Friday, April 17, 2009

Returning Home

Originally posted August 23, 2008 11:15 PM

I’ll be home in the morning” I text Brandon from the airport waiting to board. A few minutes later my phone vibrated, “What time will you be in? I’ll pick you up.” I smiled. “5:30, is that OK?” I sent to him. “I’ll be waiting.” Is what I got back. My body exhaled a huge rush of relief. I had been so tense the past 48 hours. I had been on the go. It wasn’t until I was waiting to get on the airplane that I noticed I hadn’t eaten in 2 days except for a bag of fruit snacks I had in my purse. I hadn’t slept either. I had been trying to arrange for movers, my car to get transported, and finish packing as quickly as I could. I was asleep in seat 4F, before the wheels left the ground.
I arrived at DFW at 5:37 AM. Even though I had slept on the plane, it was fitful. My body so desperately needed more. I came off the plane to see Brandon standing in baggage claim with his hands behind his back and that quirky smile he has. “Welcome home, darlin’ you look like shit.”

“Thanks for the warm welcome, where’s the band?” I replied.
“No band, just this” and he handed me a single hot pink Gerber daisy that he was holding in his hand behind his back. “And this,” as he planted a kiss on my forehead.

“Thank you.” I whispered as my body fell into his.

“Let’s get your luggage and get you into bed.”
“I’ve been home for all of 3 minutes and you’re already trying to get me in bed! Wow, what a record!” I laughed, but I knew he meant good.
“Baby doll, if I looked like you did, I would want someone to put me away for a long while. Plus you’re no good to Jake and Ethan when you’re this tired. What time do you need to get them?”
“I get them around 1. Doug just said for me to call.”
“Good. That gives us time to eat some breakfast. You look like you haven’t eaten in days.”
“I haven’t.” I whispered.

He grabbed my suitcases and we walked to the car. He opened my door and before he let me in he wrapped his arms around me and said, “I know its been rough. I’m not going to ask. In due time you will tell me everything. I’m here to help if you need it. I’m here for you.” Melt, melt, melt. My eyes filled up with tears, but I choked them back. “I know Brandon. You were the only person I called. Thank you…for everything.”
He threw my suitcases in the car and away we went for breakfast. I passed on La Madeleine and ventured for IHOP. Brandon was quite surprised at my choosing. I wasn’t really hungry and I didn’t want to not appreciate good food from La Madeleine. He understood. “You’re going to eat something.”
We sat down in the booth that the hostess walked us to. We giggled at the other patrons around us. We were probably the youngest by far. Brandon handed me a menu and said “Whatever you order, you will eat. We are not taking it home either.”

“Brandon, I’m not really hungry. I don’t have the desire for food.”
“I don’t care. For God sakes T, you’re wearing your skinny jeans and they’re loose on you!”
My eyes grew wider and a slight smile grew across my face. I played mischievous, “I don’t wear skinny jeans. I don’t own a pair.”
“Don’t play dumb with me. I know you. And by that smile that you tried to suppress, I know you know what I’m talking about. You are wearing those jeans you keep in your closet. The ones that when you gain a little weight, they’re your “goal” jeans. You know you have lost that added weight when you can fit into them again. Yes, I know you. And they’re too big in the butt and in your waist. For God’s sakes, T, they’re hanging below your hip bones!!!”

I didn’t know if I should laugh or cry and he didn’t know if he should hug me or slap me. So we just sat in silence for a second when I whispered, “I know.” We made small talk until our food came.
I devoured my chocolate chip pancakes, bacon, and Orange Juice without realizing it and Brandon just sat with his cup of coffee and watched. “Wow, for someone who wasn’t hungry, you sure put those away quickly. You didn’t even offer me a bite!” I smiled sheepishly. I didn’t realize I had eaten the whole thing. I had just kind of picked at it for awhile we talked about the kids and the start of the school year the upcoming week, football for my boys, & cheerleading for his girls. We talked about everything but my trip to Seattle and the events that unfolded there. Brandon paid the bill and we were off to his house.
It was about 6:45 when we pulled up to his house. I was dead asleep leaning against the door. He came around and slowly opened my door and unbuckled my seat belt. He scooped me into his arms and carried me into the house and to his bedroom. I stirred and he set me down so he could pull the bedding back for me to crawl in to. I started towards the bed and he stopped me. He grabbed my face and was about to kiss me. In the last second he pulled himself back and just kissed me on the tip of my nose. “I’m sorry. I know you’re not ready.” I wrapped my arms around him and said, “Thank you. Thank you for acknowledging that.” He rested his chin on the top of my head for a moment before he pulled away. “Get into bed and sleep.” I pulled off my jeans and standing there in just my t-shirt, he smiled. I crawled into bed and he wrapped the covers around me as he sat on the edge. “Don’t be afraid to ask for anything, T.” I closed my eyes and was out before I knew that Brandon had kissed my forehead again and slipped out the room closing the door behind him.
I woke when my phone vibrated on the nightstand next to the bed a couple of hours later. It was 11:30. Brandon had brought in my phone and my computer and plugged them both in. There was a glass of water and a small vase with my Gerber daisy sitting in it next to where I had slept. He poked his head in the door as he probably had done several times over the last couple of hours while I had been sleeping. “Good morning, sleepy head.”

