My greatest fear before coming back to Israel was that Uri was going to ditch me at the airport. I''d be there, vulnerable, having flown all the way to Israel to pursue a relationship with him, and he''d leave me there, humiliated. I''d be standing, helpless, in foreign land with no where else to turn to but a napkin to cry in.

This was only my second time coming to Israel. The first time, which was only four months before then, I came on Birthright. When we arrived, our trip organizers met us in the baggage claim. Because of this, I thought Uri was also going to meet me there. For those of you that know Ben Gurion Airport, you know that friends and family wait in an area after you leave baggage claim. Only hired tour guides can meet travelers inside it.
 
Photo by Hoyasmeg on Creative Commons
Photo by Hoyasmeg on Creative Commons
 
So when I came to pick up my bags and saw that Uri wasn''t there, I panicked. Quite literally. I had a panic attack. First, I cried my eyes out. Then I started having extremely short breaths. When it became apparent that I could hardly breathe, I sat down. I tried to gain my composure and breathe long, deep breaths. But then all of my doubts entered my mind: Perhaps this was the stupidest thing I had ever done. How could I have trusted that love would work out? And then, the sobbing would ensue.


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This probably went on for around 20 minutes because by the time I had calmed down, my bags were sitting in a pile away from the carousel, waiting to be taken to Lost and Found. Taking them somehow made me become a bit more normal: if I was so out of it that my luggage almost went to the never-never land of L & F (also known as "Lost and Fucked"), I really needed to snap out of it and get my shit together. I was in a new country. I needed to get out of here alive.


Thankfully, I prepared well enough to have Uri''s cell phone number (as well as his other numbers) written in a piece of paper in my pocket. After a few minutes of figuring out how to call collect from the airport payphone, I finally managed to hear a ringtone.


Ring ring went the phone. Thump thump went my heart. The phone picked up. "Where are you? I was getting worried." I made up some lie about taking a long time to get through airport security. Thankfully, that''s a very easy excuse in Israel.


Then I saw Uri. We embraced. We told each other how much we missed each other. And we left the airport to begin our relationship.


Now, it''s been a year since that scary arrival. And I have to say, he''s shown up ever since. 

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