This week while watching some crappy television, soppy movies and reading some romance novels (procrastinating from yet another assignment), I scoffed at some of the “Hollywood” reunions between the main characters. After their heart-wrenching (often brief) separation the day of their reunion would arrive. They would lock eyes, everything around them would become a blur, their luggage (there’s often some sort of bags) would be dropped instantly, without any thought of leaving unattended baggage at an airport, as they rush towards each other. He would then lift her in a strong, powerful embrace kissing her passionately, with no concern over indecent public displays of affection or grossing out the kid that was walking past them. Well, sorry to burst your bubble, but real life is nothing like the characters of Hollywood movies or our favourite fiction. Real life is full of awkward moments and sometimes I think Hollywood is setting us up for disappointment. I shamefully admit, I’ve read Fifty Shades of Grey and other similar fiction and I’ll tell you now, if real life was like that, no one would be leaving their bedrooms and the world as we know it would cease to exist. So let’s just remember that Hollywood moments are fiction and don’t be disappointed if your reunion is more “awkward moment” than “Hollywood moment”. Real-life reunions go something like this….
The day that I have been dreaming about for longer than I’d like to remember had finally arrived, the memory of our separation was too painful to consider, this was the day and I didn’t want to feel anything but happiness.
The last time we said goodbye, we had no idea when we would see each other again. That was the hardest thing about our separation, I think, not knowing when. What took him away was beyond our control, but we knew it had to happen before our life together could really start. During the long months we were apart, I began to feel as though the day would never arrive, the day when we would be together again. I had fantasized in my head many times what it would be like the first time we saw each other, after spending so much time apart. I imagined it would be something straight out of the movies. I would be waiting anxiously, scanning every person, every face that came through the doors. Then suddenly, he would be there. Our eyes would lock on each other and everything else around us would be out of focus, everything else would cease to exist for that brief moment. Then he would rush to me and lift me into his arms, pulling me into the strength and warmth of his embrace that I had longed for during those long lonely months, kissing me passionately.
In reality, the reunion was nothing like that. I was nervous and sick to my stomach, I was worried that we might not recognise each other after all this time. My worry was all for nothing though, I think there may have been a brief moment when we locked eyes and the world around went out of focus, but after that the long awaited reunion was full of awkwardness. As I watched him approach with an undoubtedly goofy grin on my face, there was no rushing, no Hollywood style dramatic embrace, instead it was a timidly placed kiss and a silly gift that now I think was probably completely pointless. I think I cried a bit, I didn’t have any words at that moment. All those months when I just wanted to see him and talk to him, without having to use a phone and then he was there, right in front of me and I had no words.
It was a surreal experience, after all the time we spent waiting, not knowing when this day would arrive and now it had, all I could do was quietly observe, not really believing that it was happening.
After the awkward reunion, it didn’t take us long to settle back to what we were before that difficult time, but it wasn’t the same as before, we weren’t the same. As a couple we had already been through so much and we would be forever changed for that, but it was a change for the better, we were stronger, we appreciated the time we had together.
No matter how difficult those times apart were and how painful it was, I never want to forget. I never want to forget the pain and the loneliness I felt, even in a room full of people. I never want to forget what we went though, because it was then that I realised what love really was, I was young but I knew it was love, because being away from someone shouldn’t hurt that much. Sometimes the pain was almost unbearable but somehow we got through it all and we are stronger for it. Absence doesn’t necessarily make the heart grow fonder, my love for him didn’t grow through our separation but I began to understand the depth of love I felt, absence makes the heart understand and appreciate love and to cherish it always.
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