We spent much time going back to the same places that we liked; the little back-alley sushi bars & curry eateries, browsing through novelty shops, exploring different neighbourhood public onsen bathhouses, and we even bought a picnic mat so we could celebrate his birthday under the golden yellow-leaved ginkgo trees. It was wonderful.
One of the toughest pre-holiday booking was deciding between Disneyland and DisneySea; in the end we opted for the latter since it was exclusive to Japan. It was his first time at a Disney theme park. It was utterly magical, at least for me. I hope that he felt the same way. I should ask.
The Mori Digital Art Museum by TeamLab was also one of the highlights of our trip. I think we spent close to 4 hours in there. Pretty!
We got on a day tour to catch a stunning view of Mount Fuji from Lake Kawaguchiko. Despite the heavy traffic getting there and back (it was a public holiday in Japan), we found out later that we were very lucky, as she's known to be shy, hiding behind clouds and fog. She was very kind to us that day.
Our last day was the most difficult. We navigated the streets of Tokyo aimlessly, both pretending that we were okay, that it was almost forgotten that at the end of our charming week together, we would be heading our separate ways.
No, we weren't breaking up.
His flight back to KL was scheduled at 11:45PM, while mine was to Taipei; 5 hours later at 4:50AM. I've decided to temporarily relocate myself there for the next 10 weeks or so. Yes, we're doing the long distance thing. Looking back, it may have been the dumbest decision I've made.
During dinner, his eyes suddenly welled-up and he cried a little. Seeing him break down like that, my heart paced and a lump formed in my throat. For the first time, I was afraid of leaving without him. Our ride to the airport was a quiet one. We took some pictures in the train and held each others' hands. He told me that he secretly wished that his flight would be delayed so that we could spend a little more time together. I smiled at his silliness.
When we reached the airport terminal, we laughed when they displayed a "delayed" status for his flight. That bought us 45 more minutes together. 45 precious minutes that I'm so grateful for.
Then came the dreaded moment. My flight was too early to be checked-in, so we had to say our goodbyes at the departure gate. I can't remember how many times we hugged while walking there. But when I knew that it would soon be our last, it hit my heart like a hammer and I started crying like a man. He hugged me till the tears stopped, then he walked on and disappeared past the sliding doors.
Today's only our third day apart. It hasn't been easy. Exploring a city alone isn't quite the same when you know that there's someone who you wish could be there with you. No joke, but I see him everywhere and in everything I do. I know that we only need to endure the next 10 weeks. Some would even laugh at us. "What's 10 weeks?".. But hey, we've never done anything even remotely close to this.
He's due to visit February next year. He'll be bringing me home. But until then, I've made a promise that I'll make the most of my time here in Taipei.
I'll be counting down the days, and counting up the moments till we meet again. I miss you.