Last year at this time, I had a plan, and a boy arriving to see me. He was damaged, but he was here. I hugged him and felt the pieces fall slowly, finally, into place.
Life is different nowadays.
I have a job – steady, reassuring, there. I have a home – for now. I have family, friends, and coworkers who leave me truffles on my desk and write me sweet notes. I have shining little faces who whisper “Hello!” as I pass in the hallway, who smile up at me as though I were a real adult. (Wait, am I a real adult now?)
But I’m still in between.
I still miss the part of Spain I carry around with me in my heart. I still miss cooking dinner, watching television, reading the newspaper aloud together, walking along the cobblestone streets of Salamanca, drinking red wine to which the wine here can never compare. I remember the way it rained when I said goodbye to his mother. Being a Spanish woman of a certain age, she barely reaches my shoulder. She gave me dos besos, and patted my arm slowly, not willing to say goodbye, only see you later. I cried as I walked up the stairs, a sense of finality in it all, a sense that I would not turn back.
I think of the way we said goodbye and how it didn’t seem real. How could this be real? How could I be forced to leave him, to say goodbye indefinitely? I couldn’t bare to watch him walk away as I waited forever at security, holding my gray tray, tears dripping down my cheeks. I’ve not seen him since, except for on a computer screen, his voice muffled by the distance.
And so we wait. We wait for many situations to work themselves out before we act: jobs and visas and plane prices and frequent flier miles and vacations. We wait in the in between, the not quite here and not quite there. We are used to it, this in between. But we take a small comfort in the fact that the in between is just that. It is not forever, endless, always. It’s temporary, for now, ethereal. It’s here and then it’s gone. So we breathe, fall asleep to the sound of crickets or voices on the streets below, and hope that tomorrow is the beginning of the end for the in between.