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One Day You Will Return

Story ID:8887
Written by:Michael Timothy Smith (bio, link, contact, other stories)
Story type:Musings, Essays and Such
Location:Boise Idaho USA
Year:2013
Person:Aryan
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One Day You Will Return

In early April of 2011, I started a contract position with a major computer
and software firm. Two years later, I had great friends.

There was one young man who became a very good friend. Aryan is from India.
In his early thirties, six foot two inches tall, with shoulders as broad as a small truck, he
is a formidable specimen of a man.

He, several others and I took our breaks together. It didn't take long for me
to realize this young man's heart was as big as his body.

Aryan is a sensitive man. He and I have the same type of hearts. We quickly
became friends.

He didn't laugh; he giggled. It was strange and endearing at the same time.
Soft heart and giggle: it was another clue into the soul of this big man.

For two years we talked. We shared his feelings about life. Aryan knew his
feelings were safe with me. Mine were safe with him.

Trust is important. We cherish friends we trust with our innermost thoughts.

Aryan came to the USA in 2008, the same year I moved to Idaho. We didn't
meet until I joined our present company in 2011.

The USA had been his home for five years. Each year, our company renewed his contract and
visa to stay here, but in 2013 they didn't. Aryan had to go back to India
and work for our company in Bangalore.

In Idaho, Aryan had his own apartment for the first time in his life. He made
a life in the USA. He had friends and a girlfriend – a beautiful woman named Jennifer.

I volunteered to help Aryan get to the airport. He refused. He didn't want
Jennifer to go with him either. My friend was afraid of the goodbyes and planned to take
a taxi.

I challenged him. "Aryan," I wrote. "There is no way I am going to let you go
to the airport alone. I want to be there for you."

The night before his departure, I had Aryan and Jennifer for dinner.

Aryan ate very little. His pain was obvious. Twice during the evening he
held his hands to his face to hide his anguish. He was from India, but Idaho is his
home.

The same tears appeared at his apartment, "This is the last time I will be here.
I'll never come home to my apartment again." He broke down and left the room to
regain control of himself.

My heart felt the pain. My own tears threatened to spill, but I stayed strong.
I knew he needed my strength to get through the ordeal.

I was glad I insisted on getting him to the airport, because he had seven suitcases.
Four of them were huge – all his life in bags. I drove to the airport behind him and
Jennifer. My front passenger seat held one suitcase. Two others filled my back seat and
two small bags filled the spare room I had in my trunk. Jennifer and Aryan went in her
car with the final two cases.

At the airport, I unloaded his luggage at the entrance for departures and
began to say goodbye. I didn’t want to go in with them. I wanted to give him and Jennifer
their privacy. Aryan insisted I come. Once again, I sensed his fear of saying goodbye.

I felt the same fear in my heart.

He got his boarding pass, learned he was close to missing his flight and
the three of us rushed to the security checkpoint, where the goodbyes could wait
no longer.

It was here that I received the hug I will never forget. It was a hug reserved for
a father and son. Aryan held me tight, his face next to mine and squeezed me tight. It was
a beautiful hug, which I willingly returned.
On that day, I hugged a man like a woman. I am not ashamed of it. Aryan
is like a son. He is a friend.

I'll miss you, dear friend.

One day you will return.

Michael T. Smith