"Seems we have an empty seat."
I looked up and over at the man who spoke. He was older, with a reddish complexion. What must have been, once, a shock of hair was now mostly gone. A tinge of its red color was still visible in the remnant.
"Yes," I said, not inviting further conversation. I was all too aware of the empty plane seat beside me.
A documentation mixup and I found myself making this trip alone. The ordinary, trivial, inconvenient experiences of travel - and he is not there to share them.
As a couple there are silences between us. Quiet, companionable silences where words would be an intrusion.
Absence, however, is experienced very differently. The work week, with its patterns, is bad enough. Unexpected, unplanned for absences do not sit well with me.
With each passing hour another 500 miles of distance opened up between us. No. Such did not sit well with me at all.
Can you imagine a future alone? I cannot.