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Posted by ® Ali@Perth on March 2, 2007 at 2:18 pm:
I left Kristy to read her book as I went off to the newsagents. I figured that seeing as I loved to write, I’d try to sort everything that was going on in my head by putting it into words. I bought a notepad and a pen at a ridiculous price and then made my way back to where Kristy was seated. I took out my phone once more and checked to see if I’d missed a call or a text (cue Kristy’s eye roll and sigh). I hadn’t missed one either, as I had suspected I hadn’t seeing as the phone was constantly within earshot. I was quickly starting to hate the phone freak I had become. I knew it didn’t suit me and I also knew I was being stupid. With the very low battery power I had, I quickly sent Lee a text. It wasn’t anything exciting. I just told him that I was in Sydney, waiting to board our flight to glorious ol’ Perth and that I’d rather be anywhere than where I was, doing what I was doing. I then switched my phone off, much to Kristy’s relief, and impatiently waited to board the plane. In the time we were left waiting, I managed to go on the internet for no reason whatsoever except to kill time, I walked up and down the large hall looking in all of the boutique clothe stores, I contemplated buying another coffee, I became inspired to write but did nothing about it, I tried talking to Kristy who was much too involved in her book and much too sick to want to communicate with anybody and I people watched. After I had done all those things, we were called to board the plane.
Kristy and I were allocated seats right at the back of the plane. I offered Kristy the window seat, knowing she would appreciate it – and she did. We were gutted to find out that the plane was an old QANTAS plane and that there were no personal tvs. We were in for a 4 ½ hour flight of complete boredom. Fabulous…
As soon as we took off, we were restless and bored. We didn’t know what to do with ourselves. We both tried to read our books and managed to stick to doing that for a good 15 minutes but we both got distracted. We talked amongst ourselves for a little while and even attempted to watch the movie they were playing on the tv 20 meters away from where we were sitting. I don’t know how we managed it but in no time at all, we both managed to fall fast asleep even though I could’ve sworn I wasn’t the least bit tired after my copious amounts of coffee.
This time, Kristy didn’t wake me up at all. I woke throughout the flight on my own accord but this mainly consisted of me looking to see if Kristy was okay and then falling straight back to sleep again. The only time Kristy stirred was when she’d woken up too late when they were serving the food. The lady who was seated next to me sensed Kristy’s disappointment at missing out on a meal and caught the attention of one of the attendants to “get this young lady a bite to eat”. Kristy was most grateful. The flight attendant came over and I awoke to him asking Kristy if “Sleeping Beauty” would like anything – which I assumed was directed at me. Kristy politely declined his offer while I stirred a wee bit and then snuggled up even more under my blanket. Again, I went straight back to sleep while Kristy enjoyed her lunch.
Kristy and I were both awoken by the same flight attendant much later. He informed us that we would need to sit upright as we were about to descend into Perth. We’d managed to do it again! We slept through the entire journey! We were very impressed and even managed to have a giggle about it! We laughed about the fact that we both had never been able to sleep on planes and yet we had barely managed to stay awake on our flights home this time round.
Kristy and I looked out the window and saw the familiar sites of our city. It almost seemed as if Perth was teasing us with the beautiful, clear, blue sky outside and the sun shining brightly overhead which made us feel as if we were looking out of the aeroplane when we’d first arrived in Koh Samui. If only that’s where we really were landing at that moment.
This time round, as the plane landed, neither Kristy nor I were in any sort of rush to get off the plane. We sat in our seats and watched as everybody scurried off; eager to get to wherever it was they were going. As Kristy and I were still trying to wake up, we just sat back and observed all of what was going on. One of the flight attendants spoke to us for awhile as she must’ve sensed that we needed some sort of stimulation to get us moving. As the plane emptied rather quickly, Kristy and I collected our things and decided that it was probably time to follow everybody else’s lead.
We made our way through our gate and looked around. Nobody was there to greet us. I was feeling a little relieved at this. It almost made me feel as if we were dreaming all of what was happening and that soon enough, we’d awaken and be back in Koh Samui, where we belonged.
