The Long Way Around the World

By Kel

Disclaimers: The story itself doesn't require a disclaimer because the idea for the story is mine and I made up the names. However, this story was based on the lives to extraordinary women that I am fortunate enough to be able to call friends.

Violence: Other than the unfortunate fate of a gym bag and set of keys, there is no violence in this short piece.
Love: Oh yeah, there is some very serious, intense loving going on in this. However, there is no sex. Sorry to disappoint, but to me the hibbity-dibbity would take away from what this story is really about. There is some reference to it, but it isn't described in any detail. Oh yeah, the lovin' going on here is going on between women so if that offends you, you're too young to be reading it (<18 years old), or live in a place that considers this kind of stuff illegal, please go no further.
Hodge Podge: The song and title of this story was taken from a song by Ronnie Milsap. No copyright infringement was intended…I was just listening to it one night and got the idea for this story. This is only my second attempt at this writing thing, so feedback is greatly appreciated. Please let me know what you think.

        I threw my gym bag in the corner when I walked through the door and my keys met the same fate but in a different direction. I'd had enough. Not only was I frustrated beyond belief due to finals and work, but Kayla and I just couldn't seem to agree on anything anymore and time was a luxury that I hadn't possessed. She was angry, I was angry and frustrated and the only consolation was that I had just finished up my last exam, the past semester had finally come to an end. The fact that most of my stress was supposedly over, didn't do much to squelch the fire inside me and I needed an out badly. I admit that I was feeling sorry for myself and that most people I knew were dealing with stresses very similar to mine, but I didn't really care at that point. As far as I was concerned, no one else's problems seemed to matter. I wanted more time to myself, more time to spend with my girlfriend. For 4 months I had run myself ragged between classes, work, and other obligations that I just wanted, no, needed some time to get my life in order. Above all, I knew that if I didn't find a way to make time for my girlfriend that I wouldn't have a girlfriend much longer. The fact that she was always at my apartment and that we had almost all our classes together didn't seem to matter because I wanted more. I wanted time with her away from the books, away from work, and away from everyone else.
        I flopped heavily onto my couch and once again cursed life and the rotten deal I thought I had received this past semester. Laying my head back against the arm of the couch, I sighed heavily and closed my eyes. My last thoughts as I slipped into sleep were of schedules, classes, and of Kayla. As far as I was concerned, no one else understood what I was going through and no one knew what it was like to feel that there just wasn't enough time. At that last thought I drifted off into sleep.
        I awoke what seemed like several hours later and was immediately disoriented as I realized that I wasn't in my apartment. "Where am I?" I questioned out loud. No one answered me and I sat up slowly, trying to get my bearings and figure out what was going on. I realized that I had been sleeping on a bench in an airline terminal. "Now what am I doing here?" I thought to myself. The other people waiting seemed oblivious to my presence and I was really getting freaked out. "Okay, Kel," I told myself, "Obviously you are still asleep and it doesn't appear you are waking up any time soon. Now, let's try and figure out exactly what you are doing dreaming about an airline terminal so you can finally wake up." I was drawn out of my thoughts when I saw a tall, dark hair woman approaching me. She was gorgeous. She was tall, almost 6 feet, with short dark hair and light eyes that twinkled as if she knew that the love of her life was waiting for her somewhere close by. She sat down next to me and I attempted to greet her, but she didn't notice me at all. "Okay, that answers that question. I'm dreaming and I'm invisible to everyone in my dream. Perfect. So what happens now." Just as that last thought came to me, an announcement that the flight arriving at gate 32 had arrived. This mystery woman jumped to her feet and ran to the gate. "Well, I guess she's really missing whoever is on that flight," I said aloud. I figured if no one could hear me that I didn't have to keep my thoughts to myself. Passengers coming through the gates greeted their loved ones with open arms and kisses, but the tall, dark haired beauty was still anxiously waiting. I thought that everyone had disembarked, when I didn't see anyone come through the gate for several seconds and felt a twinge of pity for the tall woman. "I guess whoever she was waiting for wasn't on the flight." Just then, a small, beautiful woman with a fair complexion came through the gate and was engulfed by 6 feet of muscle, bone, and pure love and joy as the tall woman swept her into her arms. "Wow!" I could feel the intensity of their connection from where I sat on the bench.

        The tall woman, oblivious to the surrounding crowd set the smaller woman on her feet and kissed her with such passion and love that I blushed and had to turn my head from the intimate moment. When they parted and started walking toward the baggage claim, I couldn't help but follow them. I was intrigued, but I didn't know why. My thoughts began to run rampant in my head. "I guess the little one has been gone for a while. Obviously she was terribly missed and vice versa. They are an absolutely gorgeous couple. The compliment each other. One tall and dark, the other small and light. They are both completely stunning."

        I watched and followed them, both unaware of my presence, as they collected baggage and walked out to their car. I couldn't very well get in the car with them, so I watched them drive away and felt happy that they had been returned safely to each other. Just as I wished I could have learned a little more about them, I felt myself get light headed and the world around me started to turn. As I headed for the ground, I braced myself for an impact that never came as my world went black, and then righted itself once again.

