There is something so tantalising about anticipation.
Anticipation to drive my first car. Anticipation to eat the chocolate I have hidden in my bedside drawer. Anticipation to see my beloved when he finally comes home. Anticipation to visit a place I haven’t seen in forever, talk to an old best friend, confront somebody after a change has taken place between us..
Anticipation can be both exciting and miserable. It can carry the sickening nausea of extreme happiness, or horrific nervousness.
I have often thought about the oddity of our senses, and how the same physical sensation accommodates two very different emotions.
I get the same lurching, heaving nausea before an exam that I get in the throes of deep excitement in the minutes before I see my husband after being away from him for so long.
And even though it is almost painful to feel that way, I love it! It makes me feel so alive! I can taste every breath of air like minty freshness on my tongue, melting like a cold snowflake. I want to run and run and run through cobbled streets, the wind in my hair, my feet flying as though winged, but at the same time I want to curl up and groan, clutching my queasy stomach.
My toes curl as I hurry towards my destination. A sinkhole could swallow me up at any moment. A torrent of rain could fall and mar this sweet reunion. An earthquake could shatter the windows and crack the walls, and my exam would be cancelled. That would be both bad and good, I think. Better to have it over and done with, than wait through more hours of agony.
I am so excited to see him again.
Anything could happen between now and 12:00PM on Monday. Anything. I could die. He could be struck by lightning or get tossed into the sea or have a car slam into him and be snatched away from me, just like that, my hands closing around the empty space where he would have been, had fate not had her resolute way.
I can smell him on my pillow and in the hoodie that I wear that really belongs to him, I can see his wide smile and dimples and pearly, straight teeth when I close my eyes, I can feel the warmth of him in the empty space beside me in bed, I can see his fingers running over the tips of my books, the way his knuckles look when he straightens things out, his minute attention to every tiny detail.
I am holding my breath until he is with me again.