I was a bit disorientated at first so I followed Kristy’s lead. She told me that we had to go down stairs to collect our bags seeing as we were at the domestic terminal. She then said that we’d probably find my sister and her Mum waiting for us there.
As we made our way down the stairs, my mind was everywhere but in Perth. I couldn’t believe how low I felt about being home. I didn’t bother looking around to see if anybody was there…I was kind of hoping they weren’t as that would’ve meant I got to spend more time with Kristy and we hadn’t really spent any time apart for over 2 weeks so it was going to be quite strange going our separate ways after the airport. Kristy pointed out to me that my sister was here. I didn’t even bother to look over which is why she then told me so was my boyfriend. I looked over and felt a sudden sense of dread come over me. I saw them both smiling up at me and then I heard the excited shrieks of Brody, my 5 year old Godson. I instantly smiled as it dawned on me that he was my surprise. My sister really did know me too well and she obviously knew Brody would cheer me up. I ran down the stairs to meet him and gave him a huge hug. My boyfriend then came over to me and gave me a hug too. It felt so wrong though – it felt nothing like it had done with Lee. Not wanting to cause a scene at the airport, I decided to say nothing of what happened and wait until we got home to have “the talk”. Kristy did the rounds of hugs and kisses with Brody, my boyfriend and Jennie as I had just done and then we all went and waited for out luggage. As usual, Kristy’s mum was running late. Like Kristy, she was never on time for anything. It wasn’t the only time Kristy had been left at the airport with nobody to greet her and I am positive it won’t be her last.
Our bags came rather quickly so we didn’t have to wait long. Instead, our wait was to ensue outside where we chain smoked and caught up on the news from home. Seeing as I had spoken to Jennie and my boyfriend quite often while I was away, I decided to get the gossip from Brody who had no trouble at all filling me in on what had been happening with his Mum, his baby sister and at school. Of course, Brody quickly changed the subject by asking if I had brought him any presents – he knew I had as I had phoned him to ask him if he wanted anything in particular…roller-skates was his answer! I decided to wait until we got home to offload all the gifts to everybody. Kristy and I were quieter than I think anybody expected. We kept our sunglasses on and we mainly kept the conversation flowing through Brody. We waited for about 20 minutes when Kristy’s sister, nephew and Mum showed up. There were once again hugs all around and while I customarily wound them up about being late.
All too soon it came time for Kristy and I to go home. It felt like everything was happening much too fast – and all over again. Kristy, I think, was in a small way glad to be home as she was starting to become quite ill with her cold and she needed a good sleep. We promised to call each other later – which wasn’t unusual for us and then made our ways to the cars.
On the drive back to Dad’s house (where Jennie was taking me), I was told to ring about 10 different people who’d been trying to get a hold of me. The only person I decided to ring was my Mum to let her know I got home okay. I had made one drunken phone call to her whilst we were Koh Samui so I figured she may have thought I was enjoying myself a bit too much. Brody talked the whole way home while Mick scrolled through the hundreds of photos on my camera without saying a word. I hadn’t thought to hide the ones of Lee or of anybody else for that matter. I figured it would all come out sooner or later. Meanwhile, I sat back and watched the all too familiar landscape pass by. It really felt as if I had been gone for ages – not the 2 weeks we were actually away. I quickly realised that I had changed. I wasn’t sure then if it was for the better but I knew a huge change had occurred and I was scared of what was to come because of it. Everything already felt foreign and strange – a feeling I was hoping I could shake after settling back into the routine of daily life.