This time I found myself standing inside a church where dozen's of people were laughing and talking loudly around someone I couldn't quite see. Figuring that no one could see me, I made my way through the crowd and once again, found myself in the presence of the two women from the airport. I stood there in amazement as seemingly endless people engulfed the smaller woman in open arms and constantly took her attention and presence away from her tall lover. I listened to the conversation around me and realized that the smaller woman's name was Michelle and the taller was Lynn. From what I gathered, Michelle had been gone for nearly 7 months on a mission trip to New Zealand. Immediately I felt admiration and respect for both women for having endured such a separation, but also for letting God lead them on their way. "That must have been awful for them. I mean, they are so obviously in love with each other that this trip must have been agony for them both." Eventually, I saw that Lynn had been left to her own devices with the chattering mob as Michelle was pulled aside by another group of people. I followed Michelle, though I'm not sure why, but never took my eyes off Lynn who seemed to feel Michelle' loss.

        Again, from conversation alone, my respect for these women increased even more than it already had when I discovered that they had only been together a few months before Michelle had to leave. "Wow! Lynn must be one incredible woman to get involved with someone who would be leaving so soon and Michelle must have the courage of a thousand ages in order to leave Lynn in order to follow with God's plan for her life. What an inspiration!" I watched them move about the crowd and hug and exchange stories, but it didn't seem that Michelle and Lynn were all too excited about being in this place. It was obvious that they loved their friends dearly, but they just didn't seem too enthusiastic about prolonging their visit. I was pondering all of the information I had gathered so far when it hit me…"They need time!!" I shouted. I knew no one could hear me, but oh I wished they could have. Lynn and Michelle had been apart for months and between jobs, time zones, and distance they had not been able to spend one moment together. As another group tried to tear Michelle away from Lynn I jumped to my feet and screamed, "Leave them alone! Let them go, they need to be with each other. They need time. They need time!!!" I cried. I flopped down onto one of the pews and began crying. I felt like such a jerk. When I fell asleep I had been so consumed with myself and my needs that it never occurred to me that there were other people who were in worse circumstances than mine but were making them work. God had a plan for all of us and things were done on His time not ours, just like He had planned the love, the separation, and the reuniting of Lynn and Michelle. I curled up into a ball and cried. I cried long and hard at my own callousness. I fell asleep.

        When I awoke this time, I knew I was still dreaming. I was now sitting in a room lit by candles with soft music playing in the background, with Lynn and Michelle swaying to the music held tightly in each other's arms. I watched as they gazed lovingly into each other's eyes and my heart lightened as I saw that they had finally found time to be together. I wandered out of the room to give them their privacy and sat down on a nearby chair. I contemplated all that I had learned during my dreamscape. I had already thought that they were remarkable, but when I put together all of the facts I had learned about their meeting, their separation, the steadfast love, and their reunion I wanted to cry all over again. I had definitely been a fool. These women had literally been a world apart both in distance and time, yet they still managed to be together. I wished that these women were real and that I would one day have the pleasure of meeting them. Something in me twitched and somehow I knew I was about to wake up. Before I left my dream, I walked back to where Lynn and Michelle were dancing. The music seemed to be louder this time and I listened carefully to the words as I faded into wakefulness:

In the daily rush of things, if we stop to think it seems
We never have time alone
Doing things we have to do,
Not much time for me and you
Before you know it, it will all be gone
Let's take the long way around the world
Sharing each other as we go
Let's take the long way around the world
And let's take it real slow.
I get hungry just talk,
To take your hand and take a walk
I never have you to myself enough
The two of us are really one
When it's all said and done
The only thing that really lasts is love
Let's take the long way around the world
Sharing each other as we go
Let's take the long way around the world
And let's take it real slow.
        I awoke with a start and realized I was back in my reality. The intensity of the dream I had just witnessed was still with me and I cried once again. Lynn and Michelle, though I had never met them had touched a very deep part of my heart and had given me back a perspective I had lost through my anger, frustration, and selfishness. With the same song from my dream in my head, I got up and drove to Kayla's house. As soon as she opened the door, I took her into my arms and swore that I would never let go. I kissed her with a passion that had been lacking for so long, she, though stunned returned it with ferocity. Long into the evening and night, Kayla and I made love and whispered words of affirmation to each other. I had told her about the dream and she agreed that Lynn's and Michelle' story was truly remarkable. As Kayla drifted off to sleep, tucked safely under my arm, I thought of my dream and of the remarkable women I met there. I hoped that if they were real, they would continue to let God lead their lives as they had shown me I needed to do. I don't know where it came from but, I looked at Kayla's sleeping face and whispered that everything would work out in God's time. I figured that somewhere inside my head, Lynn and Michelle were saying those words to each other. As I drifted off to sleep, I smiled as I imagined Lynn and Michelle embarking on their journey of life together…sharing their lives, taking everything slowly and with purpose as they took they long way around the world.

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