I followed the signs only thinking of getting out as fast as I could. I have never sped through checks at any airport as fast as I did at this one. I was out of passport checks before any people had even made it to the end of the gangway.
In the baggage claim is where I made my one mistake. Since I had no bags, I just headed for the nearest exit out. Then I looked around, puzzled that no one was there. My plane was arriving an hour after theirs, so they should have been there.
Maybe theirs was late. How fun that would be! I had been disappointed that I wouldn't be there to meet theirs, and ours had come in half an hour early, so there was hope. I scanned the boards for where their came in, and ran there. It was empty.
I ran back to where I came out, my eyes scanning people looking for two that I know - well, two and the family of one. I shouldn't miss them.
But they were nowhere.
I walked back to their gate. Nothing. Then back to where I came out. Nothing.
My lip began to tremble and tears pooled in my eyes. Where were they? Even if they weren't here, the other family would be here... they would be waiting for me at least. But nothing.
Right before I gave in and let the tears fall, I looked up once more to see where my gate was.... ah! I had just come out the closest gate, but not the "official" one for my flight. So I once more began to run towards that gate.
Then I saw him.... standing with his back to me watching my gate. His shoulders had slumped a little. People had stopped coming out of the gate, and he still stood there waiting. My heart leaped, and I giggled.
Then quickly, but very quietly, I snuck up behind him and kissed him on the back of his neck.