When the pilot dings us to signal our descent, my ears are already plugged and I swallow hard to relieve the pressure. I put my belongings away and adjust my posture as instructed. Anxiously, I pull my lap belt tight. In the event of a crash it won’t save me and yet its presence eases my mind. I consciously hold my jaw looser and take a deep breath into my gut to calm the thumpthumpthumpthump that everyone can hear from my chest. I brace myself for the inevitable crash every single time we land.
I am always disaster-ready, planning for the worst case scenario in all situations. I’m not prepping for the apocalypse but I certainly know where I’d go if that happens: I’m headed straight to my best friend’s house; her husband is prepping. The nearest exits in every room are mapped on my brain and I’ve already put sunscreen into my bag for you when we go to the beach. I’m already prepared for when you’re late or when you cancel plans for me. Like when he showed up an hour and a half late to our first date, but I was still there calmly waiting. I show up 15 minutes early because my excitement is high, but I am always tempered with the what ifs. I brace for the disaster that is inevitable. I plan for when you will leave. Like when he had packed all of his stuff and removed it before letting me know he loved me but didn’t want to marry me. His belongings had never integrated into the space anyways, they were just placeholders. I expect you to be halfway out the door before we’ve even begun to get to know each other, but you’re not gone yet. Buckled up and rapidly breathing, I am prepared for the heartache that will happen, because it always does.