Thursday, October 31, 2013

'Til The City Do Us Part

Joshua made his way over to my row. He was wearing my favorite blue polo of his. (Damn him!) It was my favorite because of the way  it complimented his sun kissed tan.

My heart began to pace rapidly as Joshua made his way over. Everything seemed to be going in slow motion. His sleeves rolled over his muscles as he threw his luggage into the over head compartment effortlessly.

He sat in the empty seat next to me. We both pretended as if the other wasn't there. Just as Joshua opened his mouth the captain came on the PA to welcome us onto the flight. Joshua sighed and slightly dropped his head.

I could feel his pain. I turned towards the window. I couldn't let him see me with tears in my eyes. I wanted to put up a strong front. It was too late to turn back now. 5 minutes later our flight had taken off.

Joshua finally mustered up the courage to look at me.“So, were you ever going to tell me? Was this the plan since the beginning?”

 Ugh. I couldn't believe this was happening.

“Joshua, this was never the plan. I wanted to tell you. I really did. But you kept talking about our future. I wasn't ready for that.”

“If it wasn't something you were ready for, you could have talked to me about it. Dammit Lynn!” he covered his eyes with his hand and took a deep breathe to calm himself.

“Kadie told me everything. I couldn't believe it. I thought it was another one of her cruel jokes. So I went over to your parents place hoping to see you there. But instead they kept asking me why I didn't come to the airport to drop you off. And..and that's when I knew...”

“Damn, you made it here pretty fast!” I tried lighting the mood. We were on a 4 hour flight for God sakes!

“Lynn, this isn't the time for your sarcasm. I want to know why. Why are you doing this to me”

 It had only been 7 minutes since take off and I knew this would be the longest flight of my life.

“You're the most amazing guy I've ever met. Honestly Josh, it's unreal how perfect you are.”

 I could tell by Joshua's face that I had caught him off guard.

“And I think that's what scares me the most. I felt like everything was too planned out. I always felt like, like I just didn't belong. You were star quarterback and prom king in high school, top of your class in college, and now you're working this amazing job. You kept talking about wanting to start a life together, wanting to have a family. But where's my plan in all of this? I never had a say in anything. You just assumed I would drop everything for you. You never cared to know what I wanted from this relationship.”

I rolled my head back and looked over at Joshua. It was the first time he seemed to be paying attention to what I had to say.

“It wasn't bound to work out, Joshua. We're in two separate places in our lives. You're ready to settle, and I'm ready to get out in the world. It just wasn't meant to be...for now at least.”

Joshua seemed uneasy about coming to terms with my last statement.

“It doesn't mean we can't be together. You can go to New York, do what you have to do, and come back. We can work through the distance!”

“This is exactly what I'm talking about. You just want me to get this out of my system, and then what? Come back and be your housewife who cooks you dinner and cleans up after the kids for the rest of her life? But what if it's something I want long term?”

At this point I could see Joshua's aggravation.

“I've always wanted the best for you Lynn Lee, but I hope you know you're making a huge mistake. That city is going to chew you up and spit you out. And what will you have to show for it? Nothing. I know you're wanting to find your independence, but I swear I know you, you won't be able to handle it. Just skip the drama and come home.”

I couldn't believe Joshua had taken such a tone with me. And it was even harder to grasp the fact that he didn't have an ounce of faith in me.

The next 3 and half hours were spent in complete silence. It turned out to be beneficial. It gave us both some time to think. By hour 2 I felt like I could understand where Joshua was coming from. He had it all and he just lost the last puzzle piece to his perfect life. I would be upset too if I were in his shoes. But I wasn't going to let this stop me. If anything Joshua's words helped me to realize that I had to do any and every thing possible to make sure I was successful. I had to face my fears. I had to prove him wrong.

What seemed like the longest flight ever had finally ended. Our plane landed at La Gaurdia Airport. Joshua and I made our way through the plane and out into the terminal.

I pointed at his bag, “Are you planning on staying?”

He looked down at his carry on, 

“I was planning on staying a few days to convince you to come back. But, I guess...”

“'re right” I knew exactly what he was about to say and I couldn't bare to start that conversation over again.

“Josh, I didn't tell you because I would rather have you hate me for not telling you I was leaving then to have you hate me for wanting to leave.”

   Joshua dropped his bag and came in closer towards me. The smell of his cologne was making me nostalgic for the days we couldn't live without each other. His cold hands wrapped around either side of my face. I could feel a single tear roll down my cheek. Joshua's piercing green eyes said everything. He leaned in and our lips softly touched. We kissed one last time.

And that was the end of Joshua. I was in the Big City now.

Come Fly With Me

I finally made my way through airport security with half an hour to spare before my flight. This was it. This was the last time I would be in Texas.

