I refused to submit to my initial nervous twinge. "Maybe he didn't get messages. You know––dropped calls."
As I tried to answer emails, butterflies stirred in my stomach. The airline gave me the wrong information.
The butterflies turned into bats. There's been an accident. Leathery wings flapped. They're in a coma––yes, both of them.
Half the time I knew they were fine, but concentration proved impossible, so I lay on my bed to visit with my fears. Heartburn commanded me to call the police. The quivering in my knees said, no, call the FBI. Call Interpol. I pictured Ben's worried face. He'd been trying to reach Victor for two days, and I'd only been involved for a few hours. I breathed in his anxiety and breathed out calm. How many other people had shown up at airports and train stations and bus depots, and were shaken when their loved ones did not appear as planned? I breathed in everyone's where-the-hell-are-they and breathed out they’re-okay.
One sleepless night later, Ben heard from Victor. He'd accidentally provided the wrong flight information and hadn’t responded to messages because he was out of phone service range.
Nothing had happened. Yet there was no denying my heartburn and wobbly knees. And no denying the relief: the exhale that relaxed clenched muscles, the sigh of oh-silly-me.
It was all in my head. And completely real.
Cow Epiphany #2