We swallowed up the M25 tarmac with unusual efficiency. Silence deafened the inside of the car. I felt horrible; I had spent the last two days with my family trying to say goodbye in a way that meant something. But it was two days of silence.
It wasn’t just the past two days. We had barely talked about my year away since it was mentioned. Maybe our silence was a conscious decision, we were perhaps too used to each other. Everything that we wanted to say had been said at more frivolous times. Perhaps when I went off to Tesco’s one day to get some bread and mum told me to take care, come back safe and that I was going to be missed… that was the moment spent grieving my absence. Back in 1999.
The car could not fit anymore of my life or anymore of Jime’s wardrobe inside. If my brother and I weren’t separated by 4 years it would have been like being twins in the womb again as we reacquainted ourselves on the back seat. Should have had that shower – not a great start to 36 hours without one. Songs came and went in typical MP3 fashion; a mismatch of 70’s Driving Rock, Drive-time 80’s Rock and 90’s Rock Music for Driving. They sparked the only conversation that we had – memories of concerts past and concerts to come and promises of concerts when I return.
And then; complete silence. We had reached Heathrow.. Well, we were ensnarled in its environs. The possibility of successfully navigating the Heathrow traffic system are approximately 3720 to 1. Trust was placed with my dad at the helm. Confidence sweated from him, all he needed from us was complete silence… all he needed from his car was the sound of the sat nav. We were there. Almost.
We grabbed a trolley, unloaded and wandered into the terminal. A last minute weigh-in, wrapping of cases and a remortgaging of the flat to cover the cost of additional baggage and we were ready… for coffee.
And so we sat to enjoy the moment. And we did. The silence was golden.