Japan Part 1: The Elephant in The Room

This is the story of how I ended up going on my honeymoon by myself.  No use in hanging a lampshade on it or trying to draw out a tired exercise in suspense.I can’t quite talk about Japan without addressing the elephant in the room. That my husband, despite his attempts to medicate himself, cannot, will not and arguably,should not fly.  It all started in an airport, and ended with me on the streets of Tokyo clasping my portable WiFi and a steamed bun.

“I can’t do it.”  We’re standing in the boarding bridge and he looks like he’s about to be sick. Or pass out. Or both. My mouth dries up and all I can hear is the blood rushing to my ears. A heavy thud. Thud. Thud. He’s crying and shaking. And I can hear my own voice. Pleading. Begging. Come on, we’ve got this far. People fly all the time. We’ve been looking forward to this for so long. Surely the diazapam would have kicked in by now? But it’s no use. My husband is certainly not getting on the plane and we’re certainly not going to Japan for our honeymoon. At least not today. And, well certainly not him.

I don’t think I can quite begin to describe the disappointment of walking back through the airport as our flight took off.  The immediate danger out the way, Paul had returned to a quiet steady calm – something that for the most part I usually found comfort in. Not then though. No. In those moments, it was the closest I’ve ever come to hating my husband. I was full of fire and venom and a generous dose of good old fashioned heartbreak. I phoned my best friend. “We’re not going.” I choked out. What do you mean you’re not going? But all I could hear was the bloody still rushing in my ears.

I still went of course. Of course I was going to Japan. The flights had been booked, train tickets purchased and we had an itinerary wish list as long as both my arms put together. Just maybe not the way I originally had intended. By the time we got back to our flat, I’d calmed down and we sat, curled up as I went through the process of booking myself new flights, getting refunds of train tickets and emailing our AirBnB host. Okay, so maybe not a honeymoon but still Japan. The anger let up easily enough – made way for something new.  Anticipation. Fear. But mostly excitement. I was going to mother fucking Japan, and nothing was going to stop me.


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