“Any forbidden weapons in that suitcase of yours, ma’am?” said the security agent as she pulled the corners of her mouth into an awkward, friendly smile. I wanted to answer just a little bit of loneliness but shook my head and asked her to be careful with my neatly folded shirts instead. There’s something so superficial about airports. No one really wants to be here, it’s like we’re temporarily stuck in an intermezzo before we go on with our lives. A postponed future, making us cranky, so we complain to other passengers whilst sipping cold coffees and trying to get comfortable on plastic chairs. But not to me, this used to be my safe haven, since you were always here waiting for me, my favourite Starbucks coffee in your hands. No matter what part of the world my feet were touching, no matter how many countless miles I was away from you, never really sleeping, never really awake, I knew you would be right here when I got back. The promise of home that came with your smile, I treasured it when I felt lonely on those trips abroad. Somehow, it made things bearable and ok.
I came here as fast as I could, sweetheart. Yet throughout my flight I hoped for the plane to crash down, for me to never arrive to that empty airport. Ooh, there would be people alright, a whole bunch of them, but not you. I feel ashamed, for I’ve always loved life, it never crossed my mind to ever wish for such a dreadful thing, but then again I never wished for you to get snatched away from me, either. The thing that scared me the most, to lose you while I was gone, to not be able to rush to hospital, to not be by your side, how come it came true? It’s the silent reason we always carry our phones in our hands when we’re far away from home. That nagging feeling that makes us say “I love you” about fifty times before we leave. We fear to lose, yet when we do, we can’t believe it could actually happen. I thought the fear itself was as painful as it could get. I must have been naive back then. Nothing can describe this torture, memories of you pulsing through my veins, filling my entire body with grief and disbelief. I notice my craving for you, as my eyes scan the arrival hall, and can’t help but think, who will be waiting for you at the other side? Then I realize, none of this is about me. It’s about you, my darling. Where you are, where you’re going. Are you feeling alone? You make me wish I never left, though I know it would’ve made no difference, I couldn’t have stopped fate to catch up on you, but at least I would’ve gotten three or four more nights to spend curled up by your side, blissfully yours.
My feet aren’t really touching the floor as I walk towards a familiar face in the crowd, leaving my suitcase behind, trying to shake of the burden, the exhaustion. I’m tip-toeing, yet I don’t know why. Your father’s face looks like a silhouette of what it once was, nothing but dark lines and purplish skin. It looks like tears have demolished his features and I’m afraid he’s about to unleash them as he catches my gaze with his. Of all things, I’m thankful for one thing; he was with you when you died. I feel selfish saying this, knowing how utterly terrified your father must have been, both of you in the car wreck; how desperate he must have felt when he couldn’t get you to respond to him anymore. But I can’t help it, I’m thankful he was there. As he touches my hand, I look for an expression on his face that reminds me of you. I only discover defeat tugging at the corners of his mouth, his eyebrows slightly raised as if he feels surprised, eyes bloodshot and pupils wide. I stop looking, knowing your smile is forever gone.
“ How was your flight?” he asks, in lack of anything else to say. I don’t remember. My mind refuses to recall anything but you. “I got on the first plane,” I could hear myself apologizing already for not being there when it happened. “Of course you did,” he said with a slight nod. “ How are you? Are you still in pain?” I urged, not wanting to talk about you yet. I simply couldn’t. “This is what hurts the most,” he said with a soft voice, placing his hand on his chest. “My heart rate’s been up ever since it happened, like I’ve been running to catch up with time and reverse all of this. I know I can’t, but how can I calm down?” he was breathing heavily “No one should die before their parents do, how will I be able to pick the right coffin, arrange the funeral? How will I ever be able to forgive myself for living when my boy had to die?” he was crying and I was far beyond. I wasn’t prepared for big words like ‘coffin’ and ‘funeral’. I dropped my head on his shoulder, wanting to comfort him, yet I was too preoccupied with sadness washing over me to say the right thing. “I’m pregnant,” I blurted out, the skin of my cheek touching the prickly fabric of his jacket. He put his arms around me, whispering “I know, he told me right before it happened.” I burst into tears, imagining the look on your face, telling your father the news. I’m sure you spoke of our baby as the proudest dad-to-be. Our baby. Thank god a small part of you was still here. I might sound childish, talking with words of perfection, but to me, you were absolutely and will always be, perfect. “Now, now…I didn’t mean to upset you,” your father hushed. I felt silly for not being able to comfort him the way he comforted me. Then again, he had been and still was, a father. He had comforted before. “He loved you very much,” I whispered, wanting to say something to make sense, to console him, even if it was for two or three seconds. I could feel the gentle thumping of his heart through his chest and relaxed a little. “There’s one thing that keeps me on my feet, my dear, and that’s the fact that your baby will have a guardian angel as a dad.” He couldn’t have said a more perfect thing.
Sweet readers, thanks for reading my little piece!There’s always HOPE ♥
By the way, I’m trying to arrange the text of my short stories a little more in book form so it’s more fluent for you all to read. Tell me what you think 🙂 love xoxo Froe
Reader dedications: Marie, Ridhima, Frances, Ish, Jamie, Angel, Elena, Theresa, Angie, Sander, Ronin, Christian, Ginger, Eva