As the plane taxis down the runway, I find myself suddenly nervous. “Good afternoon ladies and gentlemen. We have arrived in Pune. The temperature outside is 28 degrees. Please remain seated until the seatbelt sign is turned off. It is now safe to use your mobile phones.”
At these words, I stop paying attention to the announcements and reach into my handbag for my phone. I dial your number and wait for the ring, a strange nervousness once again surfacing in the pit of my stomach. “The number you are calling is either switched off or not reachable.”
My heart skips a beat. Not reachable? Now what? You’re supposed to come and pick me up at the airport. Now what do I do? I call again, only to hear the same message. I’m increasingly agitated and restless. In the meantime, my co-passengers have begun to get off the plane and I realise I’m one of the last few left on the plane. I grab my bag and get off the plane in a hurry. My mind is racing, unable to concentrate on any one thing at a time. Why is the phone switched off? Will you actually come and pick me up? Or have you changed your mind about this at the last minute? I go past the arrival lounge and towards the baggage carousel, absently trying to locate the correct one. After some struggle, I find it. As I wait impatiently for my suitcase, I can’t help becoming restless again. I keep trying to reach your phone and keep getting the same message.
By the time my baggage arrives, I’m convinced you don’t want to see me ever again and that you’re regretting this. I pick up the suitcase and start walking towards the exit. I scan the crowd for your face. I don’t find you. I slow down, deliberately looking at every face in the crowd. You’re still missing. My mind races. I have three days before my return. Where do I stay? What do I do?
As I reach the exit, my steps slow down to a stop. My heart sinks. I’ve been an idiot. How did I even believe you’d want these three days with me? Why did I come all the way? Tears threaten to flow. I blink them back and force myself to think practically. I could walk back to the Taj counter and book myself a room. Or I could…
My thoughts are interrupted as I feel a warm breath in my hair. I turn around and freeze. It’s you. Looking like a dream. Your smile melts my heart. And for some reason, the tears I’ve held back for so long begin to flow.
“Hey! I’m sorry darling. The traffic was terrible and my phone battery died on me. I’d never have been so late otherwise.” You pull me into your arms as if to reassure me that all will be well. I look up at your confused face and manage a thin smile.
You put your fingers under my chin and lift my head to face you. Slowly, you bring your lips to mine and kiss me deeply. And with that, I forget my fears, my nervousness. I forget the restlessness that so consumed me a few minutes ago. I forget everything because I have all I need. You.