“Hi.” I smiled.

“Need anything?” He was crossing the room towards me. “You were out.” I came through here several times and you never once budged.”

“I was tired.”

“Do you want to shower before you get the boys?” he said shaking his head yes as he was answering for me.

“Do I smell that bad?” I laughed.

He laughed and replied, “You have that ‘I’ve been up for hours upon hours and traveled 2000 miles’ smell.”
I pulled back the covers, “OK, OK. I’ll shower.” In the corner was my suitcase opened neatly. I turned and just smiled. No one has ever taken care of me quite like this. He has thought of everything. “I hope you know I’m not staying here, B.”
“I know, I just didn’t want you to have to dig something out of it in the car. So I brought it in.” He seemed kind of hurt by my sternness.
“Thanks. I appreciate you. I appreciate everything you have done here. You don’t know how much this really means to me right now.” Before I could gain composure I was trembling and tears were spilling from my eyes. I couldn’t stop. It was the release I knew was coming, I just didn’t know when. He crossed the room in perhaps 3 giant steps and wrapped his arms around me tightly. “SHHHH. Let it go, I didn’t mean to upset you this way. “ I couldn’t talk, I couldn’t say a single word. My heart was heavy and I just cried. I cried for all of the anger that was built up inside of me. I cried for all the frustration, I cried for all of the hurt and destruction, and I cried because I was simply exhausted.

I quickly showered and changed into my swimsuit, a t-shirt, and a pair of shorts. I threw my flip flops on and we were off to get the boys and head out to the pool. I could see Brandon looking at me while we drove to Doug’s. He would reach out and grab my knee and squeeze it and smile. “Everything is going to be OK. You’ll see. It can only get better from here, T.”“I know. I don’t want to think about anything today. I’m not going to worry til next week. I just want to relax this weekend. I promise I will tell you everything. My heart hurts right now and I don’t want to open it back up. I want to move on and let time do its thing. Can you understand that?”“Absolutely. We have all the time in the world.” Quickly changing the subject he asked, “You hungry?” I must have shot him the look from hell because he just laughed.

We got to Doug’s and the boys were immediately bounding out of the house and into my arms as I was just getting out of the car. I was so excited to see them and be “home.” Ethan was all chatter about something as he was tugging on Brandon’s shirt as we all walked to the pool in the backyard. Doug was lighting the grill to cook hamburgers and hot dogs. I offered to run to the store and pick up any “extras,” but Deven said they had everything needed. We swam and played for about 2 hours before the sun decided to duck in and out from behind the clouds. The storm clouds were gathering in the distance and you could smell the rain in the air. I love the rain storms in Texas in the summertime. I was excited. It became darker and darker and I made the boys get out. We ate and all sat around and chit chatted about nothing in particular. I was growing tired again and we all went inside to watch movies and perhaps nap on the couch. The boys lay on the floor while we watched Shrek the 3rd. It seemed kind of odd with Deven and Doug on one couch and Brandon and I on the other. Brandon and I lay at opposite ends from each other. I felt it only right in front of the boys. Brandon noticed the blisters that had formed on my feet from my move. How it happened, I have no idea, but I ended up with about 4 blisters on each foot. He tried bursting them, but they were too painful still so he just rubbed my feet instead. I was asleep instantly. We all slept. It was awesome.

It’s been an awesome first day home. I was anxious to get here. I was excited to see my boys. It hit home tonight when we were all outside in this torrential downpour. It was about 91 degrees outside and the rain began blowing in sideways. We were laughing and splashing each other and just having a great time. The 4 of us played this mock game of tag type touch football in the street at my dad’s house. We were having a great time when Brandon grabbed my arm and said, “They’re so excited you’re home. That you’re staying home and you’re not going back. You’re not going back are you?” He was almost yelling this because the rain was so loud and the kids were still laughing. “Jake has made such a big deal about you ‘coming home’ today. He made 2 comments tonight at dinner with Doug and Deven. I don’t know if you picked up on it.” He continued. “He doesn’t want you to leave. None of us do.” I grabbed his hand and squeezed it, “I’m not going anywhere for quite awhile. I promise.” We continued running, playing in the rain. We laughed so much at the silliness of it all. I felt a huge release of stress. I stopped because my sides ached from laughing so hard. I stopped to watch the boys dodge and duck from getting tagged. I smiled. Yeah, it was good to finally be home.


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