After Ben and my aunt left, I went through security, which I thought took longer than it really needed to. My ticket already told me which gate I was at so now it was just a matter of if I could find it or not. This airport is different than Heathrow so that was throwing me off a bit.
Honestly Heathrow is the only other airport I’ve ever been to so I would probably be lost in any airport right now.
The last time I was at this airport was when my aunt came to pick me up with Ben. That day it was just a matter of finding them since all I had to go by was a picture of them that my mom had given me to help me find them waiting for me.
They had been waiting next to the baggage claim since I had checked my bags, and Ben was holding a piece of printer paper with the words ‘Welcome to America, Harry’ written out in his developing handwriting.
That had cleared up my nervousness some, but I had still felt nervous and awkward that day since I was there and going to be staying with family members I’ve only met once.
I let that memory go though when I finally found one of the big signs hanging from the ceiling that gave arrow directions pointing to the certain numbers of gates. I finally found the sign that showed the direction that the gates in the forties were in. So I walked straight ahead like the sign said until I reached my gate.
A lot of the seats in the section were taken which bothered me mostly because that meant there were going to be a lot of people getting onto the plane and I had been hoping that there wouldn’t be that many people, but of course I knew there probably would be. I still found a few open seats and I decided on one that was near one of the panel glass windows even though my back would be facing it.
As I was sitting there waiting, I played on my phone a bit, and once I checked the time I realized that I still had awhile to wait until the plane even got here, even longer to wait until they let people start boarding the plane. I was planning on waiting until I got onto the plane to start reading my magazine, but I decided that I would just start reading it now and I could probably knockout a few hours of the plane trip by sleeping.
I was unbelievably tired right now but I was too scared to fall asleep at the moment because I didn’t want to be sleeping when the plane came and not here that they’re boarding and miss my flight. I knew I probably would hear it, but I still felt it safe to stay awake right now.
So I opened up my magazine and began to read it until my plane came. I was about halfway through the magazine when I felt myself slowly begin to fall asleep but I kept making myself stay up.
It wasn’t until I noticed a presence standing in front of me and looked up to see who it was that I instantly woke up. Why was she here? How did she know I was here? How did she even get in here? So many questions that I had but I could only manage to get out one thing.
“Gabrielle?” I heard myself say as I stood up from the chair. It took me a few moments more I could actually form a coherent statement to say I was so shocked that she was here. I didn’t want her to be here, sitting here by myself I had finally been beginning to accept that I would be leaving this place today and all it’s people, but then she has to show up.
Earlier this week I had been having thoughts that I wanted her to know I was leaving and I wanted her to come to me, but I didn’t think it would happen, and now I didn’t want it to.
Of course my aunt had to tell her I was leaving but I didn’t get why Gabrielle waited so long to come to me about it, I knew that my aunt had to have told her sooner than the day or day before I was going to be leaving. The whole rest of the conversation was something that I really didn’t want to remember.
Our conversation was basically just her trying to convince me to stay for some damn reason that I didn’t know and her now understanding the fact that I was already here at the airport, I was leaving, and she wasn’t listening to any of my reasons.
She was picking out parts of my reason that she could use to argue back with instead of actually listening to me.
Everything she was saying was complete and utter bullshit and I just wanted her to stop. She wouldn’t stop though and I didn’t think I was ever going to get out of this conversation. I didn’t want to see her, I just wanted to get on the damn plane and be miles away from this place.
The fact that she was choosing now to come and talk to me bothered me and I just wanted to get out of here. I finally got a way to end this, leaving me with the last word as I brushed passed her and moved to a different seating area in my gate.
Once I had sat down in the new seat, I opened my magazine back up to make it look like my attention was now focused on the words in front of me instead of her. I couldn’t concentrate enough right now to read the magazine since she was still here.
I glanced up every now and then as I watched her begin to walk away from the gate. I quickly looked back down though when I saw her stand again and look at me for a few moments before finally walking away.
Once she was gone I sighed and closed that magazine in front of me and leaned my head backwards on the short backed chair. All I could think was why she had to show up right now. I wanted to stop thinking about it, but I couldn’t. The thought just kept pushing it’s why back into my mind and I couldn’t let it go. About twenty more minutes passed and I was still stuck with my thoughts being the only thing that I could concentrate on.
I was now beginning to wish that maybe I should’ve tried to actually talk to her. I didn’t want to admit it but I feared that I might actually miss her. The feeling was still a bit weird that I was going to be leaving. I promised myself that after I had said my goodbyes to my aunt and Ben that I wasn’t going to get emotional about leaving, but now thinking about what I should’ve done differently and how Gabrielle might be feeling right now was all I could think about now.
It wasn’t until I heard an announcement come on from my gate saying my plane was here that something else was finally in my thoughts. It was probably the best thing that I’d heard all day, knowing that the plane was here and I could leave. With a giddy feeling that may or may not be displayed on my face, I got up from the chair and began to wait for boarding to start.
Walking down the long metal hall that led to the plane as I boarded it felt somehow exhilarating. Mixed emotions filled me with each step I took getting farther and farther away from here and already closer to England.
I wasn’t sure if I wanted to smile or if I wanted to cry or what. It is so hard to leave a place, until you actually leave, and then it is the easiest goddamned thing in the world. I leave and the leaving is exhilarating, and I know I can never go back.
What Gabrielle had failed to understand that when it comes to my sport, it isn’t always about the success you have as much as it is about how much you enjoy what you’re doing. Playing hockey here I wasn’t enjoying it very much. There were rules and distractions and people hated you if you didn’t something they didn’t like.
Feeling like I belonged had always been very important to me. I needed to belong; I need to feel equal with everyone else. And while that may be impossible, I was further from it here than I was anywhere else. No matter where you are though, you’ll never really feel quite equal with everyone else, but for me, England was close enough, and it was what I needed right now, it was where I felt I belonged.
When I left England I left a ton of people who care about me, people who will continue to support me no matter what. Here I was just leaving two people who cared about me, and one person who I wasn’t sure off anymore. Gabrielle seemed to be in an insecure place.
Maybe one day I’ll come back, and if I do, I knew she was going to be one of the first people I would go and see. No matter what our past with each other is like, she was still the first person who made me feel like I might belong here in this place, and even though I didn’t belong here, she thought I did, and I’d never forget that.