across the universe
“Isn’t that pretty!” Smiled the flight attendant-possibly on Prozac-while checking in my bag. “Oh and you’re going to France, you lucky duck!”
I didn’t feel that way. I didn’t feel ready to say goodbye to my family this time around. It was so quick. I barely saw my brothers. I never got to make rack of lamb for my parents. I didn’t walk by the ocean enough. I didn’t tell my friends I loved them enough. I’m always so eager to leave, and yet this time I didn’t feel ready.
I put my affair with Paris on hold for a quick fling with Vancouver, and it was good, it was really good. But it’s hard to have a quick fling when you have such a history together.
I left Paris with my head planted so firmly on my shoulders, but during my stay it seemed to float a few feet above my body. I had so much I wanted to stay, but was so nostalgic and overwhelmed that I often stood a few feet away, trying to take it all in.
Early in the morning I packed away my last possessions and zipped up my suitcase. I hastily applied make-up, my stomach turning and my head a mess. Saying bye to my dad, I turned away before he could see me cry. I waved to him as he backed out of the driveway, wanting one last connection before we left each other’s lives again.
Driving to the airport my brother asked me how I felt. Even I was shocked by the heavy sobs that came out in response.
At the airport my mother held onto me. We both clutched a coffee in one hand, each other in the other. I’ve never seen either of us cry at the airport, but there we were, tears forming in the corner of our eyes, grasping for one last moment.
It won’t be that long before I’m home again, and then off to university. But somehow the idea of three months without so many loving arms hit me hard. The idea of going back to a job where I’m always on edge, and a city where I’m always on guard, hit me with another blow.
It wasn’t until I was walking back down Avenue de Versailles that I realized this was home too. Paris is another universe, but right now it's my universe. It’s home to my independence, to experience, to culture, and to a beauty that's beyond me.
May the love affair continue, I’m back.