We dropped my boyfriend off at home after he said he’d come round in a bit to see me and then we made our way to Dad’s. Seeing my Dad again was good and he said that he’d missed me heaps because he didn’t have anybody to talk to while I was away. I quickly opened my case to distribute the presents amongst my sisters and my Dad. I gave Brody his presents too. My boyfriend popped round 5 minutes later. We sat out the back and talked for a bit. He told me I looked good which I found very hard to believe seeing as I looked like I hadn’t slept in weeks. He then asked what had happened in Koh Samui. I told him the facts. I didn’t want to lie to him but I didn’t want to hurt him either. I wanted him to know that I’d met somebody but I didn’t want him knowing much more than what had gone on between us on a physical level seeing as I wasn’t sure what was going on with us beyond that. He stayed quiet for a while but he didn’t seem angry or upset. He asked me a few questions which I answered honestly and then that was that. He said we’d talk about it more later but that he was really glad I was home. I wished I could’ve said I felt the same way. He then picked up my camera which I had with me and found a photo which he presented to me. He asked if that was the guy. The photo he was referring to was a photo of Mark and I walking along KSR in Bangkok. Mark had his arm around me and we’re grinning like we’d just won the lottery (or got lucky!). I shouldn’t have done so, but I laughed when I saw the photo. I told him that wasn’t him and that I didn’t have any photos of him on that memory card – which was the truth seeing as the photos were all from when Lee had left to go back to London.
Jennie then took me home to Stacey’s house after I caught up with my sisters and my Dad. Roxy, my God daughter, ran towards me as she heard the car pull up and saw me get out. I threw her around in the air and smothered her in kisses. She’d managed to grow up in the 2 weeks I had been away. (I suppose they do that when they’re 2 though!)
I collapsed on the couch and started telling Stacey all about the trip – the parts she didn’t know and I also distributed her and Roxy with their presents. I decided to get changed and walk down the road to see my Nan as I knew she’d be wanting to see me and hear all about it. While I was changing, I managed to find the stray pieces of pasta that I had misplaced on the plane. I then knew I was in desperate need of a shower but I didn’t have the energy to do anything at that time.
I got my Nan’s presents together and then made my way to her house. She smiled with delight upon seeing me and told me how amazing I looked. Apparently I looked as if I had lost weight and she’d said that I had tanned really well – I didn’t think either was true but I thanked her nonetheless. She asked me all about my trip. We talked for hours – as we would typically do about every topic. As embarrassing as this is to admit, I almost cried when I started talking about the Boys and how it was strange to think we may never see them again. Without warning, my Nan told me that I should go to London if that’s how I felt. She knew I always wanted to go and work for a respectable, corporate law firm in London so she said that I should do it now. She said that I should go and travel and get it out of my system and she told me to follow my heart (with the implication that it would lead me to London). I dismissed the idea by laughing it off. I thought she was insane to even suggest such a thing but Nan never said anything on a whim, nor did she make irrational decisions – she was the most sensible person I knew which made me wonder why she’d offered me the advice she had. She decided to phone our relatives in Scotland – whom I was also very close to – and she told them that they might be getting a visitor soon and then I spoke to my Aunts for ages about a particular boy I had met…meanwhile, they tried to talk me into making a life changing decision of moving to the UK so I could be closer to them also. After I convinced my aunts that I wouldn’t be over in Scotland any time soon, I had trouble convincing my Nan. She sat in her chair with a knowing smile on her face as if she knew something I didn’t. Nan wasn’t to know then that after she offered me what I thought at the time to be the most absurd advice I had ever received, she planted a seed in my head which proceeded to blossom as the days, weeks and months passed.
Despite all of the sleep I had on the plane, I grew increasingly tired so after spending a few hours with my Nan, I gave her a huge hug and left to head back home to Stacey’s house. I was greeted warmly again by the kids – something I could never tire of.
As soon as I could, I phoned Rachel – hoping that her plane had arrived in Perth on time. I couldn’t wait to hear how she had spent the last night with Andy and I knew she’d be upset so I wanted to see if there was anything I could do…that, and I was already missing the girls like crazy. I tried her phone several times but it was switched off. I ended up trying Melita who said she was just on her way home from the airport. I quizzed Mel about Rach – asking if she was okay, how she was holding up and I asked how the rest of the holiday was. Next, I called Kristy who was already in bed asleep. I couldn’t believe I was having withdrawals from the girls and I’d only been home a few hours.
