I hate airport goodbyesAirport goodbyes are on the top of my list of Things Best Avoided. I am relieved that Daniel and I had our farewell the night before; especially since we ended up running late and his plane was due to depart in about 20 minutes. We spent most of the day in Life Café, having our last chess match (I WON!) and chatting. By the time we left the café, it was pouring like crazy and we huddled under Daniel’s brolly, as we navigated our way through Carpenter Street.
By the time we reached the airport, it was time to board the plane and we had a hasty goodbye hug. I waited outside the departure gate as Daniel stood in line for immigration. He kept turning around and waving to me, which was really nice but then I started to tear up pretty quickly and was gathering stares from the security guards and other people. And so I moved to a more discreet spot where I could watch Daniel and make sure that he got through immigration okay. However, he didn’t see me leave and he kept turning back to look for me. Part of me wanted to yell at him to say, “I’m right here! I never left!” but a complete silence from me was working to maintain what remained of my steadily crumbling composure. I’m not one for public scenes, especially in Malaysia.
I drove back home and the first thing my Dad asked me was, “where’s Daniel?”
“He’s left,” I replied, biting my lower lip.
“OH NO!” my dad cried. He didn’t really get to say a proper goodbye to Daniel and I think he’d miss him too. EVERYONE misses Daniel, including the Bartender-from-Hell. But ah, those two – they have a special relationship that only they can share amongst themselves. Marita’s fussy Rottweiler fell in love with him on first sight. Marita remains amazed because her dog has never been so immediately fond of a stranger. Apparently, she’s still pouting that he’s gone (the dog, not Marita – but she misses him too).
I don’t know what to say – I really, really miss him a lot too. The next couple of days are going to be really strange as I adjust to not having Daniel around. When I commented in his blog a few months ago that he should visit Sarawak, I never knew that it was going to set off a chain of events that would ultimately lead to me gaining such a wonderful, close friend. He really means so much to me – I would always be grateful for the thought-provoking conversations we shared inside and outside the rainforest. Would it be utterly corny to say that he has changed my life, for making me see my time on this earth in a different light? Because he has. He has made me want to act – PLAN to act – on dreams I previously stifled for a duty I felt bound to. He made me do an important thing for myself that I haven’t done in at least a couple of years. And with this knowledge in hand, I’m several steps closer to living a life that I choose for myself.
A comment on my previous entry asked if it was love calling.
Yes, it is.
But not the kind of love that you might be thinking of. It’s the love for a wonderful person, who I can proudly say, is my friend. For once, I’m not feeling my usual, short-lived intense crushes (that are usually physical and often delusional). Oh but don’t get me wrong – I think Daniel’s incredibly cute and attractive and he’s soooo nice and funny and wonderful to talk to and of course, not a day goes by without me thinking, “he’s the perfect guy – damn China” but I really, really can’t let myself get into a romantic kind of feeling for him because it would be futile anyway and like a wise one (or rather many wise ones – my friends) said, “tis better to have true friendship love than romantic love – you’d have him in your life forever”.
All this is a lot easier for me when I realize that we both have our separate life journeys, especially for now. But it doesn’t mean that I would miss him any less.