5 in Far from Home

  • May 29, 2021, 11:24 p.m.
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  • Public

Forrest couldn’t focus. He was just too amazed and excited that Nicole was actually on her way to him. He never thought they would meet under ordinary circumstances let alone extraordinary ones, so he was pretty psyched.

He tried, again and again, to focus at work but his coworkers could tell his mind was elsewhere.

“That excited, huh?” asked a guy sitting next to him.

Trying to stifle his excitement, Forrest said, “Yeah, I guess so. It ought to be interesting either way.”

“Yeah, but I wouldn’t get my hopes up too high or have any expectations she may not be willing to meet. From what you’ve told me, she’s been through a lot and a relationship isn’t exactly a high priority for her.”

“I know. I’m not expecting anything in particular.”

“But you might have hopes deep down in your subconscious or maybe even a little above your subconscious.”

Got me, Forrest thought. Now shut up and mind your own business, will you?

“Busted!” the guy teased with a grin Forrest wanted to slap right off his face.

“We’ll see what happens, bud. I can’t know what I’m going to hope for or want or expect until I actually meet her. So give me a break until I at least get to talk to her face-to-face and see her in person instead of on a screen.”

The guy’s face dropped, and he immediately got back to work.

Forrest was grateful when the long work day finally ended and he could hop on his motorcycle and return home.

As he got off his motorcycle ten minutes later, he saw his landlady out on her front porch.

“Good afternoon, Forrest!” she called out as she was trimming a plant that was sitting on the wooden railing around her porch.

“Afternoon, Guinevere.”

“When is your lady guest due to arrive?”

“I’ll be picking her up at two in the afternoon tomorrow.”

“It’s a good thing it will be a Saturday and you won’t have to miss work.”

“Yeah, it’s nice to have the weekend to break her into things. But I do have plenty of time off if I need to take it.”

“Poor thing’s going to be exhausted when she gets here. That’s a mighty long flight.”

“It is. I’m sure she’ll want to crash early and get caught up on her sleep.”

“Yes, I agree,” said Guinevere. “But it might be strange for her in a whole new country with someone she never met in person before.”

“I reckon it will initially, but I think she’ll adapt quickly enough. As I told her, if she can’t get used to it here or isn’t happy, she can always return home or wherever she wants to go. She’s a grown adult so it’s her choice.”

Guinevere nodded. “Well, let me know if you need anything and be sure to tell her I’m around most of the time and she’s always welcome to stop by.”

“Sure will. If you don’t get to meet her tomorrow, I’ll bring her down the next day,” Forrest said as he opened the door to the stairs leading up to his place.

Upstairs, Forrest cleaned the place as best he could and was sure to hide anything he didn’t want Nicole to see, but most of that was kept on a securely encrypted computer.

He was very restless that night and had trouble sleeping. “Well, I’m going to be just as tired as you, Nicole,” he muttered into the darkened room.

It wasn’t until well after midnight before he finally dozed off but was back up again bright and early, buzzing with excitement that he wished he could dull at least a little bit.

He kept glancing at the clock every few minutes. The time he was supposed to leave to go pick Nicole up seemed years away.

Unable to curb his restlessness, he finally headed for the airport a little early and was relieved to find that Nicole’s flight wasn’t expecting any delays.

He waited and waited, sometimes sitting down, sometimes getting up to pace.

Then finally, the arrival of her flight was announced and he stared intently at the gateway in which people trickled out, little by little.

Come on, he thought impatiently.

And then he spotted her. Petite, tired, hesitant, yet lovely. She was clad in a pair of jeans with a pink shirt and purple hoodie. She wore pink sneakers and had her long dark hair back in a braid that hung all the way down her back.

He said nothing and made no move to go to her at first. He wanted to see if she would recognize him.

She stepped forward and slowly scanned the large room from one side to the other. A few seconds later, her gaze came to rest on him.

He smiled.

She smiled back.
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