We say goodbye at the airport, as usual. It was supposed to be two weeks, as usual. Two weeks away of each other, him in a country, me in an other. Then we would be together again for a few days, maybe a week.
But something happens the next day: they stopped the flights in and to his country because of a virus that started to spread worldwide. No panic, we can meet in Oman the next weekend if they don’t stop the flights to Oman. We don’t have much information but it can’t be too catastrophic.
It should be a month? A month and a half? We will see. We love each other, we trust each other. We will be fine.
Late March: We are doing okay but after a month away it is getting hard. How many more weeks? Two? Three? An other month? No, it can’t be that much. They will find a way to make flights safe, to control this virus, to make a vaccine. Some countries are imposing curfew, some are imposing quarantine, some are imposing nothing at all. The situation is getting serious but we had no idea it was only the beginning. We spend hours on the phone everyday. We talk, laugh (a lot), debate, share… Our relationship is getting stronger and our feelings deeper. But it is getting really hard for us as individuals.
April: the world stops. Our world stops. We understand at this moment that it will take – way – longer than we thought. There are more and more cases. Media are making people panic and it is working. The situation is getting complicated to handle mentally but let’s be realistic: countries’ economy is getting really bad. Businesses are shuting down. Airlines are suffering HUGE time. For economic reasons, it would be logic that they open the flights in June, at least between GCC countries, to allow citizens and residents to get some freedom for holidays. GCC countries are like brothers, they will find a way to coordinate with each other regarding security measures, rules, etc. They will make it happen. It is just logical. I start checking the news and the flights ten times a day. They won’t let a virus not that dead ly take over their economy. Or would they?
May: they would. And our emotional rollercoaster keeps accelerating. How many more months now? We really suffer from this situation. Hours of phone calls are not worth one hug. Video calls are great but nothing can replace a moment together. Our relationship still grows stronger. We barely argue. We both go through ups and downs. Never at the same time, thanks god. When I am down, he makes me feel better. When he is down, I make him feel better. I have hope? He is realistic. He has hopes? I remind him our past (numerous) false hopes. I am getting allergic to “hopefully” and “soon”. These two words start to slightly annoy me. But still, “hopefully, they will open the flights soon”. And “hopefully” maximum for my birthday in July, I would love to have him by my side on my birthday. I keep checking the news and the flights ten times a day.
June: no news about the flights. They should open the UAE to tourists in July but there is nothing official. But that is such great news! Because indeed it is logical that they open for tourists as early as they can, when the virus is getting “controllable”. I should see him soon. I can’t wait. I am getting excited.
Late June: It is official. Tourists will be welcome in the UAE from July, 8th! Yayyyy! I am super happy. No. Wait. No need to be excited yet to be disappointed once again. Still, I feel like I will see him soon. I can’t help being optimistic. But again… Let’s wait for the authorities to confirm the opening of the flights from his country. I stop checking the news and the flights ten times a day. I am checing only five times a day now.
July: I am alone for my birthday. It is always a complicated day for me, and he won’t be here with me to make it better. Worse: no news from his country. At all. Nothing about the flights. Worst case scenario: if they open the land borders between GCC countries, we can meet at the Saudi border. At this point we would do anything to be together. But there is no news about the borders at all. “Someone told me they might open at the end of the month”, meh I don’t really trust any more information.
That would be greeat though, it is in three weeks! No. Let’s. Not. Get. Excited.
The UAE go to March, the UAE become the first Arab nation to produce nuclear energy, Saudi increases VAT from 5 to 15%, His Highness XXX is transported to his hospital for X reason, His Highness goes to the USA to undergo surgery… But nothing about the borders nor the flights.
Disappointment. Sadness. Despair. Anger. Impatience. Confusion. The feeling of being so powerless is killing us. Missing each other is killing us. There is NOTHING we can do. Absolutely nothing. Our days are rythmed with “if”, “when”, “hopefully”, “soon”, “maybe”, “we will see”.
End of July. They didn’t open the flights nor the borders.
How long is it gonna be now? An other month? Two? A few weeks?
They might open flights in GCC countries after Hajj, to keep a reasonable numbers of pilgrims this year and avoid to many new numbers of cases. They might, or not. We don’t know.
August: we still don’t know. And this is what has been killing us for five months now. Not knowing. UNCERTAINTY is something I hate. Something that makes me nervous and uncomfortable. Far from being a control freak (okay, maybe not that far), I really don’t manage uncertainty very well. I am being too optimistic sometimes and the disappointment that follows is just too much. “Pray for the best, get ready for the worst”. I do pray too strong for the best and ain’t ever really ready for the worst.
But let’s keep calm, if we can’t change a situation, let’s accept it. BS. It is so easier said than done. Some days yes it is fine, we accept it, this is life and our situation could be much worse. We have each other, we love each other, and this distance between us will eventually end. But still. If you ask me how I am feeling, I am okay. I am fine. But there is something killing me inside, some days it is stronger than others. But we did it so far and we are doing great together. Five months now and no idea how many more days, weeks or months. “Hopefully” days or weeks. “Hopefully” we will be together “soon”.