She turned and walked away, her footsteps making an eerie sound on the cold airport floor. She must not look back; she could not look back. She knew that if she did, she would lose it. She would let the ache, the pain, and the sheer terror, overcome her. Her heart was torn into a million tattered pieces, yet just a few hours ago it had been singing, flying amongst the clouds of love, entwined with that of the man she loved. She knew if she turned now, he would be standing there, that if she turned he would never leave, a nd yet they both knew he had to go. So she continued to will one foot in front of the over and walk away.

They had both known his visit would have to end, and he would have to go back to his own country, once more being thousands of miles away from her. She got to the car and went to turn on the engine, the sound of a jet engine starting up made her hand stop just before the ignition key, and she lost it. All the pain came flooding out, tears fell like veil across her eyes. She was numb, she was aching and she heartbroken.

How long she sat there she did not know. Her face was blotched. Tears had been streaming from now reddened eyes. She could not drive. She was shaking, and she was so, so lonely. She took out from her pocket the last gift he had pressed into her hand just before she turned away, opening the small box she found a delicate heart-shaped locket. She took it and opened it, revealing the engraving inside "Forever" it said, and once more the sheet of tears covered her vision.

A long while later she finally started off home, driving automatically, her thoughts with a man flying ever further away from her, and a heartache that almost stopped the breath filling her chest.

She got home, entering the door almost expecting him to be there, welcoming her as he done the couple of days that she had gone to work while he was there. She sat down fingering the locket, thinking of the times they had together. Feeling the touch of his lips still on hers, the warmth of his body as they lay side by side, the tenderness of their loving, and the heat of their passion. But now he was gone.

The days went by, they talked and they talked on the phone, but it was not the same. He was not there with her. Often at night or working through the day she held the heart locket and pictured his eyes smiling at her, and knew that they would be together one day. And each time she realized it would not be for some time and the heartache and loneliness started once more. She lived for their phone calls, scanned the net for his emails, and ached with every fiber of her body to hold him again.

Christmas, the New Year, went by and if anything the missing and the ache got even worse. Some nights she swore in her half-asleep moments he was there holding her. She could feel his warmth beside her, smell that masculine smell that aroused her body, then she turned and realized he was not there.

February came, a beautiful bouquet of flowers was delivered to her door, with it a note with words that only he could have written. Words that brought back the tears that had covered her face that night when he had left her. That night she wept, hugging her locket to her heart, wishing with all and everything he was there to take this loneliness away from her.

The next morning she woke eyes still red, and stumbled down the stairs. It was Valentines Day, and she expected a card from him. That would have to do until later that day when she would hear his voice on the phone. She fished in the mailbox, and sure enough there was a card with the writing she knew so well on it. Slowly she made her way back to the house, not wanting to open the card until she was inside, knowing that there would be tears once again. She sat down and looked at the letter, her sleep-starved brain slowly realizing there was something wrong with the address.

It came to her in a flash, yet puzzled her. There was no stamp on the letter! Slowly she turned the envelope over, written on the back were the letters DBH, what the heck did that mean?, DBH?

All at once she was awake, throwing the letter down she rushed to the door. Her heart pounding DBH, Delivered by Hand, Delivered by Hand! She throw open the door and there he was, arms open, and a smile as big as the distance that had previously separated them. Again the tears came this time from happiness. She sobbed into his shoulder, and he kept telling her that he was home, he was home.

This was her Valentine's gift, a gift she would never forget. He, like her had found he could not live without her, and now he was there. This time there would be no tears, no goodbyes. This time he was home, and it would be forever

Barry Eva 2001