Nearly a decade ago I lived in Tennessee but the girl I was dating lived in Indiana. Every three weeks or so I'd make the 250 mile drive and see her for a couple of days. I'd leave Friday after work and speed my way up through the mountains of Kentucky through the plains of Indiana desperately looking forward to seeing her again. I'd get there around 10:30 or so and usually find her in the kitchen fixing a late supper or popcorn or maybe some muffins - keeping herself busy is what she was doing, waiting on me. We'd grab the food and sit down on the love seat, pretending the physical awkwardness wasn't really there.
But it was always there. When we were apart we'd instant message each other each night into the wee hours, or chat on the phone, but that's such a completely different thing than being in the same physical space as one another. Sitting alone in our respective homes, in front of computer screens we could easily open up, lay it bear with just our words. Put us in the same room and we didn't know what to do with ourselves. Usually we'd wind up curling up together on the couch, not saying a word, just letting our bodies remember each other.
By Saturday morning things would have warmed up and we'd find some grand adventure to do together. We'd go to the park and picnic, or the farmer's market, or wander into the radio station's local musician's concert series. Evening would come quick and we'd catch a movie or fancy ourselves on a nice date with good food. But there was always the knowing - the realization that no matter how good our time was, I was leaving the next day. By the time night took over the sun a slight sense of dread would overcome us. Oh, we'd try to fight it - by not mentioning it, or busying ourselves in some reckless activity, but it was always there. That dread. We'd stay up late in hope that by not going to sleep we'd somehow not allow the morrow to come. But it always did.
Sundays were rough. We'd stay under the covers as long as we could to keep the time from coming. But eventually we knew we had to get out and face the reality. We'd go to church, and grab some lunch and always there was the clock. Tick ticking away. The girl would hold me tight and tell me not to go. Sometimes I'd listen and stay just a little bit longer, and longer until it meant me getting home really late and making me miserable Monday morning back at work. I was always miserable come Monday no matter when I'd made it home.
After a year of this I moved to Indiana to be with her. She promptly left the country. No kidding, I chucked everything to be with her and she moved to Canada. But that's a story for another day. Eventually she did move back, and I did stay the night with her. And every night there after. We married a year later.