When I finally found my gate, I plopped my bags down, and let out a great big sigh. I'm not sure if it was a sigh of relief or nervousness. But I was sure that this would be the beginning of a new life.

I slid into my seat so my head could rest on the back of the chair. My sweater had risen up a little bit as I had done so and I hadn't attempted to pull it down. My hair was half pinned with a ton of fly-aways and my boots were just barely on.

I was so excited to finally pull out my tan knee-high Tory Burch riding boots. The thing about Texas is, we only have one season and that's Summer. I had spent so much money on these damn boots I was determined to wear them any chance I got. Which was a grand total of one week in December when it's actually considered “cold” or anytime you leave the house before the sun rises because it's below 80 degrees and that's reasonably chilly to us. So today, I was in luck. Even if it meant jumping from wall to wall to pull these suckers off.

If there's one thing my mom taught me about traveling, it's to always hold your biggest coat in hand. It saves you a shit ton of space in your suitcase. I would always smirk at the flight attendants when carrying my two carry on items and a coat. As if I had found a loop hole in the system and some how out witted them in their own game. But I was definitely regretting it at this moment.
I inhaled a deep breath and slowly shut my eyes. I started to think of all the amazing memories I was leaving behind. I was born and raised in a small town in Texas. My whole life was here. My parents, all of my friends, but most importantly my best friend since grade school Kadie and my high school sweetheart Joshua.

I had to stop myself from reminiscing about the past. Because thinking about the past only brought me back to thinking of the future. My mind had started filling up with unanswered questions. Was I making the right choice? Would I be okay in a big city filled with unfamiliar faces? Who would I call if I was lost? I could feel another anxiety attack coming on.

I had dreams of living in New York since the day I was born. I saved every penny I had until my sixteenth birthday and took my first plane ride to the City. I have to say, I left a piece of my heart behind. I yearned for the day I would be able to go back. And now I had the perfect excuse. I was accepted into Mount Sinai's medical program. The past four years of my life were endless studying and turning every social outing into group studies. As annoyed as my friends had been, it worked out in my favor. I was finally about to live out my dream. It was the first time this thought had occurred to me.

When I found out I was moving to New York. I was ecstatic, of course. But that's when the initial jitters came in. Being from a small town, I started thinking a big move like this was unrealistic. I may have gotten into Mount Sinai, but that doesn't mean I would be able to make it in the City. I was just a small town girl living in a lonely world taking the midnight train going anywhere. (Okay so that last part may or may be lyrics to a Journey song. No telling.) This sudden anxiety made me hesitant to tell my friends. Nothing would be more embarrassing than backing out at the last minute. I would have been known as the girl who failed at accomplishing her dreams.

Aside from my parents, Kadie was the only other person to know about my recent happenings. She's been my biggest supporter. She thinks if someone has a chance to reinvent themselves, they should totally go for it. Which is why I'm here. I decided to take Kadie's advice and leave everything behind. Start over fresh. Even if that means leaving behind Joshua.

I know what you're thinking. It's so sick and twisted of me to not give my boyfriend of 5 years a heads up that I'm leaving to a completely different state and that I probably won't see him anytime soon. But, I was scared. After we graduated college there had been rumors that Joshua was going to take the leap and propose. Which pre-acceptance letter, would have made me the happiest girl in the world. But now that I knew I was being given a chance? And to not take it? I didn't want to end up like every other girl in this town. Married and pregnant before the young age of 24. Getting together for play dates and complaining about a life that could have been. This just wasn't for me. And I couldn't bare to look into Joshua's eyes and break his heart.

Which is why I never told him I was leaving. I figured a clean break would be good. We could both move on without either person being around. It would be easy. Kadie may have encouraged me to go, but she was completely against how I was choosing to leave. I promised her I would tell Joshua before I left. But I knew I wouldn't.

Once I received my acceptance letter everything was so hectic. It seems like such a blur now. All I remember from the last few months is graduation. I walked across the stage, threw my hat into the air, and then...and then I was here. Sitting with my eyes half open, slouching in my chair, and my hair everywhere. I sat up and fixed my sweater.

I couldn't believe I was just now having this revelation. All my hard work had paid off and I was finally about to become a resident of New York. Even if it came with a hefty price of enduring Medical school. Even if it meant leaving my boyfriend behind. Even if it meant I was the worst person alive.

What was I doing? How could I just leave him like that? I felt my eyes well up with tears. By the look of the man sitting across the waiting area I must have been making my Kim Kardashian cry face. I straightened myself up while trying to blink back the tears.

Finally the flight attendant came over the PA and began the boarding. I grabbed my bags, took one last look around and made my way into the plane.

I shimmied through the narrow aisle (damn you, coach!) and found my way to my seat. As I sat down I was shocked at what I had seen.

Standing at the entrance of the plane, with luggage in hand, was Joshua.