London, United Kingdom
It’s here, the day of departure. Despite the excesses of last night, Pete left bright and early for football – we pretended nothing was happening. I rushed my own excess in two big boxes to the Post Office to ship back to Sydney – we pretended nothing was happening. Vic made us a last meal of Linda McCartney pies – we pretended nothing was happening. I packed my bag and deflated my bed – we pretended nothing was happening. Pete came home from football – we pretended nothing was happening. We left for the airport – we pretended nothing was happening. Fireworks went off all around for Guy Fawkes night – we pretended nothing was happening. We arrived at the airport – something was happening…
Over these past several months, Vic and Pete have not only given me a place to lay down my bags but also my burdens. Not just a place to stay but a place to live. Not just hosts but a de facto family. In essence, they have given me a home and all that that implies – comfort, security, protection, advice, acceptance, nourishment and unlimited, unconditional love. To say it’s a wrench to leave this behind for an uncertain future where the very notion of ‘home’ remains an unsolved mystery, would be an understatement. And yet I leave so much stronger and better prepared to face all that still lays ahead for my time here in the warm embrace of these angelic human beings. Thank you doesn’t go far enough but thank you none the less.
We had one last drink at the airport bar before the boarding and flood gates opened. Final hugs given and received, I dragged my sobbing self through passport control and to the plane that would take me to a tomorrow where anything is possible.
On board, I opened the handmade card and gorgeous gift Vic and Pete had given me – a silver key on a chain. I put it on immediately, clutching it as I tried to settle myself with my usual onboard routines. No sooner had I planned out my viewing schedule, we took off and they announced the inflight entertainment system wasn’t working.
It’s going to be a long flight!