Maria nearly missed her seat on the hard bench with her boarding pass in tow. Still in a daze, she looked around the surprisingly quiet airport. Ever since she left home, things seemed to be happening in s-l-o-w motion. Hmm… home? The burly flight attendant who had issued her ticket some minutes ago seemed to pick up on the months of hurt and emptiness in her eyes. “Are you okay, ma’am?”. She appreciated his sentiment, but all that she could do was nod. Am I okay? What does that word even mean anymore? Clutching the white piece of paper from his surprisingly gentle hand, she started toward her departure gate. Gate 72?! The girls’ birth month and day. Was it supposed to be a sign? Were Rosie and Lilly somehow starting over with her? Did they approve? Maria shook her head and began to feel woozy. Time to sit down.
Maybe all of it was just a bad, bad dream that she couldn’t wake up from. Like the twins sometimes had. Had she really just left behind their little white house and the rocking horses and… Joe?! Her high school sweetheart. And then there was the letter. She could vividly picture Joe’s hand perched on his square chin as he read her final words to him. What would he do next? Would he set out to try and find her? Would he continue to live there… with another woman, in time? Would he would sell the house and move away? Would he soon forget about their life together which once was and isn’t anymore? What if he was about to grow old all alone?
A thousand and one thoughts flooded Maria’s weary mind. It honestly hurt to think which is exactly why she was where she was in the first place. She had to find the strength to move on. It was time. As Maria sat motionless on the bench awaiting her flight, her mind began to wander to that windy road up on the hill and she couldn’t help but silently wonder… Did his family still own that blue, two-story house with the character white, picket fence? Was there a chance that he would still be there?
The above instalment is number 5 of my Short Story Series. Although each story part is a continuation of the last, I have designed each storyline so that they can also be read separately. I’ve purposely kept them short for quick, easy reading in response to a writing initiative that I was presented with awhile back.
Parts 1-4 can be found here: