I had slept for most of the flight…waking to eat a warm vegetable pastry and sip a carton of mango juice. My neck felt stiff and I thought how wonderful it would be to have a steaming hot shower.
The little aeroplane symbol was flashing just above Kent. I glanced out of the window…fields of green began to give way to more urban settlements. Only 24 minutes remained before our arrival according to the screen. The crew, busy fastening and locking, were clearly anticipating the end of the journey even more than we were.
A ping accompanied the seatbelt sign. We began to descend. My ears started to pop. I reached for the Everton mint in my pocket, unwrapped the foil and let it dissolve on my tongue. Finally, the the wheels touched the tarmac.
Then the agonizing exercise of patience, as I waited for the couple opposite to unpack all of their hand luggage. I had no idea they would allow that much hand luggage into the cabin.
We disembarked slowly, painfully slowly, like we were stuck in a traffic jam outside a football stadium on derby day…but I didn’t want to be one of those belligerent types who pushes past others.
We trundle along…everyone with tired eyes and stiff limbs. Queueing through customs and passport control. We watched the luggage conveyer belt until we can finally retrieve our suitcases.
When the doors opened up before me, it took me a few seconds to register….he was standing, grinning, holding a beautiful bouquet of flowers. He looked a little shy when he saw the shock on my face. I forgot myself. I have no idea what other people thought when they saw me run towards the barriers and fling my arms around him.
I did not hear his first few words because I was still so thrilled that he was there. What could be more romantic than turning up at the airport to greet someone you care for?
He suggested we head for the coffee shop. There were one hundred things to share….but I was not taking much in. I was just happy to look at his lovely warm eyes and smile.
It’s a wonderful blessing to have a sweet, caring, romantic friend who will wait for you like that….and greet you with flowers and hugs and words that mean so much.