“Ring me the minute you land in Sydney, no matter what time.” Patrick pulled her to him once more and kissed the side of her head. “I want to know that you’ve arrived safely.”
“I will.” She stepped away and only their hands touched. Letting go of one of his hands she reached down and picked up her small luggage bag all the while not taking her eyes off him.
A tear slowly tracked its way down Patrick’s cheek and at the sight of it, a sob broke from Fleur. Men crying always killed her, but this was even worse, this was Patrick crying for her, for their wretched future that they couldn’t plan for.
“I love you,” she whispered.
“I can’t bear this Fleur. I have to go.” Patrick’s voice caught. He dropped her other hand and strode away.
She no longer had a heart. It had exploded and the pieces were floating around her body, never to be put together again because she had a strange feeling that she’d never see him again. She stood at the boarding gate and watched him walk away with his head high and shoulders straight. Typical. The man must hide his grief, pretend it wasn’t there. Whereas a woman would stumble, crawl, scream at the world and cry. Like she was doing. Crying an ocean. They could send her to the Gulf, after a while there she’d have turned the desert into a rainforest. Could you die from over crying?
She sniffed and gulped. So, that was it. All over red rover.
On automatic pilot she handed her boarding pass to the stewardess and went through the detector. The attendants smiled in sympathy at her ravaged face. She hated them. Collecting her things again from the conveyer, she paused and couldn’t help but look back over her shoulder. He hadn’t come back. Of course he wouldn’t. Silly woman what did she expect? What would it achieve? They’d talked until they were blue in the face about what they should, could, would do, but in the end it’d all come down to her catching a plane and flying home.
A black pit of despair swallowed her whole.
In a void, she walked into the plane and was shown her seat and had her luggage stowed away by a neatly polished and smiling stewardess, who didn’t seem to have a care in the world. Bitch. Didn’t she know that Fleur Stanthorpe was dying inside? It was world news, devastating news. For the first time in her independent life, Fleur Stanthorpe was finding out how it felt to truly love another. She couldn’t breath. Oh, great she was going to have a heart attack on the plane.
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