I applied for my dream job here. I broke up with a guy here. I forever swore off IPAs here. ATL is never a place I come intentionally, but where I somehow always end up. There are worse places, really. I’d rather be stuck with a long layover here than EWR. I’d rather race through these terminals and hop on the Plane Train than have to race through PHL and wipe out on those moving walkways. Because at least there is a Chick-Fil-A in Atlanta.
I come here this time on my way back to Boston from visiting my parents. It’s weird to go home now. My siblings aren’t there. My old classmates aren’t there. It seems like my only visits are to the dentist and this time, even my usual hygienist wasn’t there. But I got to see him.
And I suppose this is the point where you 4 followers realize I am indeed a human with a back story. More than 6 years ago, I fell in love for the first time. Sure, we broke up, I was heartbroken, we got back together, I was heartbroken again, and then, I thought I was done with him. After all, he moved off the continent and I stayed, but I guess I never really stopped loving him. And not in a creepy and obsessive way. I mean, how do you know you ever really know that the first person who stole your heart ever gave the whole thing back?
He’s the only one who ever really got me. He’s still the only guy I’ve ever fallen for that might be smarter than me (just don’t tell him I admit that). He’s a match for witty banter and for creating terrible puns. He appreciates my quirks and has lots of his own that I love. He knows that I always water down my apple juice, and that I point my toes when I stand and talk. He’s come with me to get medianoches at midnight because I thought it would be fun. I’ve begged for In-N-Out and, despite him trying to be paleo, he took me as soon as I landed at LAX. We froze in the waters of Santa Monica and trekked through vortexes in Sedona. We played MarioKart to prep for real go-karting. And we laughed at my wipeouts while I learned to paddleboard.
And so, as I sit here at ATL waiting for my flight to change gates for the fourth time, I’m faced with another life decision. Do I let him keep that tiny bit of my heart, or do I find a way to steal it back?