Last Thursday, N left for a weekend business trip to Las Vegas. I was invited to come with the caviat that I secured my own travel arrangements (his company-sponsored airfare had already been purchased). Late notice left me with the frightening option of a $500 roundtrip flight from Los Angeles. My only other choice was to drive both ways, alone. We’re talking a four-hour long route, notorious for heavy traffic. Despite knowing how potentially painful the car ride would be, the mere thought of joining N was enough to trump apprehension. I braced myself for the lone journey and headed north towards Sin City.
And what a city it was! N and I dined at one of the most highly-acclaimed buffets on the strip, noshing on delicacies from every region imaginable. We sipped rounds of Ketle sodas and puffed cigars until it was last call at the bar. We relaxed in the serenity of the hotel room, sprawled out on a bed that we would never have to make. Sunday came much too quickly and it was soon time to depart. N had his return flight scheduled and I was prepared to drive home in what was sure to be unyielding traffic. To be honest, I was glad N was taking the hour-long flight back because he’s inherently impatient and he dreads extended road trips even more than I do.
Only, he never boarded his flight back to Los Angeles.
Despite already having a plane ticket, N chose to accompany me on the car ride home. I was completely surprised and so incredibly happy. It’s not often that the obvious choice gets ignored. And when it’s not required but happens anyway, it’s even more meaningful. Sure, there were times when the congested freeway made me want to pull over and call it quits. There may have even been moments during the never-ending drive where N secretly cursed his decison. But we finally returned to Los Angeles together – a pair of bonded, exhausted road warriors. It can be difficult to quantify how much you care about someone. But now I can say, with certainty, that the love N and I have stretches for at least 270 long desert miles.