Disclaimers: Well with this chapter we have come to the end of a journey with Kara and Jac. I hope that you have enjoyed the ride through my flights of fancy. Once again all the characters and situations depicted are products of a fevered mind or a most humiliating experience. Any resemblance to any one living or dead is purely coincidental. June 2006 ©.
Love and sex: Love is forever. If you have an issue with a loving relationship blooming between two women please read no further.
Acknowledgments: To my incredible betas who have dealt with faulty spelling, marginal grammar, and off the topic tangents in order to keep me looking literate and keeping this story on track. Thank you for the stretch, this story is better because of it. To my wonderful readers a very special thank-you for sticking with me and this story for so long. Some of you have kicked me in the ass (and you ladies know who you are) some of you have nagged while others of you have pushed, but ALL of you have been an amazing source of encouragement.
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I sat in one of those extremely uncomfortable plastic chairs at the gate where Jac, Sherri, and little Joshua had departed some time ago. I stared blankly out the large slightly smudged window. At one point my eyes tried to send signals to my brain of the beautiful sunset that had lit the sky with amazing color to no avail. The dark had somewhere along the line fallen, but I took no notice. The darkness for me had descended the moment Jac left my side.
The walk that had connected the gate to Jac’s airliner was retracted and locked into place. Outside was nothing but endless black, vast amounts of pavement and what seemed millions of miles of blue lights. On occasion my eyes noted a baggage cart or two zip across the tarmac, but other than that nothing registered on my radar.
I looked away from the large plate of glass to the cavernous terminal area that housed my lone form. It must be later than I thought. Time for me had stopped, but the seconds kept ticking away. All the gates were void of passengers as well as the neatly uniformed airline workers who took residence behind tall counters. It amazed me that this place which had been a bustle with the hundreds of people running for destinations unknown or to waiting family members was now still as a morgue. The immense hall that had been filled to overflowing, the consistently escalating voice of strangers was now grotesquely silent. I suppressed the urge to yell echo.
I looked down at my hand that fingered the coupon for a free flight to anywhere on You Took The Love Of My Life Away Airlines. I had been desperate to spend every last second with Jac, so I had bought a standby ticket for the same overcrowded flight that Jac had booked to return home.
I stared out the window into the blackness once again and let my mind wander back to the last moments Jac and I spent together. I blinked my eyes slowly. With each blink the hands of time turned backward.
“I can’t believe you did that,” Jac said.
“Did what?" I puffed down the corridor stretching my strides to keep up with the taller woman. We had just walked off the tram and were on our way to gate 69. (Ok you guys it’s just a coincidence.)
“That you bought a ticket so you could escort us officially to our gate.” Jac smiled, while her eyes twinkled a brilliant blue.
“What happens if a seat becomes available?” Jac smirked.
I could feel my lips twist. “You have a guest room, don’t you?”
“Why? That’s not where you would be sleeping anyway.”
Lucky for us there was a row of empty seats that faced the window. We settled into them so little Josh could watch all the activity that happens on the tarmac. Like any five year old, he jumped around with all the energy that comes with youth. Excitedly he jabbered to his mother about all he saw outside the glass pane. More than once he pulled the tall woman from her chair to see something he thought particularly fascinating.
With daughter and grandson occupied elsewhere it offered us a small degree of privacy. Not that we weren’t surrounded by other passengers, because we were. The gate was packed to overflowing, but Jac and I were someplace far far away from this bustling crowd. We were lone survivors of a shipwreck on a tropical island where there were no kids, or jobs, or anything else that could disturb our serenity. We sat as close to each other as the damnable airport chairs would permit. We held hands. Whispered in each others ears. Well most of the time what would appear to be whispers were actually stolen kisses.
“Momma! That’s our plane!” Those words stabbed me right through the heart. With those few syllables I collided head long with reality. Jac would have to leave. She had to return home. My mind knew this, but my heart didn’t care about logic. Right now it was a child that screamed, “Don’t Go!” while she attached herself to Jac’s trouser leg.
Regardless of any objection my heart could bring, the large 747 slowly taxied toward us unabated. There was a man who walked backwards his headphones firmly affixed to the sides of his head as he guided the plane to its parking slot. He appeared like an ant before the monolithic airliner. He placed the flashlights into an ‘x’ in front of his chest which cued the pilot to put on the breaks. The plane came to a smooth stop. I watched as the walkway crept to the door of the plane. With a jerk the covered walk was in place.
Not too long after that a flood of people poured out of the gate door. The young and old, infants in strollers, men and women of all shapes and sizes left the gate area heading to the baggage carrousel.
“Good afternoon. Flight 683 to San Francisco will be boarding shortly. Please have your tickets and your identification ready when your section is called.”
“Shit,” I growled.
“I know,” Jac replied.
