Heathrow in the morning. The smell of Irish bacon, coffee, toast. So many people propelling forward. Everyone knowing where they’re going, jostling sluggish me.
I’m still lingering somewhere north. Ears echoing with that song from the crowded pub: “Somewhere Only We Know.” How he sang it with me. His gaze frank, assertive. How I thought it would be a romantic comedy and he’d give me his number or ask me for mine. How we’d dissolve into smiles leading to hugs, leading to kisses, and a fade out. I never expected the Hugh Grant shy smile or that he’d duck into a drunken crowd and disappear as if he’d entered a vortex never to be seen again. And, how, for a moment too long, I stood there, at the karaoke mike after he’d gone, looking vacantly after him, like some vapor trail to another dimension, expecting him to reappear.
And how, now, on my way home, leaning against the airplane window while waiting for all the passengers to board, I fidget, feeling as if there should have been something I could have done, something more. What if he was the one? The one? The one would never have run off.
I close my eyes, laugh at my foolishness, shake my head. My sister always said, “You read too many books, Jilly. Get into the real world.” Feeling utterly ridiculous, I know it’s true. Time to grow up, forget about romantic comedies and silly dreams that won’t ever come true.
“Miss Murtagh?” A flight attendant asks.
“You’ve been upgraded to first class?”
Really? I want to ask but feel too tired and just follow her to the front of the plane with my carryon in tow. Maybe I won some weird British lottery for seat upgrades. She gestures toward my seat, which looks deliciously vast. When I look beyond, he’s sitting in the adjacent seat, grinning a rock star grin. My bag falls from my hand. Suddenly I realize why he looked familiar, rock star familiar.
“Always believe in magic and miracles,” he says, offering a champagne toast.
I sip from my own glass. “Miracles and magic.” My London rockstar fairytale.