Painful goodbyes are worth it, aren’t they.
It was a wonderful holiday. It even started before it began. Ramsey came out to Germany on 14th December having rushed to Heathrow from work to get to me as soon as he could. I waited impatiently at Frankfurt airport for him to come through. I had arrived in Frankfurt about 9 hours before he was going to, partly due to a desire to meet friends and partly because I couldn’t bear to wait any longer. I had even taken my overnight bag to school and gone straight from there. Lots of students turn up with lots of bags on a Friday too, so I wasn’t that out of place.
We had a lovely, quiet week. It started with an exciting night in Frankfurt that was wonderfully the same as ever. We had presents for each other but really, we just wanted to be in each others company again. Skype’s great but it’s just not the same. We went to the assistant’s Christmas party, he came to my Christmas concert, I took him out for his birthday and we visited the Natural History Museum in Erfurt. In between we just watched DVDs and slept in in the mornings.
We travelled back to the UK together on 22nd December. I insisted that we left far earlier than we really needed too but he humoured me and obliged. He showed me how to use the automatic check-in machine and the lady at the bag drop spent a good 10 minutes going through all the flights from London to Frankfurt on 5th January and printed me a new ticket as I had lost mine and couldn’t even remember which flight it was. Everything came together perfectly.
Our Christmas was not dissimilar to any other Christmases we’ve had together. My parents gave us all Christmas jumpers on Christmas Eve which we all wore proudly throughout the Christmas period. We split our time between his family and ours and saw far fewer friends than we had wanted to, as always. We found time on our own too, he took me out for a full English shortly before I had to leave. How romantic . Before this Christmas, Ramsey was a panto virgin. Astonishing, I know. We went to see Cinderella in Southend with family and friends and we enjoyed the Eastenders references from Shane Richie as Buttons. We enjoyed Ramsey’s 21st in London with my family and his, it was a wonderful excuse to get everyone together. He even drove me to Stratford and back so I could meet my mum and went back to Vicky Park to train with his old friends.
It was all very exciting and brilliantly fun. The best thing about it all was that we didn’t watch the clock. We just enjoyed every moment. We didn’t think, on our way home, that that was a week together already gone. We didn’t ponder on Christmas Day about us being half way through. We weren’t sad on New Year’s Eve because most of our time was gone. We didn’t go back to mine on the 3rd hesitantly because we were going back to pack our things to leave each other. We didn’t notice the negative parts. We just relished each moment we had with our families and friends and each other, with the people we love.
That made yesterday harder. It seemed to creep up behind us, without us noticing. The alarm woke us abruptly at 4.30am. That hadn’t stopped us talking until gone midnight the night before. We were already shattered but every time we tried to go to sleep, something else would come into our heads. Why waste a minute sleeping? We packed our final bits and pieces together and Ramsey loaded the car. We said a quick goodbye and I promised to let everyone know I had arrived safely.
Then we were off. It was a quick and uneventful journey to Heathrow and checking in took mere minutes. We then avoided it, the moment we were dreading, for about 20 minutes before we finally had to the courage to decide it was time for me to go through to security. It was a sad and tearful goodbye. He was wearing his Christmas jumper. We’ve said goodbye like this twice before. The first time, we had only been together weeks and although I cried buckets, I don’t remember it being anywhere near as hard as yesterday. The second was here in Germany, on a platform at Erfurt station. He was going to be at home if I needed him and again, although I cried a lot that day, we knew when he was coming back and I had a scary but exciting adventure ahead of me. Yesterday was different. I came to Germany. I’m relatively settled here. To be honest, coming here wasn’t what I was sad about. But today he got on a plane too and he’s not going to be there if I need to come home. The goodbye was perfect though, the timing too. As I walked behind the barrier to go airside I noticed that the person in front of me was a friend, someone I know from Germany and someone also having had to say goodbye to home for a while. Although he was on a different flight to me, by the time he had gone and I had done some shopping, it was time to go to my gate and during that time, which could have been brutal, I was pleasantly distracted. We were meant to wait for 20 minutes .
Ramsey was not lucky enough to have the same distraction but he had a long drive to clear his head and get ready for the next stage in our lives. It won’t be long and although it will be longest we’ve been apart and we will not both be living in the relative luxury that I experience here in Germany, we can count the days down one by one and we have so much to look forward to when we are both home. Although I’m pretty sad right now, in a funny way, I’m happier than I’ve ever been.