Jon took me to the airport last Wednesday morning; we'd already said our real goodbyes, so we barely talked in the taxi. We joked with the airline agent at the counter while I checked my bags, and the man suggested that I stuff Jon into my carry-on and bring him with me to America. (I had already considered this, obviously.) Drawing out the inevitable for as long as possible, we had breakfast together in the terminal, chatting about inane things and totally ignoring the fact that I was about to board a plane and fly 3663 miles away from him. Eventually, though, the time came for me to head through security, and I made a bit of a scene.
I mean, I didn't wail or gnash my teeth or rent my clothes or anything. I was as quiet as a girl can be when she's crying and hiccoughing and having an argument with herself about how she needs to leave but doesn't want to go. Jon, of course, was lovely. He held me and rubbed my back and murmured soothing things and then, gently but firmly, told me that it was okay to be sad and that he was sad, too, but that we needed to let go just for now. So I let go and blew my nose - really attractively, obviously - and we said "I love you" and "I'll see you soon" one last time and then I walked through security and turned around at the last moment and waved and hiccoughed again and then kept walking and couldn't see him anymore.
Believe it or not, I was totally fine for the duration of the flight. I read a bridal magazine and watched My Week With Marilyn and may or may not have considered ditching Jon for Eddie Redmayne (sorry, Jon) and slept for a few hours. But then I landed at Dulles and three different customs officials greeted me with huge American smiles and said, "Welcome home!" And I started to lose it again. I managed to more or less keep it together until the customs officer who stamped my passport asked me if I had been in the UK for business or pleasure; the poor man had no idea why I started sobbing. "Both!" I said. He had the good sense not to ask me to explain further.
So then I pulled myself together and picked up my huge suitcases and walked into the arrivals lounge and saw my mother waiting for me - and then we both cried. But that was because we were happy, so it's okay. I told her about how hard it was to leave, and she said, "You're allowed to be sad. There will be days like this. But there will be great days, too."
I think she's right.