You Bought Me a Plane Ticket to Come Home for Christmas
Illustrated by Nevena Katalina
My eyes scanned over the time again and again. Boarding was at 7:30. The flight was leaving 7:50. It was 8:04 and reality struck that I missed both. My eyes scanned the night sky as the planes took off, wondering which one I was supposed to be on. My fingers were shaking as I struck the red tip against the metallic strip on the box. I lit my last cigarette and inhaled deeply, and tossed the still glowing ember of my light to the ground.
It was nice knowing I could enjoy this without having to worry about being yelled at for smelling like smoke. I crammed the reminder of my missed departure into my jacket pocket and continued down the quiet sidewalk. I was alone except for the occasional last minute shopper and the bums who were residing under the awnings, seeking shelter from the light snowfall. It would have been so easy to get on the plane, to go back home to you. You would be awaiting my arrival at the gate, and I knew you would worry when you didn’t see my face scanning for you in the crowd. I turned my cell phone on silent and placed it in my pocket.
This was going to be the end of— my train of thought stopped when my foot caught on the sidewalk. I looked down, sticky residue clinging to my sneakers. Fuck, I said under my breath, scraping my shoe against the curb in an attempt to get rid of the mess. It was hopeless. I continued walking, my left foot sticking to the cement slightly with every step I took opposite of the airport and opposite of you.