“That’ll be $1,632, miss.”
I passed the cashier my Amex card and checked the time while I waited. Today I was happier than I could remember. Hart was due back this afternoon from his Doctors Without Borders program. To keep myself calm and my brain from developing an aneurysm from the excitement I had decided to do my school shopping this morning. It was a greater distraction than I had thought it would be and for that I was thankful.
“Enjoy the rest of your day,” said the cashier handing me back my card and merchandise.
I gave him a polite smile and took my things. Usually I would’ve bought more but I had a lot to get through before greeting Hart at JFK Airport. Walking out of the glass doors, I made my way toward Chanel intent on getting some new bags. I already had all of the notebooks and other essentials that I needed so the only item on my list that needed tending was some new additions to my wardrobe.
I turned around looking to see who had called my name. I could feel the anger coursing through me as I saw that it was Potter Michaels of all people. She looked just as she had the last time I had seen her except for her hair; it was dyed an obnoxious shade of red.
“Potter Michaels,” I replied icily.
She smirked at me, looking me up and down. All the events of the last time I had seen her seemed to play in front of my eyes and I had to work very hard not to slap the smirk off her face.
“My parents tell me Hart is due back today,” she said as though this were new information to me.
“And I’m surprised to see you walking about the mall. If I were his girlfriend I wouldn’t waste my time shopping for clothes he won’t even notice, I’d be preparing a homecoming for him,” she explained shrugging her shoulders.
I scoffed. “As it turns out, you’re not his girlfriend, I am. Clearly you don’t know the man who used to be your best friend because Hart is not the type of boyfriend to ignore his girlfriend. You know what; I don’t even know why I’m explaining this to you. You’re pathetic and the only way you could get Hart to recognize that you want him is by forcing a kiss on him.”
I turned my back on her and walked into Chanel. I would have given anything to see the look on her face as I did so but time was wasting and I needed to get my shopping done before noon.
A couple of hours later I found myself in the back seat of one of my Dad’s company cars on the way to JFK Airport. The nerves and excitement I had avoided all day were starting to creep up on me.
“Here we are, Miss Stark,” announced the driver as he pulled up to the terminal.
“Thanks, John. I’ll give you a call when we need you,” I said smiling.
He nodded and unlocked my door. I got out of the sleek black car and made my way into the airport. There was a pretty big crowd standing around waiting for the international flights to come in. I checked the flight monitor and noticed that Hart’s flight had landed five minutes ago.
‘He must be in customs by now,’ I thought smiling at the thought that he was so close.
I weaved through the crowd, making my way to the front to wait. I could feel the butterflies flying around in my stomach with the anticipation.
The wait felt like hours but in checking my watch I saw that only twenty minutes had passed. Suddenly a new wave of people walked out to where we were all waiting and I craned my neck to see if Hart was among them. In the midst of all the people and the luggage I saw a dirty-blond head just behind the second to last couple. Then it happened, just like in movies, the crowd cleared and there he was. He was scanning the crowd around me, searching for me.
I smiled as he caught my eye, his lips widening into the smile he saved for me. He pushed through the people in front of him, luggage in hand, and ran to me. I opened my arms ready to capture him in a tight hug as he got closer. The moment he was close enough he dropped his bags and wrapped me in the most delicious hug he’d ever given me. To be in his arms again was greater than heaven, more delicious than bliss; I never wanted him to let go.
As much as I tried to stop them, tears spilled from my eyes. He pulled away only far enough to look into my eyes. Without saying a word, he leaned in and gave me a passionate kiss. I could feel the stares of the people around us but at that moment I could care less because Hart’s lips were where they belonged, pressed against mine. After an incredibly delicious eternity, the kiss ended and I was able to look into his green eyes again.
“Hi,” he whispered.
“I missed you, Lia. I love you so much.”
“I love you, too, Hart. This was the hardest summer of my life,” I said.
He chuckled at that and kissed my forehead. “Ditto; being away from you was pure hell.”
I nodded letting him know that the same was true for me. A new throng of people were coming out from the terminal and Hart and I were forced to move. It was difficult letting go of him, but after he picked up his bag, he took my hand in his and we walked out of the airport together. I couldn’t believe he was right there in front of me, I could touch him, kiss him if I wanted. He was home.