She’d never liked flying. Disliked airports, and their false cheer and grinding processes. Hated being stuffed inside a metal tube hurtling through the sky. If she had her way, Mom, Dad, and the cats would be within walking distance.

‘Good morning,’ the flight attendant smiled. She handed him the ticket nestled inside her passport. Removing and scanning it, there was a flash of hesitation. Here we go again, she thought. But he looked up, handed her passport back to her. ‘To the right. Enjoy the flight.’

Doubt it, she mumbled. She felt the pit in her stomach. The familiar sweaty palms. Remember the mantra: one step at a time. Find a seat. Sit in it. She obeyed, taking a deep breath and glanced at the family of four seated close by. The sight of the baby instantly made her regret her choice.

She held her breath as the child squirmed, showing the initial signs of discomfort. Like a bomb waiting to detonate, his little forehead turned from a pasty white to a crimson red.

Whatever you do, please don’t …

And it penetrated the air; a cry deeply rooted in the existential dilemmas of life, heartbreakingly desperate, as if the universally sad truths had only now been spoken.

She sunk her head between her knees, wishing she was back in Mom’s lap. Back in the garden, surrounded by the people who soothed her inner child. The family home, removing the shackles of the rat race upon entrance. But time is limited, she reminded herself. Try not to count it on your fingers. A deliciously rewarding burden, the expat lifestyle. Tied to home, but seeking it elsewhere. Asking infinite questions in a finite amount of time. Rushing from the next to the next to keep the mind still.

You can always come back, Mom chided in her head. Always return to that which formed desires and habits. Always come back to old hurts and inconvenient truths. Always return to that which you need. Always come back to love.

And when the boarding announcement sounded, she knew it to be true.

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    Susan Dawson
    Susan Dawson(@susan-dawson)
    2 years ago

    Well done with your story showing the pull of home and family across the miles. I have had the discomfort of my own baby reacting to plane travel, having to let her suck a bottle to alleviate the pressure, but I still react in the same way to other people’s. Human nature.

    Leena Auckel
    Leena Auckel(@leena-auckel)
    2 years ago

    I loved your story! The baby’s cry which made you cringe brought back your own childhood memories. Mom’s lap is the best home.

    Reply to  Leena Auckel
    2 years ago

    I agree, this is a nice story, a very enjoyable read. Yes you are right Avatar Leena Auckel“Mom’s lap is the best home”. Look forward to more new stories from Avatar Carmi Heyman

    Eric Radcliffe
    Eric Radcliffe(@eric-radcliffe)
    2 years ago

    The pull of two worlds, coupled with the fear of flight, but all have to be faced. Overcoming problems, discomforts, are all made easier when love is involved. I enjoyed the way in which you showed this.

    Eric Radcliffe
    Eric Radcliffe(@eric-radcliffe)
    2 years ago

    Hello Carmi, I see that you have have written only one story, time for another one!

    Lotchie Carmelo
    Lotchie Carmelo(@lotchie-carmelo)
    2 years ago

    Hi Carmi, well-done. Your story makes me remember my first plane travel, which is so funny. Maybe, I call myself an ignorant one. hahahaha. But I come to think that the discomfort, the air pressure, and many more are part of the plane travel and that’s normal. And I told myself, “First time is difficult, but the second time is happier.” Hope to read more stories from you soon.

    Katerina Bizirtsaki
    Katerina Bizirtsaki(@katerina-bizirtsaki)
    2 years ago

    Congratulations, Carmi. You’ve created a wonderful story!

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