I could feel tears burn my eyes. I had promised myself I wouldn’t cry, well, so much for that. There was no way I would be able to dam the flood of tears or emotions. I stood from the chair I had been sitting in, and I slowly walked the few paces to the window. I needed space to try to compose myself. I could feel Jac’s body heat behind me. Two strong arms slipped around my waist. I felt a chin softly settle upon my shoulder. I closed my eyes and breathed in her scent. I carefully recorded this in my memory banks so I could pull it up whenever I missed Jac desperately.
“Come with us,” Jac whispered.
I smiled weakly. “I wish I could.”
“I know.” I could hear the despair in her voice which only made the tears I’d been blocking begin to flow.
“Kara, they called your name.” Sherri’s voice cut through our private moment.
We both turned and Sheri repeated herself, “At the desk. They called your name.”
“Oh ok.” I wiped the tears from my eyes with the back of my hand. Stunned, I walked over to the counter where a uniformed perky blonde stood.
“I’m Kara Marlow, you called my name?”
“Why yes, Ms. Marlow, we had a seat open up.” I stared at her bewildered. This flight was way overbooked, how did I end up with a seat? The attendant cocked her head to the side. “Are you alright, Ma'am?”
I shook the cobwebs from my head. “Sorry, yes I’m fine. So you have a seat for me?”
“Yes Ma’am.” She smiled brightly. “You’re a lucky woman. It’s the last seat left.”
She was about to type in my boarding pass when a frantic woman virtually leapt up onto the counter. “Are there any seats left?”
“I’m sorry, Ma’am, this lady just got the last seat available.”
The small woman looked at me, tears rolling down a care creased face from bloodshot eyes. “Please Miss. I need to get to California right away. My daughter she is very sick. They say she’s dying. Please, I will pay you anything.”
For the briefest of moments I almost refused. I was as desperate to be with Jac as she was to be with her daughter. In that instant I absolutely hated my life, my obligations, and my responsibilities. But for only an instant. I turned my head. “It’s ok,” I squinted to read the young woman’s badge, “Jeananne. Give her my seat. She needs it more than I do.”
“Oh thank you. Thank you.” The woman took my hands and kissed each of them. “May the Good Lord Bless you.” With some effort, I retracted my hands from the weeping woman. I nodded and returned to where Jac, Sherri, and little Josh stood.
When I arrived Sherri patted me on the shoulder and led her son to the entrance of the gangway where the other fist class passengers were already gathered. Jac’s arms gathered me into a warm strong embrace. There wasn’t anything really left to say. I mean, it wasn’t like we wouldn’t ever see each other again, but to me at least, it felt like my right arm was being ripped off, then I would, of course be expected to function without it as if the appendage was still attached. I wasn’t sure I could do this again. Move on, without the person I loved by my side. I wasn’t sure I was strong enough for it.
“Yes you can.” Her voice was like a balm to my soul. It didn’t even cross my mind to ask how she knew what I was thinking. “Just think about what we talked about last night. Ok?”
I just nodded. I couldn’t verbalize anything.
“It’s not goodbye, it’s until we meet again. Right?” Jac stated.
“Yes, you’re right.” I tried so hard to smile, but it just wouldn’t come.
“All first class and Gold Club members please come to the front for boarding.” The loud speaker boomed.
She kissed me on the cheek, and then pulled away. She turned so she could join Sherri and Josh who had just gotten in line to board. “Oh Hell!” she growled.
She walked determinedly back to where I stood, grasped my face in her hands and kissed me. With that kiss she imparted an “I love you” that would sustain me through those long lonely nights to come. Then in a flash she disappeared down the gangway.
I blinked my eyes, once, twice. The warm sunny afternoon disappeared to be replaced with the cold dark night.
My hip vibrated which startled me. Faintly the song I Want To Be Your Lover floated through the still air. I stood in order to pull my cell from my pocket.
“Hey. Home all safe and sound?” My voice echoed in the near empty concourse. Silence returned while I listened to Jac’s silky tones. “Cool. Me, I’m just sitting around.”
A custodian had leaned down to pick up a crumpled piece of paper from the rug then looked at me with an unsure expression. She looked around the empty concourse before she pushed her cart past the place where I stood. She probably was wondering what the hell I was doing in the empty area. I smirked, she was probably wondering if she should call security on me or not.
“OH! Yeah, I’m still here. No, I’m ok, well as ok as I can be.” Pause, “Yeah, I love you too. Talk to you tomorrow? Great. Until then.” I snapped my phone shut put it back in my pocket. I looked at the ring on my hand and kissed the cool metal.
With slumped shoulders I walked down the long corridor that eventually would lead me to the trams that would take me back to the main section of the airport. From there I would hopefully find my way back to the correct part of the parking garage where my car was parked. It’s going to be a long lonely trip home.
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