I stare out the window at the passing scenery. It is all a blur because of the speed we are travelling at, but mainly because of the tears that are clouding my vision. Cindy is sitting in the front, in the passenger seat while Greg is driving. She puts a hand behind her seats and searches for mine. I grab it; she squeezes. I know she is there for me. I just feel such a wreck. Deep inside of me, the old feelings of loss are suffocating me like a dark cloud spreading. I know this is not terminal, not irreparable, but it sure feels like I have lost a part of me.
In my mind I replay the last sight of Kiri, standing by the side of the car door, waving at me, eyes sad, mouth scrunched down. We waved until the car turned and I couldn’t see him anymore.
As we eat up the miles, it all feels like a dream, like he never really existed, other than in my head. Maybe I can keep him with me inside my head just like I have done with Kyle for so long.
We are hurtling forward with urgency. The Expressway is nearly deserted, a complete world apart from the busy coastal road. A giant yellow sign even warns us of the possible danger of peacocks crossing. Of all things!
The end of the Expressway regurgitates us into the middle of Colombo’s mayhem, and it takes longer to travel the last 20 kilometres than the whole trip so far.
The airport is busy, bustling with people fighting with heavy luggage, kids unsure of where to sit – on the trolley or on the case? - harassed mothers, sad relatives, groups of boisterous friends and devastated lovers. Everywhere there are people with their own personal realities, on their private path, living their own history.
‘What brought them all here at the same time?’ I think I say this just in my head.
‘A plane to catch, I expect!’ Cindy interrupts my philosophising, bringing me right back down to earth.
We wave Greg goodbye. He is travelling north to see a friend. I think he will try some kite-surfing somewhere near Kalpityia, wherever that is. He will be back in our world next month. Cindy is upbeat. I know she will miss him, but I think she is grateful for a bit of time to herself.
We go through check-in and are lucky we don’t have long to wait before boarding. There isn’t much to do, and the few shops are all selling the same things at extortionate prices.
On board, I can’t find anything to occupy my mind, not even the film will do. I’m fidgeting. I need to control this turmoil in my head. Cindy dozes off most of the flight. I just can’t take out of my mind the last image of Kiri sadly waving. It’s as if it’s printed on the inside of my eyelids. Even the crying babies and snoring flight companions don’t send me off on a different tangent. I need a plan. Cindy is absolutely right.