Aloha! Well I just spent a couple of very solid days on the gorgeous island of Oahu. I flew out on Tuesday and was waiting for my man when he walked off the ship on Wednesday afternoon. The next couple of days flew by but they were genuinely a dream come true. I mean, come on. A few days in paradise with the love of your life? Sounds as good as it was.
Seeing someone after such a long time is sort of an out-of-body experience. The ship was on the horizon for about an hour before it was close enough that we could see that they were really booking it. Once the ship was up next to us steaming through the channel in all its awesome power and glory, my heart lept to my throat. I could see sailors standing on the flight deck in their dress whites, ready to render salutes to the memorials. He was up there somewhere. After a little over two years, he was within shouting distance. No, I didn’t cry. I don’t cry. But I very nearly did. It took a serious pep talk to keep those tears from collecting.
When I saw his face, my heart literally stopped. I could tell he was nervous by the way he was walking, but when he looked at me it was like all was right with the world. There was a second at first when we were trying to read each other. We stopped and were trying to decide how to handle the situation. Do I put my stuff down? Do I hug you first? Kiss then hug? Handshake? What? I just went straight for the hug to try to take some of the awkward out of the moment as well as to keep myself standing upright, because I was a smidge weak in the knees and very shaky from all the nerves.
I finally worked up the nerve to kiss him and while it was strange at first, it became one of the most natural feelings I’ve ever experienced. The first kiss wasn’t some awe-inspiring, movie moment, but it was real. It was the culmination of a very long distance, very serious relationship and it was real for the first time in so long.
We spent the next couple of hours being awkward and trying to figure out how to be normal with each other. Our relationship has been incredibly strange. This week was the first time for a lot of things. It was the first time we’d ever been seen in public together, our first date, the first time we’d had sex. I mean, it was an incredibly eventful week.
Normally when the boys are in port, they do a ton of shopping and drinking. Half of that sounds logical, but shopping? You’d be surprised. Well we did a ton of shopping and had drinks with meals but didn’t drink in excess. I suppose the need wasn’t there. Instead we spent hours just cuddled up with each other in the hotel room, talking about anything and everything. Somehow we never ran out of things to talk about. For three whole days, I think there was one moment of silence, but it was only because we were both pretty deep in thought. It was incredible. We went out to eat and spent a little time on the beach and a ton of time shopping. We went and met up with a giant part of my family that I hadn’t seen in fifteen years. Most importantly, I kissed him every chance I got.
So let me talk about the Chongs for a moment. There is a side of my family that I pretty much only knew existed. The majority of them live in Hawaii so we don’t see a whole lot of them, especially since our family doesn’t really do reunions anymore. Alan and I went up to my Great Aunt’s house for dinner. It turned out to be a great night. Easy conversation with great people. They’re a loving group of people and very fun to be around. That’s the most family I have had in years. When my mom died, everyone went their separate ways. For the most part, since then, I haven’t had more than about three family members in the same room at a time so to be surrounded by such a big, happy family was a little overwhelming. Somehow he understood and we just rode back to the hotel in silence. I will be forever grateful to him for letting me go meet up with them and taking time out of his leave to go do something like that for me, even though he claims he wouldn’t change a thing about our days together.
Sex was definitely something I was worried about. My rebound from Jake was this hot, macho, sexy man that showed me around the bedroom in a way I thought was only something women dreamed about. I never missed the guy once he disappeared from my life, but I definitely missed the sex. I thought nothing would ever compare to that carnal, raw, sweaty sex. I was wrong. Sex with Alan was so much better. It was real and passionate but fulfilling at the same time. I’ve never been able to orgasm the first time I slept with someone. I did with him.
When I left him and got back on the plane to head home, my heart broke. I understand love now in ways that I never did before. Our goodbye on the pier was sad and sincere, but as I saw him walking away I knew I didn’t want him to be sad. So I called out to him and made him smile just one more time with a silly goodbye even though my heart was breaking. When I landed in Memphis, I cried. I’ve lived in Memphis my whole life. It’s always been home, but for the first time in 22 years, it isn’t anymore. There is a saying that is one to live by. “Home is where the heart is.” My heart isn’t with me anymore. My heart is on that aircraft carrier with the love of my life. The only thing that made the goodbye bearable was knowing that it was only for a couple of days. He’ll be on his way home at the end of the week.
So, this week I learned that love is such a powerful thing. It’s needing the other person to be okay even when you aren’t. It’s sacrificing things you want to make them happy. Any it’s spending the rest of your life with someone you can’t breathe without.