We waited for so long.
We waited for over a year. Sometimes it felt like the waiting would never end.
We watched as others came back. And still we waited.
We waited through flight delays and snowstorms, miscommunications and silly schedules.
On the other side there was waiting, too. Waiting in crowded places, waiting in the cold, waiting, waiting, waiting.
Then, when The Day came, we drove a few hours north to a big building and inside there were even more people waiting.
And we waited some more.
Little K waited.
“Do you want to make a sign?” a Nice Woman asked, holding out markers and paper.
Little K shook her head.
“I don’t want to make a sign,” she told me. “I don’t want to do anything. I just want to wait.”
I felt that way myself. I didn’t want to do anything, I didn’t want to think about anything, I didn’t want anything asked of me. Since waiting was the only thing left to do, I wanted to wait with all my might and main. Just wait.
K and I have done a lot of waiting together over the years.
She’s the best. The. Best. Period. End of story. Don’t argue with me.
Baby Blue chatted with Mr. and Mrs. Claus while he waited. It helped pass the time.
After the visit with the Clauses, we moved into the big hangar. The waiting there was almost tangible. It smelled of dirt and musty machinery, as it always does, and it hummed through the crowd.
Each time a sliver of light sliced the darkness by the door, my heart skipped a beat, but I couldn’t see much over the mob.
As I was checking, for the four thousand eight hundred and sixty-seventh time, to see if I still had both my camera and my purse with me, the cheering started.
The door had opened and soldiers were filing in to applause, cheers and catcalls. The waiting screamed with anticipation.
Four lines of soldiers stood at attention. Then…
The wait rippled through the crowd as it swelled and then ebbed. I scanned the sea of faces.
“There he is!” I heard K tell Little K and Baby Blue, and that family crashed together.
Where’s mine? I thought. I knew he’d find me at the back, but wait gripped me hard and held me immobile.
He strolled casually around a group of people and our eyes met.
I didn’t cry or run towards him or anything. But my lips wouldn’t stop trembling.
He paused as the crowd flowed into and then out of his way. I wanted to throw a trashcan.
But I just waited. It’s what I’m good at now.
Our eyes met again and we smiled a smile of understanding. One that twisted into a smirk. It said, Boy am I glad to see you. This crowd is kind of overdramatic and I just want to hug you and then get the hell out of here.
We are not publicly demonstrative people.
He walked up to me.
We reached for each other. And the wait was over.