Going Home (Songbird)

He’d brought me to the airport. He’d done that. His mother had phoned the night before – spoke to him, not me. She was worried that I’d gone back – to him and not back to my country. No, no, I’d be at the airport in the morning.

I’d packed – not too much. Okay? I’ll be back. Just need some time. I’d already moved out for a bit, to work. Wasn’t supposed to work that many hours, being a foreign student – oh well, it was temporary, temp. I was just a temp. I bought a plane ticket.

Two bags should do it. My high school graduation luggage. A gift from my grandmother. Unloaded, he walked me in. Which airline? Which terminal? Which desk? I’d gotten the day wrong – it was yesterday. I smiled weakly, he wouldn’t be angry now – see? I wasn’t leaving now.

“Not to worry, we can put you on another flight. Just go to gate —.”

I walked through to departures. I don’t remember if I said good-bye. It was like a dream. Slow motion and silent. I saw no faces. Heard nothing on the plane for 11 hours.

I arrived in Los Angeles to no one waiting.


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