43 Hours

43 hours, that’s all I had. Some people rolled their eyes at the idea of skipping out on NYC the weekend of Global Citizens and the beginning of Oktoberfest festivities–but none of that mattered to me for I had places to be and people to see.

Initially after the beach I didn’t think I’d get to see him again until our race, but one thing led to another and we were planning a last minute trip so that we could train together just once before our big day. Despite only having minimal time considering it wasn’t even a long weekend that I was traveling down for, we wanted to pack as much in as possible.

I booked my bus three days before I was leaving. I bought my ticket to what would be my first rave ever. I got excited to see him and my family. I got nervous, as I so often do. Nervous about my first rave and what it would make me realize about my little glover, nervous about what his friends would think of me, nervous about not having enough time with my family because I knew how much I’d want to be around him; nervous that once again I’d come out on the other end of my trip reeling for home and for him.

And, as it so often goes, come Friday, the day I was leaving for home, all nerves were gone. It’s like I go into this dreamlike, is-this-real-life state. I enter this space where it feels like I’m waking up–like I don’t actually live in New York City away from everything I’ve ever known. It’s comforting and nostalgic and disheartening all at the same time. It’s like I was finally going home after a too-long vacation and there’s this weight off my chest knowing I’ll be seeing the people I’ve missed more than I ever imagined.

Then it dawned on me that this–New York–is everything I had ever wanted. As my bus barreled into the Lincoln Tunnel I didn’t even have it in me to keep my eyes open to say good-bye to the skyline that has made my heart skip a beat so many times–because all of a sudden the meaning of hopes and dreams and what matters most all seemed to shift.

My bus arrived in DC earlier than expected but just like last time, he drove like a speed demon to ensure we’d get there at the same time. I had only hung out with him one other time, but as soon as I hopped into his car, I felt home. There’s something so comforting in that, to be in the presence of someone who just makes everything melt away. If you haven’t felt it, God I hope you do because it makes every failed relationship seem 100% worth it.

In a matter of moments I was changed and ready for Oliver Heldens. Let me begin by saying if you go to a rave with someone who does these things regularly, trust them when they say what it’ll be like and what you should wear because it will eliminate a lot of unnecessary stress and texts to other people asking about attire and expectations. I guess in a way, apart from falling in love with the lights and the way his eyes gleam when he’s giving someone a glove show and the bass vibrating throughout my entire body, my first rave taught me a thing or two about trust. And for that I look to him and just smile, because again things are starting to make even more sense and I’m so thankful that he’s introducing me to new things.

Post-rave I learned a thing or two about fears. It’s the worst feeling in the world to feel like you’re not good enough or like there’s no way someone could be faithful to you and I get that. When you’ve been hurt time and time again or witnessed it happening to your friends, it’s easy to get lost in your mind and create scenarios that make something so pure seem impossible. It’s easy to think the worst, and in those times, if you ever experience them, I urge you to have faith and trust what’s in front of you because if they didn’t want you, they wouldn’t be trying so hard. So instead of turning a fear that momentarily crosses your mind into something bigger than it ever should’ve been, try to remember that not everyone is the same as the people who have hurt you and genuine people with hearts as big as yours really do exist.

It was another go-to-sleep-at-6:30AM-wake-up-at-9:00AM kind of day. With only roughly 33 more hours until I had to go home, I wasn’t capable of sleeping–I just wanted to appreciate everything around me. I wanted to watch him sleep and listen to him babble in his dreams, I wanted to play with Ched Loon and see my family; I wanted to adventure to the Apple House. I knew he had been wanting to go to his friend’s going away party so I wanted to make sure we at least tried to seize the day instead of sleeping it away like we always do.

We ended up eating at The Cheesecake Factory, going back home and falling into a food coma for the rest of the day. All plans were put on the back burner so that we could cuddle the day away. It was perfect.

When we woke up my sister, brother in-law and nephews had arrived. I halfway thought he was going to want to go to his friend’s party and I was going to have to forfeit family time, but much to my surprise he was talking up a storm and interacting with my family like I’ve never seen someone do before. After dinner, Hannah and I got caught up in seesterly bonding over mermaid nails and back-ordered gossip, while him and Elijah, my 18-month-old nephew, became friends attached at the hip, making me fall a little harder.

This morning we trained for our first and only time together before our race that’s coming up in 13 (I can’t believe it) days. Instead of running at his own speed, he served as my pacer–my own personal cheerleader to keep going.

And then, like we so often do, we fell fast asleep.

Before I knew it, it was nearing 5 o’clock and I needed to load the car to head towards my drop-off.

“Nope, it’s not actually Sunday, it’s Saturday, you can’t go yet.”

“How far away is Thanksgiving?”

“See you soon Beck.”

“I’m sad, I miss you already, honey.”

And just like that it hit me, when you go home for a fleeting 43 hours filled with family and a boy that you’re falling madly for–all of a sudden the place that you were always trying to get away from is the only place you wish you could be.

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