I cannot wait to burst through the door, fling my shoes off and give you a hug, dad. To breathe in that particular smell of home and see the vase that mum loves so much to replenish with fresh flowers.
I cannot wait to feel the piano keys beneath my fingers, to play an impromptu duet with you, Leesh. I can’t wait to tell you how much I hate the fact that you’re taller than me now. I want to know: how are the boys? Are you fighting them off you? Are there a line of boyfriends you’re not telling anyone about? How’s school? How are your friends? In fact, let’s call them over for a sleepover. Show me things on your laptop, all the funny memes and copy pastas I know nothing about. Talk to me. Tell me anything. I want to know.
I cannot wait to hold your cats, my wonderful cousins. I will buy you guys pizza and we will watch that movie we said we’d watch. We can bake cookies too.
I want to sit with you on the sofa with my head on your shoulder, Poppy. When you came onto my screen, asking mum if Skype was working, I was surprised by the tears that sprang to my eyes (I now see why the word sprang is so appropriate: how swift, how unexpected, how inexorable). I was so happy to see you, to tell you I’ve missed you. I want to show you my photos, my videos, the things I have seen. I want to cook with you and roll dough in my hands whilst you pour in the warm, sugar water.
I cannot wait to see you, Alan. It’s been so long! Too bad I can no longer appreciate sliced French sausage or smoked duck breast on top of crisp baguettes. You never look any older each successive time I see you.
I cannot wait to get coffee with you, J. And I cannot wait to sit on your couch since I’m not allowed on your bed. I want to hear about everything. I just want to be there.
I cannot wait to see you, Fee. I want to hear you ramble and I need to hear your outrageous laugh. We need to get high and talk about things.
And still so many more of you, my loves, who I’m dying to see.
Ah, to be able to hold a beer in public and walk along the harbour front the way we like to. To walk into our favourite club and see if our favourite bartenders remember us after our four-month absence. How about the smiley guy who guards the bathroom? The one who always gives us high fives? I do miss him, too.
I cannot wait for New Years Eve. It makes me giddy thinking about it.