Last night, she waved goodbye. He wasn't necessarily glad to see her go but maybe a little relieved. She was too excited to notice one way or the other.
This was her moment. She was sure it would last. So many times, she'd been close enough to see it but only now could she have a real taste. And, it was a scary, too. Still, she would face it all alone.
He let her go easily. He didn't have the energy to think about all he didn't know. The days were too long and his worries too complex. This was not his and he couldn't make it so.
So, he didn't fight for her. He just sent her off with his blessing. He would stay behind and uphold his burdens until they found a place to rest.
She thought of him, even in the most intense moments. She couldn't help it. She never wondered did he think of her. She knew he was the safest place of all.
She wasn't without fears, and certainly not without regret, but she had learned how to put those in a drawer and close it tight. It's not as if they weren't there anymore but she couldn't - wouldn't - see them. Is that so wrong? Isn't that how she got here after all?
He moved slowly at first, after she left. As minutes and hours passed, he was able to find his rhythm without her. He could relax, if not rest. He felt guilty for not missing her more but it wasn't because he wanted for anything else, except a quiet moment.
His coffee was empty and he thought he wanted a refill. He could even add cream or some kind of decadent artificial flavoring. No, that's not manly and who needs more trouble sleeping?
Just knowing he could indulge, if he wanted, was enough for him now.