J: Back in Haparanda, it was time for me to go back to school, which started the very next day. It was nice to see all my friends again, even at the expense of missing Kylie, but if I’m honest, I didn’t have too much time to miss her, compared to her sitting alone in my apartment. That said, it was always nice to come home and see her every day. I liked to call out that “honeyyyy, I’m hooome” that they always do in movies and shows, because why not? I think that’s one of the things I’m looking forward to the most when we move together. Not having to come home to an empty apartment every day. It’ll be nice to have someone there to greet you and give you kisses when you come home 😀
K: It was odd, having him around every minute of the day and suddenly he wasn’t there anymore. We spent so much of this last week just sleeping in late, uploading photos and catching our breath from being on the go the whole time. It was always nice to see him again after school though! On the first day, we had forgotten to get his apartment key off him and so we were stranded at the apartment and unable to lock up, but luckily he finished early this day and we explored some shops where Mum picked up some discounted Christmas placements and serviettes, Johan bought some new shoes and we had ice creams at yet another candy store! Candy World is supposed to be Europe’s largest candy store, right here in Haparanda. It was pretty large, complete with a children’s playground, but very spacious, and I still don’t quite know whether to believe it or not! Pricing it up though, we found most candy to be cheaper at the grocery stores and so left without, which was probably a good thing because we’d already eaten so much!
J: The first night back to school, I had an assignment to finish, a report on a project we did the first term, which got carried over to the second. The next night, we had some time over to go hunting for northern lights though! I had seen them before in Haparanda, though that was earlier in the season, and we were kinda hopeful that we would catch them again. Alas, we had no luck with that, and that was the last time we tried, but I did show them this nature reserve where we’ve had activities with school, and I wanted to show them this lookout tower from where I think I saw my first ever aurora. Again, we never found that either. That said, it’s a forest, and it’s easy to get lost, and I’d only been there once. One day I’ll find that tower again though!
Also, I made a kladdkaka (a sort of Swedish mudcake). It was okay I guess, but I failed in baking it the way it should be made, and it ended up way too hard and crumbly. But Kylie and her mum enjoyed it.
K: The next day, the key to Johan’s apartment in the hands of Mum and myself, we returned to the nature reserve to try and find this tower he spoke of in the daylight. We had more important matters at hand first though… and spent half hour walking in the wrong direction, because we’d missed one of the turns! It was good exercise nonetheless, and still so beautiful to hear the crunch of snow beneath our boots. It was making me cold and grumpy though, but Mum wasn’t leaving until we went back to ‘her’ forest. We retraced our steps and were soon on the right route again.
And we eventually found it again, this magnificent forest and it’s snow-covered trees straight out of a fairytale.
It’s many long winding roads will eventually lead you to the lake. Another snow-covered lake. You almost wouldn’t be able to tell if it wasn’t for the row boat propped up near the edge. And we met a bloke who went out walking on it, straight shortcut across town! We didn’t trust ourselves though, this was a man who knew the ice and had with him a prodding stick! Still no tower to be seen though… are you sure it existed, Johan? 😛
By the 14th of January, we were getting pretty upset counting the days until going home. Me, because I’d have to leave Johan, and Mum, because she’d have to leave the snow. I slept late while Johan went off to school, wishing he could stay for longer cuddles, packed and repacked suitcases (as I was leaving all of my heavy winter gear with Johan, to avoid having to bring it all back next time) and waited for his lunch breaks with eagerness. Today, I met one of his school friends, Dan, and we talked with him a while. 🙂 Meanwhile, Mum decided she’d go explore the town again without me, walking up and down along the river until after it got dark.
J: On the 15th of January, it was my birthday! Congratulations to me! Me and my friend Dan met Kylie and her mum at the shops after school, and Kylie apparently had a secret she wanted to hide from me! Turned out it was… (drum roll) CAKE! She had bought me my favourite cake 😀 She also hung up a banner thing in my apartment that said happy birthday. She’s nice 🙂
We celebrated with a dinner date at a Chinese place. She had fried rice and I probably had deep fried chicken again. I love that stuff. Then we ended the night by going to the pub and met up with my friends. Kylie doesn’t drink, but I do occasionally. There weren’t many people there though, so we soon moved on to a group home where a lot of students at my school stay, and which frequently host parties.
The night ended well, if you ignore the fact that Kylie got sick, probably from the food at the restaurant.
K: By the next morning, I was feeling fine, at least tummy-wise, not emotional-wise, as it was to be our last day together. Johan was now the one with an upset tummy, and was not a good way to end our trip! Thankfully, it was a Saturday, and we were going to cherish every last moment together. Mum and I had booked a flight from Luleå to Stockholm where we would spend one more night, so we would be ready for our international flights home at Arlanda the next day. Our flight wasn’t departing until the evening though, and it was another 2 and a half hour bus trip to Luleå Airport, and we insisted that Johan come along to spend just those few extra hours together and help us get to where we were going as there was one transfer we had to make.
J: Nothing much happened between the time we arrived at the airport and we parted at the gate. We were the only people in the airport at the time, and so we had the place to ourselves. We mostly spent the time in a nice cosy sofa, holding on to each other and talking. Recounting the good times we had had, and reminding ourselves that it’s not the end and next time we wouldn’t have to leave each other again!
This is also when we finally tore into the chocolate frogs we bought at the Warner Bros Studio Tour four and a half weeks earlier! One could say we drowned our sorrows in the chocolate.
While we were inside feeling sorry for ourselves, Kylie’s mum had gone out into the snow, one last time, and she didn’t return until it was almost time to go to the gate. They even allowed me to go with them though the security and wait with her at the gate, which was nice of them.
K: It was the moment we’d both been dreading. I don’t think there’d been any tears up until this point, which was the same for the first trip. The tears didn’t come until the goodbye. We mostly sat and cuddled, wishing it could last forever, and promising that this would be the last goodbye. Promising that next time, Johan would come to Australia. Promising that next time, I would fly back with him to live our happy ever after. And the tears ensued. And we kissed and hugged and they were calling for us to board. And I didn’t want to let go. But at the same time, Johan needed to get the bus back. It was the last bus that would make it in time for the next connection. We were the last left at the gate. I told him to go. And he did, and Mum took my hand as we headed for the gate. We all looked back at one another. We gave our tickets to the attendant, and I looked back again. He was gone.
J: It was with a heavy heart I walked away. I kept looking back as long as I could still see them, then I rounded the corner and walked out through the exit, and keeping with the theme of this holiday, I only just made the bus back home. This is also when I lost my Ravenclaw scarf, but I didn’t really have the energy to care about that, because I had left Kylie at the airport and we wouldn’t see each other again in many months. In fact, I’m still waiting.
K: There’s not much to say about our flight or our final day in Stockholm. We had a buffet breakfast at the hotel and we couldn’t do much, because we had to be at the airport 2 hours before our lunchtime flight. We had transfers to and from the airport and it was all pretty miserable. Yet the sunsets made me smile, and I held to the belief that next time it would not be a 2 year wait. It would be less, and it would be to move to him.