Brian stood beside his car, holding back tears.
Petra would only be gone for a month, but it was a month too long, he thought. In their eight years together, they hadn’t been apart for more than a few days. Now, she would be gone for a full month, and though he had thought he would be okay, now he wasn’t so sure.
She stopped at the crosswalk to get to the terminal, turned, waved to him with a smile. She had cried earlier, too, but now she was too far away; he couldn’t see if her cheeks were still wet.
This will be good for her career, Brian thought. She was excited for it. Nervous, but excited. She talked about it for the entire two weeks leading up to her departure, mostly in happy terms. Only the occasional, “I’ll miss you!”
He had been looking forward to the time to himself. The ability to be a bachelor, enjoy pizza and movies ad nauseum. Chips and beer. Ice cream, to his hearts’ content.
Now, though, he only felt sad. Excited for her. But sad. He knew he would miss her. Almost every day of the month, he would miss her.
Petra was across the road, opening the door. She turned with one last wave goodbye. Brian smiled and waved, and she disappeared into the terminal. He walked around to the driver’s side, got back in the car. Started it. Remembered his seatbelt. Started the car again, only to hear grinding. He put the car in gear, fought down the tears, and drove home.