Rach called as soon as she got home. She told me about her night with Andy and tried to contain her tears as she was clearly struggling with their separation. As soon as Kristy and I left Bangkok, Rach, Andy and Mark headed for a drink at Gullivers. Rach and Andy then spent most of the afternoon in Andy’s room talking about anything and everything. As the Gunners were playing that night, Andy insisted on going to Gullivers to watch the match. There, they met up with Ned and Sean who had their “Thai girlfriends” in tow. Many drinks were had and many laughs were shared. Andy tried to convince Rach to stay the night with him but she had no way of contacting Mel and Melissa to let them know where she was so she had to go to the airport hotel to meet them at the time she said she would. Rach told me she managed to refrain from crying when Andy put her in a taxi and they said goodbye for the last time. She was proud of herself for that. She admitted that she missed him immensely and that she just wanted to be with him again – just for one more night, one more hour, one more minute even… I could completely relate to what she was saying.
Rach and I spent an hour on the phone after she gave me the run down on what had happened with her and Andy. We talked about the holiday, the girls, the Boys and our unsettled feelings of being home. Rach also told me about how she’d manage to have some strange hallucinations on the plane home due to the fact she’d missed out on so much sleep. Mel retold the story a few days later which was absolutely hilarious and which Rach, to this day, still has no recollection of.
I was the only person working the next day. I tried to weasel my way out of it but my boss needed me back so I knew I’d have to get an early night. The thought of having to go back to work made me even more depressed than what I already was. I couldn’t even fathom going back to any sort of “normalcy”. I felt like a completely different person to the one that boarded the plane to go to Thailand two weeks before. I felt completely out of it. I opted to do the right thing and go to bed very early instead of getting stuck into the duty free vodka I’d bought which is what I really felt like doing. I said goodnight to everybody and gave the kids a huge hug and made my way to my room. I checked my phone for the millionth time that day and saw there were no messages. As I lay in my bed, I wondered what Lee was doing at that very moment. I also thought of the Boys still being in Bangkok and just wishing I could be back there with them. I longed to be back in Thailand – back down by the sea where we we’d left so much behind. The events of the trip ran through my mind like a movie and I smiled to myself and even laughed out loud at the thought of some of the memories the girls and I had created together. Thinking about Lee, once again, I reached for my phone and sent him a text letting him know we’d arrived home safely and that for some strange reason, being home just felt completely wrong – like I didn’t belong there anymore – almost like it wasn’t my home. I also thanked him for the most amazing time I’d had in my life as he played a big part in that. I stayed awake for as long as I could after that, just willing my phone to ring but it didn’t, and before I knew it I was fast asleep.
I awoke several times during the night and each time I did, I woke up completely disorientated and on one occasion, I actually thought I was at Lakeside Apartments and tried to get out my bed accordingly. Reality soon kicked in and everything came rushing back to me. I was home. I remembered sending Lee a text so I immediately checked my phone. There was the little envelope on the screen indicating one new text message. I knew straight away who it was from. It went something like this:
“Hiya, you’re probably sleeping right now. Sorry I haven’t gotten back to you I’ve been working heaps. I know what you mean about being home. I feel like packing everything up and travelling the world or at least coming to Oz! I landed in London and felt homesick even though I’m home. You know what I mean? Guess what I saw my star tonight. Just now actually. I just had to text you. I showed it to my room mate and she said I was going mad and wondered why I had such a fascination with the star. She doesn’t understand. We do though. Hope your first day at work is okay. I’ll give you a call soon xox”
I could’ve screamed I was so pleased to hear from Lee but seeing as the kids’ room was right next to mine, I figured it was best that I didn’t. I tried to send him a text back but despite my new found elation, I couldn’t make it to stay awake. I did, however, try. I fell back to sleep with my phone clutched in my hand with the words “Hey babes” illuminated on the screen. While willing myself to find the energy to text Lee back, I remember wondering what was going to happen with all of us – where all of it was heading and I began running probable (and not so probable) scenarios through my head.
None of us had any idea what we were in store for over the next few months and how the Boys would affect our lives. We weren’t to know then that our holiday in Thailand wouldn’t be the last time we’d ever see any of the