My lungs expanded like an inflated balloon as I took a deep breath to calm my raging nerves. I had been sitting on this cold, hard seat for nearly forty minutes. I glanced at the clock on the wall again and the arms just ticked past two fifty. My heart had passed the stage of beating and had taken throbbing residence in my throat. The anxiety levels in the terminal had adopted a new level and my limbs began quivering in anticipation. I shifted my weight and clutched my sleeping son to my bosom, hoping he would bring me some form of comfort. His eyelids fluttered lightly as if they were butterflies preparing for flight. The quivering lids opened momentarily to reveal a pair of bright, green gems identical to his father’s; whom I had been anxious to see since he left. I longed to see his ragged, unshaven face again.
I dragged my stare from the child and fixed my gaze on the arrivals screen, waiting for the Washington flight from Singapore to land. As the arms of the clock stretched onto the three, the dials on the board clicked over to arrived. My breath hitched in my throat and I leapt out of my seat. Walking hurriedly to the arrivals gate, I scanned the terminal and many others began to follow. I stood there anxiously, clutching our son, waiting for the appearance of familiar green khakis and boots.
The grey washed doors swung open and soldiers began filling the room. I stood on my tiptoes to try and get a better look but to no avail. I began to adopt a sense of fear; worry filled my mind with pessimistic thoughts. My cheeks became flushed and my eyes watered with the heat of oncoming tears. As I let all the hope drain from my body I caught a familiar sound with my ears. I whipped my head around trying to find the source and I saw two recognisable big, emerald eyes gleaming at me.
He began to push through the crowd towards me, I attempted to do the same but my limbs had frozen from the overwhelming shock that had spread through me like a virus. I stood there, tears streaming down my already reddened cheeks and hands violently shaking. Blinded with tears I didn’t notice his closeness until strong, familiar arms enveloped me. After a few moments, one arm released its tight grip from me and gently caressed the face of his unseen son. A pair of emerald green eyes met his own and he welcomed the tears of rapture that had embraced his body. My body had begun to tingle with pure delight and a warm feeling began to encompass my heart.
He moved his head away from me and pursed his lips, lightly kissing his son’s forehead for the first time. Little fingers escaped their enclosure in the blanket and touched the rough, unshaven cheek that had met his face. Cooing softly, the infant wriggled out of the holds of the blanket and reached out for his father. Scooping the child up, Eric tenderly rocked the child, making up for lost time. His gaze switched from the baby to me, he sighed and smiled that smile I had come to know him for; a half-turn up at the cheek and the sight would just melt your heart. I hugged both of my beautiful boys and prayed to a god I didn’t believe in; "Thankyou…" I whispered.
My family was together.
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