Two days in a row? No, not the new trend – just getting back to my schedule (which I will try to keep to Mondays, Wednesdays, and Fridays unless something changes it).
“Don’t worry; I’ll be back before you know it.” Mike looked down and two sets of wet, shining eyes met his. He sighed and kissed the foreheads of his son and daughter.
“They’ll miss you like crazy.” Melanie said. Her arms were wrapped around his waist and Mike wasn’t sure if she was going to let go this time.
“I know.” He said and kissed her.
“They’re not the only ones.”
“Two weeks. It’ll be over before you know it.”
Melanie sighed. “Not fast enough. They’re never fast enough.”
“You know, some guys go away for months on these business trips.” He could never do that. He knew. Not because of Melanie or the kids, but because he wouldn’t be able to handle being away from them that long.
“Some guys aren’t you.” Melanie leaned forward and kissed him with a long, lingering kiss. He could still feel the electricity of it on his lips when she stopped.
Mike looked down at the children again. “What would you like me to bring you back?”
Nathaniel, his five year old, choked back tears. “You.”
That did it. Mike went to his knees and wrapped his arms around Nathaniel and Alyssa, his nine year old daughter. He held them tightly.
“Come.” Melanie said after a brief moment. “You still need to get through security. Can’t miss your plane.” Her voice was shaky.
Mike stood and enfolded her in his arms one last time. Her breath warmed his neck and her tears wet the collar of his shirt. “I’ll call you when I get to the hotel.” He said.
One last kiss and he walked away. Alyssa and Nathaniel waved and blew kisses. Mike did the same. He could see the smiles of others watching his family. They might think that he’s going away for a long time; they might think his family is overdoing it. He didn’t care. His family loved him. Nothing else mattered.
He reached the security gate and turned around for one last look. Puffy eyes and streaked faces looked back at him over the top of heads in lines between him and his family. Little hands raised up in the air to sign I love you.
No, nothing else mattered.