The In Between

Last year at this time, I had a plan, and a boy arriving to see me. He was damaged, but he was here. I hugged him and felt the pieces fall slowly, finally, into place.

Life is different nowadays.

I have a job – steady, reassuring, there. I have a home – for now. I have family, friends, and coworkers who leave me truffles on my desk and write me sweet notes. I have shining little faces who whisper “Hello!” as I pass in the hallway, who smile up at me as though I were a real adult. (Wait, am I a real adult now?)

But I’m still in between.

I still miss the part of Spain I carry around with me in my heart. I still miss cooking dinner, watching television, reading the newspaper aloud together, walking along the cobblestone streets of Salamanca, drinking red wine to which the wine here can never compare. I remember the way it rained when I said goodbye to his mother. Being a Spanish woman of a certain age, she barely reaches my shoulder. She gave me dos besos, and patted my arm slowly, not willing to say goodbye, only see you later. I cried as I walked up the stairs, a sense of finality in it all, a sense that I would not turn back.

I think of the way we said goodbye and how it didn’t seem real. How could this be real? How could I be forced to leave him, to say goodbye indefinitely? I couldn’t bare to watch him walk away as I waited forever at security, holding my gray tray, tears dripping down my cheeks. I’ve not seen him since, except for on a computer screen, his voice muffled by the distance.

And so we wait. We wait for many situations to work themselves out before we act: jobs and visas and plane prices and frequent flier miles and vacations. We wait in the in between, the not quite here and not quite there. We are used to it, this in between. But we take a small comfort in the fact that the in between is just that. It is not forever, endless, always. It’s temporary, for now, ethereal. It’s here and then it’s gone. So we breathe, fall asleep to the sound of crickets or voices on the streets below, and hope that tomorrow is the beginning of the end for the in between.

Delirious with happiness after being reunited – August 2010

13 thoughts on “The In Between

  1. “But we take a small comfort in the fact that the in between is just that. It is not forever, endless, always. It’s temporary, for now, ethereal.” <— Words to live by.

    P. S. I like the new design!!

  2. This post literally brought tears to my eyes. I don’t have a love there as you do, but I do have many friends that I consider close enough to be family. Saying goodbye, and then being without them are just the worst feelings, ever. Its like you said, and the scenes of saying goodbye to them (it’s been about 6 months for me at home now) are still etched in my head. Belonging somewhere else, with other people, even though you have such an amazing life here, is an awful feeling. But you’re right….the only thing you can do is wait. Wait for answers, wait for opportunities, and wait for life to work out. And it will! It just is a waiting game of uncertainty. But it’s so worth it in the end!

  3. I go through this all the time, even though I know there’s always a deadline. Kike is constantly taking trips for his job for two months at a time, and even though I know how to keep busy and have plenty of friends, but the knowledge of how dangerous his job is makes me burst into tears at random. Que te vaya pasando rapido, hija!!

  4. This was my life for two years in total! Absolutely horrible. In the end we got married and the visa problem disappeared. Of course, I possibly gave up my career by moving to Spain (yet to see what happens in the end). But to me that’s the last thing to worry about. Life is about love and family and the rest will work itself out if you’re resourceful. Hope you can be together soon, just don’t give up!

  5. I’ve been in a long distance relationship before (only 1,000 miles compared to your….well, different countries), and my heart breaks for you. I hope things work themselves out soon so that you can both be together again, indefinitely.

  6. The only consolidation you can find from this situation is that at least we live in the age of Skype/e-mail etc. I know it’s not the same, but it’s an upgrade from waiting weeks on end for letters! Stay strong, wishing you both the best.

  7. I haven’t commented before, but I love reading your blog; it’s refreshingly honest and well-written. Also, since I’ve been dating a guy from Salamanca (much of it long distance) for the last three years, I can relate to a lot of what you talk about. This post is so beautifully sad that it perfectly captures the terrible experience of saying goodbye and the perpetual uncertainty of international, long distance relationships. Best of luck to you both; I hope things resolve themselves soon!

  8. I’m in kind of an opposite situation — I’ll be leaving behind an amazing guy in the U.S. to go to Spain. It’ll be tough, I know, but I firmly believe things will work out how they’re meant to, and I have faith your relationship will work out how it’s meant to as well.

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