I didn't cry that day at the airport. I didn't cry on the way home or when I went to bed alone that night. I didn't cry the next day or the next. But I completely lost my shit two weeks later.
I was on a conference call with a client and my manager Winnie, when I saw my cell phone light up. Cayden was calling. Cayden never called me in the middle of the day. My mind jumped to worst case scenarios: had he been hit by a bus and someone found his phone and called whatever number he'd called last? Was someone holding him hostage and calling me for ransom money? I tried to remember if my paycheck had cleared my account yet. My mind was racing and I didn't hear a word the client said.
Winnie looked at me, as if expecting me to answer a question. I realized the client must have asked me something. I shook my head and tried to remember what we were talking about.
"I'm sorry, I think the phone cut out for a second there and I didn't catch all of that," I said to the client. "Can you repeat that question?"
Winnie raised an eyebrow at me.
"Yes, I was just asking about what kind of Facebook contest you think we should do for Valentine's Day?"
"Oh, right," I said, coming back to reality. "I attached a document to the email with the call agenda called Love Letters. It outlines a promotion where your fans can enter their love letters for a chance to win a romance package-"
I train of thought left me when I saw a text message pop up from Cayden.
DID YOU SEE IT??
See what?? I asked myself. Winnie saw that I was distracted and stepped in finish explaining the contest.
Another text popped up on the screen.
I opened a new tab on my browser and clicked on the bookmark that said "US Citizenship and Immigration Services." I typed in our case number and held my breath. And this is where I started to lose my proverbial shit.
That's right, Cayden and I secretly filed for a fiance visa during his trip last September, and our petition had been approved. I bet y'all didn't think I could keep a secret, did you?
I felt my heart slamming against my ribcage, and through the thump-thump, thump-thump, thump-thumb, I heard Winnie say goodbye to the client. She hung up the phone and turned to look at me.
"What was that about??" she asked.
"We just got approved!! I'M GETTING MARRIED!!"
"WHAT?" Winnie said. A huge smile spread across her face. She knew we'd filed for the visa and that we didn't plan on hearing back for another couple months. "That's amazing! Congratulations!"
She gave me a hug and I ran out of her office with my phone.
"I'm getting married, everyone!" I yelled out to my coworkers on my way out to the hallway. Tears were streaming down my face. I was in the hallway dialing Cayden's number before they could react.
"Baby!" he said when he answered.
I let my back slide down the wall as I lost control.
"I---I---I just can't---believe----it's finally----happening," I said between sobs. I couldn't remember a time I'd ever been that uncontrollably happy about anything.
"Oh, baby," Cayden said, sounding a little choked up. "I know. I know. I couldn't believe it. I don't even know why I checked that status. I thought it would still be another month or two. And then I saw it. I'm still just shocked. Babe, we're getting married!!"
Sobs turned to hiccups and gasps and a lot of tears and snot. Everything we'd been through, all the lonely nights, all the tear-filled airport goodbyes, and the thousands and thousands of dollars we'd spent on airfare and visa paperwork... it was all paying off.
"I wish I could be there to hold you right now," Cayden said, listening to my sobs.
To have and to hold from this day forward, I thought to myself.
I'll be saying those words out loud on June 16, 2012. And that night I'll lay next to my husband and vow to never let him go.