So the night before M's flight to Montreal I drove and drove and drove. It was January, so there was a lot of snow. I didn't reserve a room figuring I would just get one close to the airport.
Twelve hours is a long time to drive, especially when you've worked a day shift and only napped a few hours before starting the trip. I had a lot of time to think. . . I was very excited, but not completely convinced that M would actually be on the plane when it landed. I spoke to him again before he was scheduled to leave, he had stops in the UAE and Frankfurt before landing in Montreal and I asked him to call me from one or the other. He called me before he left and didn't call to cancel, as he had on all previous trips. During my whole trip I pegged where he should be and when. He was supposed to land in Montreal at 1:00 pm. . .he did not call once during the night.
I arrived in Montreal around 5 am. I barely recongnized the streets covered in snow. It was wet and dirty, beautiful Montreal in January. The first two hotels I stopped at had no rooms and I was getting a little tipsy. I desperately needed a nap. When I walked into the Ramada they had a room, but I had to rent it for the previous night because it was before check-in time. . .and pay for the next day. I did not care, I needed a shower and somewhere close to stay before I picked up M. I went back outside to get my luggage and slipped into a mud puddle under ice. I was so excited and nervous, it made me laugh.
I went upstairs to shower and laid down in the bed. I could not fall asleep. I had been so tired originally, but now I couldn't shut down the images in my head. For months I had imagined that M would just appear in places around my home. I kept thinking that he would just show up at my work, or at my house. I would see him places, in the store, on the street, even in the towns I had to go to for work on the ambulance. I would see him places he would never be.
I would dream about the day that I would pick him up from the airport. I imagined hugging him. I imagined the way he would look at me. I could feel it sometimes, the way that he hugged me. M had this way of hugging me like he might never see me again, hard and tight. I could feel that in my dreams sometimes.
Now, I couldn't sleep because I wasn't sure if he would be there, and if he was, I wasn't sure of what was going to happen now. My good little Pakistani Muslim was technically married, we had technically already broken up and I technically hadn't heard from him for his entire flight.