He hefted her spotty turquoise suitcase through the sliding glass doors whilst she checked the screen for her departure gate. Leaving the suitcase propped against one wall, he threw an arm around her shoulders, muttered something and made her laugh. They looked around at everybody else, aware of the mass of bodies queuing for their seats but unable to relate to anyone outside of their own periphery.
She looked up at him and saw in his face the days and nights that they had spent together slipping away from her. She squeezed her eyes shut, pressing her fingers against the shuttered orbs, trying to force the emotion back inside and prevent it from spilling over. Her lips moved quietly, indiscriminately, either apologising to him or chanting a lamentation to herself.
He laid a tender kiss on her forehead and then another and another until his arms fully circled her waist and pulled her body tightly against his own. She succumbed to the moment and sobs shuddered through her body as he rested his chin on the top of her head. He whispered soothing words and stroked her hair until suddenly she could pull back her face and smile at his musings and throw her tear-stained cheeks back with a guffaw. Tears danced with mirth in her glassy eyes.
His shoulders relaxed, having averted a crisis. He stuck his hands back into his pockets whilst she swept her index fingers beneath her lower lashes, collecting a reservoir of tear drops. Her hands waved manically in front of her face as she laughed at her own soppiness and tried to explain that she hadn’t meant to cry, she just couldn’t help it.
The door of the departure gate opened and the driver called out for passengers at her destination. She looked up at him with a trembling lip, unwilling to admit that this was it, their last moment together. He had to be strong, for her, so instead of risking looking back at her and acknowledging what they both knew to be inevitable, he busied himself with her suitcase and shuffled her into the back of the queue. She picked up her handbag and oversized Valentine’s card with careful diligence.
The driver checked her ticket and loaded her suitcase on to the bus. She turned, bewildered, disbelieving and distraught. He caught her round the waist and smashed their bodies together once more. Before she had time to get upset again he planted his hands on either side of her face and pressed his lips to hers with fierce tenderness. Her fingers found their way into the back of his hair as she leaned up on the tips of her toes.
It was time. She disappeared inside the coach and he turned back to the safety of the station. She found a seat, looked out the window and saw him smiling back at her. The doors closed with a triumphant hydraulic sigh and his hand flew into the air in a cheery wave. She leaned her forehead against the cool glass of the window and waved forlornly back.
The coach reversed, turned and disappeared through the exit. He stood for a moment, looking at the back of the heaving vehicle, his cheeks inflated with a colossal sigh. As he left the air out slowly he swiped at his eyes,pushed his hair back from his face and tried to start the day again, alone.