July 15th, 1990
Night flight from LAX – LHR
Feeling utterly miserable as we wing our way home on the BA 282 which, thankfully, isn’t very busy. Some of the crew are taking advantage of the bunks on this two hour crew rest but I have too much I need to write.
The sadness began creeping in the minute the alarm woke us up at seven this morning, which, on a Sunday ought to be a crime. In between people watching on The Strand, we ate breakfast on the roof and chatted nonstop about nothing in particular.
In the car on the way to the hotel, David shocked me by asking how many kids I think I’d like.
“One,” I stated, with no forethought.
“No way. Only children are a nightmare,” he said, trying not to laugh, as I playfully whacked his leg. “Let’s try this again. How many kids do you see yourself with?”
He shook his head when I gave the same answer.
“Ok,” I said. “Your turn.”
“Three,” he said, with no hesitation. “Definitely three. At least.”
I laughed. “Wow, good luck with that!”
He squeezed my thigh and I watched him grin. He didn’t take his eyes off the road but his expression was so beautiful that I took a snapshot of it in my mind and know that image will be with me for a long time to come.
I felt the lump forming in my throat long before we got to the hotel and when we pulled into the parking spot I swallowed hard.
“Have a nice time with your family, I hope your mum enjoys her birthday.”
He squeezed my hand. “I wish you were coming with me.”
“Me too,” I said, my voice, cracking.
“Let’s figure out a way to get together again this month.”
“Yeah, why not,” he shrugged, gently wiping a tear off my cheek. “We can figure this out, I know we can.”
“I’d love that.”
“Deal,” I said, kissing him one last time.
The lobby was a hive of activity and I had a quick chat to some of my crew that were meeting for breakfast but aside from not being hungry, I knew I needed to cry so I went straight to my room.
I recognized Ben’s scribbly handwriting the second I opened my door and picked up the envelope. My first instinct was to tear it open but instead, I left it on the bed and went to take a shower. I’m a true believer that there’s no better place to sob your heart out, than in the shower and today was no exception.
By the time I emerged from what looked like a steam room, I felt much better but the prospect of spending the day alone was not at all appealing. Ben’s note taunted me from its spot on the bed and I tried to ignore it but clearly, willpower isn’t exactly my strong point.
Hey you give me a ring, I’m in room 301.
I met him in the lobby twenty minutes later.
“Fancy a stroll down to Venice Beach?” he asked, his voice a little shaky.
“Yeah, that sounds good.”
As we walked, an awkward silence between us, the irony of us being together in a place we’d long talked about visiting and maybe even living someday, was not lost on me.
Ben was the first one to speak.
“Are you in love with him?”
“Why are you asking?”
He shook his head. “Has he told you he loves you yet?”
“Uh huh,” I muttered.
He stopped in his tracks. “When did he tell you?”
I stopped and stared at him. “Two hours ago.”