I just wanted to be home.
It was so sad. Such a waste. I had a month in Japan and spent the last three weeks of it wishing I wasn't there because I longed to see a man I'd known a week.
Was I stupid? Yes. This is stupid.
"You're being stupid," my friend, Charlie announced over the phone. "Stop freaking out and get some sleep. I don't want to pick you up from the airport as a zombie."
And I dreamt about that kiss. It was incredibly romantic, being scooped up in an airport like that. I wished I'f gotten his email, or FaceTime info, or Skype, Whatsapp... Anything! Geez! It's stupid the number of ways in which we could have kept in touch, and yet I didn't ask for one. And I gave him my local number, which doesn't work while I'm overseas.
I really am stupid.
The next morning, I boarded my flight. No romantic, longing kiss that just screams I'll miss you. Just a snoring older woman on my right and a businessman on my right. In flight movies. Free soda. No kiss.
Charlie picked me up once I landed.
"You stupid zombie woman," she said and poked at the bags under my eyes after she hugged me hello.
"Coffee me now, please," I said, instantly missing the coffee vending machines to which I had grown accustomed to over the past month.
We got in line at Starbucks.
I sucked my coffee down at baggage pickup.
My life felt routine again already, and I was bored to tears.
"When did you start wearing jewelry?" Charlie asked as we brought my bags into our apartment. "And that ring looks like a wedding ring. Were you trying to avoid getting hit on while you were in Japan? I thought you said you met a guy you liked."
I took too long to answer her rapid fire questions.
"Wait a minute, you didn't get married, did you?"
And I was a terrible liar, so that pretty much sealed to deal for keeping this a secret. I can't believe I left the ring on. I didn't even remember putting it on this morning. I think I had reasoned that it would be less likely to get stolen if it wasn't in my bag. I don't even know. But, it didn't matter anymore.
"Did you marry the guy you spent a week with? Or did you meet someone else and marry him after the next three weeks?" She was mad. Her face was turning red.
"One week," I said quietly.
"How did this happen, you dumb fool?"
"Don't pull any punches, now," I smiled as she pulled me into the apartment, shut the door, and pushed me into the sofa.
She pointed at me, "I won't. Explain."
So, I told her about the game show. I told her about the karaoke, offering to take care of him, and the subsequent several days of having the most fun with any one person in my life (once he stopped saying boring things), and the kiss in the airport.
"Pick up your jaw and wipe the drool off of my floor," she said when I was done, her arms crossed over my chest. But, she smiled.
"So, are you going to look for him? Give him a call?"
"I gave him my number, but I forgot to ask for his," I told her sadly. "I told him when I was flying home, so hopefully he'll call soon. If he hasn't forgotten about me."
She smirked, her eyes sparkling. She knew something.
"What?" I asked.
"He called and I took a message for you before I picked you up, you dumb zombie fool" she said. "It came up on your computer since you've got it set to forward your calls. But it's five am, damn international flights. You want to call him? Be my guest. The number is saved on your desktop."
I bolted off the couch and ran to the computer. His number was there. He picked up after one ring.
"Harley?" He answered.
"Hey, Thomas," why was my heart racing so quickly?
"You made it home safely," he sounded relieved. "Are you tired? You can call me later if you need to rest."
I shook my head and said, "No, no, I need to stay up. Try and get over this jet lag."
"Ok, good," I could hear I'm smile over the line. "Hey, do you want to meet for breakfast?"