, but one I’ll treasure for the rest of my life. It’s the confirmation we both needed that we were meant to be together. But as with a majority of instances in our friendship and lives, our timing couldn’t be more terrible.

In my mind, I half expected this to be our last weekend together. So much can happen in six months; so much can change. Our greatest challenge now was navigating the unknown. How do two people build something as precious as a relationship while living 8000 miles apart? I would never ask or expect him to wait for me, and there was no way I could give up on my dreams. My life had met it’s crossroads and in choosing one, I felt like I was abandoning the other.

Saying goodbye Monday morning was gut wrenching. My Wingz driver was so understanding and let me cry in silence. It was a long, ugly cry that left me with a congested nose and swollen eyes. On my flight back to San Diego, I penned my thoughts to paper, and emerged with a fierce determination. You can have both. You can have your once in a lifetime love and you can have your grandest dreams. Choosing one doesn’t mean sacrificing the other. You deserve this. You are capable of this. You are worthy of having both.

Moving forward, I promised myself there would be no regrets. I knew I was meant to spend the rest of my life in his arms, but in order to be my truest self, I needed to do this first.

The only thing that mattered now was fighting my way back to him.

Special thanks to all the lovebirds in the world rooting for our success. Your support gives life to these stories. If you’re just joining, you can navigate this series here: 
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