His flight will come in on a Thursday evening, and you will have taken off work for the next day to spend time with him. You will bounce your leg as you sit on the couch in your apartment living room. You will turn your phone screen on and off to check the time, his face fading in and out with the minutes.
His flight lands at 8:55 pm.
It will take you fifteen minutes to drive to the airport, assuming that there is no traffic. It will take you five minutes to walk out of your apartment, lock the door, and get down to your car, assuming that you haven't forgotten something. You will check the time on your phone again: 8:15 pm. You get up. Maybe traffic will be heavy tonight.
He will wait.
Your car follows the circle drive up to meet him. He gives a wave, and you can see a slight grimace on his face. A man behind him is smoking a cigarette. You know how much he hates the smell. The kiss you give him is awkward and dry, a testament to how long it has been. Thinking about kissing him is not the same as kissing him, and kissing him now is not the same as it was the last time.
He has one bag.
You will tell him that he can put it anywhere, and he will place it in the corner of your room. "Don't want to take up to much space," he will say. He never does. His presence is much like that of the text notifications he sends you--there and peripheral.
He will suggest a drink.
You bought his favorite beer before he got here--a dark stout. Wheaty and grainy and warm. He likes to drink right out of the bottle, and you like to watch him. He tilts his head back and his thumb presses against the curve of the bottle neck. There is something about how easily he takes it, about how easily the dark liquid can slide down his throat and he can slide beside you on the couch, shoulder to shoulder. That warms you.
Where he starts.
He always starts in your chest--that moment where you feel foolish for being flustered by a look or lip curl or a laugh. He makes you feel full of helium. His feeling moves to your cheeks, red and delicate in the dim lighting of your apartment. The only true color. The feeling spreads to your hands and your stomach and your knees and your back. He always moves through you, and you always let him.
Where he is.
On the apartment balcony, he will blow cold air in your face like smoke (even though he hates smoking). The two of you look across the parking lot at the pulled blinds and curtains of sleepy people. One apartment catches your eye with its white string of premature Christmas lights wrapped around the balcony railing. You wonder why people rush towards what is so far away. Why people don't focus on what is in front of them--why they're are so eager to get to an idolized place that they will simply move past in an instant. But then you look at him leaning next to you, warmly lit and hazy in winter night mist, and then you understand.