Touchdown

My Dearest Darling

You have spoken about the Golden Tickets, but the really big news was your imminent arrival. You arrived on a Sunday in March. The year was 1999. I think it was the 7th. I am fairly certain of the date as I was in the Hunter Valley to help organise and attend my father’s 90th birthday party. It was on the Saturday, you arrived the next day.

It was a big weekend. I had taken leave, I was in the Hunter. I had balloons to organise, presents; the venue had made significant errors in my bookings for the birthday celebration. So I, with all the aplomb I could muster, stepped in and made it right.

I had friends from Sydney come up for the weekend, one of whom would drive me back the next day. He was kind enough to collect me and drop me at the airport later that evening. You were almost here.

I being so over organised had converted the hours of your connections to Australian time so I knew when you’d leave Vegas, what time you’d depart LA and most important of all when you would arrive in Sydney. I went to bed on Saturday knowing you had boarded. I awoke knowing you were in the air. To say I had trouble containing my excitement would be an understatement. My friends, always used to me being the cool, calm collected one were a combination of bemused concern and I think a little afraid. When they saw me they knew how real it truly was.

I arrived back home. I have no idea what Tony and I talked about on the 3.5 hour trip. I remembered he offered to wait at the airport and drive us home later that evening. As you know I politely declined. Now my father’s party had been a boozy affair. There was much wine and some whisky consumed. I was already agitated by your imminent arrival so with a small hangover and not enough sleep I awaited your appearance.

I had delusions that I would sleep that afternoon. What a pointless idea that was. I had cleaned my under renovation home to within an inch of its life. The food and drinks you liked were in the pantry. There was nothing for me to do. I even tried playing the piano, normally a sure fire way to soothe my nerves. It didn’t help.

Tony, who had a reputation for tardiness, agreed he would call me to advise when he would pick me up. I made it quite clear that if he was late then I would just jump a cab. There would be no excuses today my Darling. To his credit, and for the only time in his life, he arrived early. By this time I was babbling fool. I was trying to keep my excitement under control. I could have jogged to the airport; I mean it was only 30 kilometres away. The pent up energy was enormous. He offered to wait again and I declined. He wished me luck as he dropped me off and I was on my own.

I found the Qantas terminal, checked your arrival time, inspected your exit gate, grabbed myself a bottle of water and awaited your touchdown. I have no idea how long I waited. It seemed like an age. I know I was there with some time to spare. I placed myself where the limousine chauffeurs stood to catch the attention of the jet lagged charges. One called me out on my position. I cut him down quite ruthlessly and received no more feedback from the conga line of drivers.

Then, after what seemed an eternity, you were there. I couldn’t remember what you were wearing. You reminded me just recently. What I remember was your face. It shone. I remember catching your eye and seeing you smile. I felt my heart skip a beat. The moment had become very real indeed. We shared a hug, made a little awkward by your attempt to skewer me with your luggage trolley. But that hug, well that’s when I knew. If there was ever any doubt it was blown away in that moment.

We somehow arrived at the cab rank and quickly grabbed a taxi. We sat in the back seat. I held your hand. I looked into your eyes. I was yours and you were mine. I loved you then as I love you now. The next two weeks were the greatest of my life.

You Will Always be My Darling

From Sir With Love

………………………………………………………………………………………………….

My Dear Tender Sir,

That day is such a significant part of my life. I remember getting up before the sun even arose. I had been packed for a couple of days. My kids were sorted and off to visit their grandparents while I was away.

I remember calling you from Los Angeles. I recall telling you, for the first time ever, how apprehensive I was. For one millisecond, I wondered if you’d be there to meet me. That was my character flaw, not yours. All I needed was to hear your soothing voice reassuring me that all was well and it would be all right. You allayed my fears, and I was calm. Once I left the United States soil, there was no turning back for me. I jumped in without hesitation. I was on my way.

I remember sitting next to a woman who hated to fly. She rubbed her rosary incessantly and whispered impromptu words of prayer. After 8 hours or so, she started to frazzle my nerves. I encouraged her to have another drink.

I believe I was one of the last ones to get through customs. I was exhausted but wired at the same time. I knew you were there somewhere. That damn airport was like a maze, and I felt like a bovine in a herd. It was endless, and I specifically recall pushing my luggage cart, turning a corner and coming to a ramp, and thinking “How many more hoops do I need to jump through, before I’m done?”

I started to go down a long ramp. I was looking at the floor deep in thought. I glanced up and saw this tall, dark-haired man, at the bottom of the ramp, with his arms crossed – grief he was tall. He was rugged and dashing. He was staring at me! I fought the urge to look around and make sure I wasn’t mistaken. He was smiling – at me! He was a real-life Mr. Darcy (swoon), and I could feel the masculinity sizzling off him.

Oh my gosh, Mr. Darcy was Sir. My Sir! Suddenly, I was unsteady, and it had nothing to do with jet lag. You were real. You were there waiting for me. You were a sight for sore, travelled eyes, and heavens you made my pulse race and the blood rush to my head. I believe you said, “Hi there.” I was tongue-tied and daft.

As for my run-a-way luggage cart, I blame you. You had me so incredibly flustered that I just let go of it (that’s my story and I’m sticking to it). I can still hear you laugh when it hit you. Yes, that first hug was a bit awkward but only for a few seconds. You reached around and reeled me in. You wrapped me up in your long arms, and you didn’t let go. It was no longer awkward; it became real. I was very self-conscious of how I must have looked and smelled from my international travel, but you didn’t care – not one bit. For a moment the world stood still.

I admit I don’t remember much after that except gripping your hand like it was a lifeline. You just took charge, and I didn’t need to worry about anything from that point on. I felt safe and secure. You never stopped smiling. And your eyes – my word your eyes (more on them later) pierced through me.

The next section of our journey was beginning, and I wouldn’t change it for the world.

Unequivocally yours,

Darling

©2013 Darling and Sir

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