I think it’s safe to say that
Your jitters have kicked in.
You asked me whether
You’ve packed the right clothes thrice;
Repacked your suitcase twice and,
Questioned me if they’re going to like you
A hundred times.
I asked you about your favourite song,
It didn’t take you half a breath
To name a tune from the seventies.
I told you how every morning
The radio woke with the sun
And had breakfast with the family
Because it played songs from when
The films where monochrome
To when colour was new to the screen.
This seemed to change the course
Of the butterflies in your stomach
And your queries shifted
To who liked what.
You’ve been grinning all through the ride to the airport
And throughout all the formalities.
You kept talking about how excited you were
And all the plans you were waiting to execute.
But you’ve gone a little quiet now
At the bookstore near the gate.
I let the reality and jitters settle down on you
To dwell over your thoughts for a while longer,
Smiling whenever I catch your sight.
You’ve taken your seat next to the window
Letting me take my aisle seat –
It was easy traveling with you;
Our seat preferences were complimenting.
We take off a few hours before dawn.
Usually, you’d be drooling by now
But your eyes are lost beyond the clouds
With not a hint of sleep in them.
I nudge your elbow lightly with mine.
“Hey. What’s up?”
You give me soft sigh and whisper,
“What if they don’t like me?”
I try to give you reasons why they won’t dislike you
But before I can you continue,
“Or what if I don’t like everything about them?”
“Well. Then you don’t.”
“You don’t like everything about them.”
You look at me confused, not expecting my response;
Not satisfied with my response.
“You don’t have to like everything about someone
To make them family.”
“Yes, true. But -”
“But that’s really just it.”
You let out a louder sigh this time,
Full of doubt.
“Listen. Being family isn’t about loving everything
It’s about loving some bits and not loving some
But eventually being in a place of love for them
At the end of the day for most parts of it.”
You still seem nervous if not as much as earlier
Aware of the facts if not in a place of believing.
So I lean in a little closer and tell you,
“It’s okay if you don’t like them at all either.
I don’t like some of them myself.”
And the butterflies giggle into dawn above the clouds.