For those of you ladies who indulge in [subject yourself to the torture of] a regular Brazilian wax, you know to never wait until the last minute. You always give yourself a day or two to recover before opening the shop for business, so to speak. Well, with Abuela’s funeral, a house full of crazy Cuban relatives, and the various trips to Dallas to Keller to Addison and back, I didn’t have time for such luxuries.
That’s why I found myself spread eagle on a table, wincing in pain and cursing under my breath, at 2:15 on Friday afternoon, less than an hour before Cayden’s plane landed. I was fucked.
As soon as I sat down in my car to head to the airport, I wished I’d worn a flowy skirt and gone commando instead of squeezing into my form-fitting skinny jeans. I also wished for an ice pack. Not just to ease the pain, but also because the digital thermometer in my dashboard read 105 degrees.
“FYI, our air conditioner is definitely broken.”
It was a text from my roommate. A text you never wanted to see in the dead of summer in Texas. Especially when you wanted things to get hot and heavy with your long-distance lover that night. There's a big difference between hot and heavy and hot and pass-out-from-heat-exhaustion.
If the repair man couldn't make it out that day, we probably wouldn't see him until Monday. I was too frustrated to text and drive, so I tossed my phone in the passenger seat and blasted the AC. A drop of sweat trickled down my back between my shoulder blades at the thought of sleeping without air conditioning that night. I pointed the air vents at my arm pits and drove with my elbows in the air. I didn't want to greet Cayden with two giant pit stains and throbbing lady parts. At least the pit stains I could try to avoid.
Thirty minutes later, I parked at the airport and stepped out of my ice cold air conditioned car and into what I can only assume was an oven. My skinny jeans clung to my thighs and my recently abused crotch for dear life. I tried to walk with my legs together, but I ended up half speed walking half waddling to the terminal to get out of the heat.
A blast of cold air hit me when the automatic doors opened and goosebumps covered my body. Was there no happy medium??
I stood at the international arrival gate with about 40 other people, all eyes fixed on the automatic sliding door at the end of the aisle. I remembered standing at the same gate two months before, hyperventilating and wondering if Cayden had been taken away by Homeland Security. I stayed calm this time, but I still felt my heart skip a beat every time the door slid open to reveal another luggage-toting traveler.
I busied myself with Twitter and Facebook on my phone to kill time, but I couldn't help myself from looking up (AKA tearing up) every time someone reunited with their long-distance traveler. I thought about how awesome it would be to see someone propose right there in the aisle, in front of everyone. Or a flash mob. Definitely a flash mob.
Just as I was picturing people shimmying across the terminal and and executing perfectly synchronized can-can kicks, a familiar face came into view. It took me a minute to figure out why he wasn't dancing. He was just looking at me with a big smile on his face, walking right toward me.
Exit imaginary flashmob; enter real-life Cayden.
"Cayden!" I yelled, startling the non-flash-mobbers around me. I pushed through them and broke out into that similar walk-run-waddle I'd used in the parking lot. And finally, I was in his arms. My face buried in his shirt. I inhaled his familiar deodorant-laundry detergent-Abercrombie cologne scent. I was home.
He held my face in his hands and kissed me, and I felt everyone's eyes on us. Maybe they were wondering why I'd waddled like that. Maybe they were trying to gauge how long it had been since we'd seen each other based on our reaction. Maybe butterflies had shot out of my ass, although I was pretty sure I still felt them in my stomach. Or maybe they, too, were secretly hoping for a proposal or a flash mob themselves.
"It's so good to be back!" Cayden said as we walked down the rest of the aisle with his hand around my waist.
"You might not think so once we get outside," I said. "You're about to find out what 105 degrees feels like."
"You know I love the heat," he said, smiling from ear to ear. His smile showed how genuinely happy he was to be in Texas.
"Speaking of heat, my air conditioning is out at my house," I said. "Oh, and I just got Brazilian about an hour ago, so my vagina is on fire, too. Welcome back to Texas, baby!"