Day 22 out of 30.

Dream’s Bridge by T. Edward Redd

Dreams of a Mysterious Girl Continued.

The quiet ride on the semi-busy highway lasted for a half hour. No one spoke a word except for Riley singing to herself. Mom and Dad were probably thinking about my leave and how I wouldn’t be around anymore. When we parked at the airport garage my mother started crying again.

“He’s leaving us, Adam. He’s really going away.” She whimpered..

I got out and started grabbing my bags from the trunk. It was hard to hear her cry like that. It was even harder since it was because of me. But I had to leave Lancington. I just did. I needed to see what was out in the world. My heart was set on Yelich and I wasn’t going to change my mind. After I had all of my bags I shut the trunk and looked towards the airport entrance.

It was really packed for a Monday morning. The garage was flooded with cars. People were walking back and forth, young and old. College students most likely. I wasn’t the only student from my school who got accepted to Yelich. It got me excited. As I grabbed my bags my mom grabbed my laptop bag. When I looked back I saw all three of them standing there.

“Let me carry this,” my mom said.

“Mom. It’s fine.”

They just ignored me in a really strange manner. Mom took my laptop bag and Dad took my suitcase. Even he looked sad at that point. It made sense now. They were being nice because I was leaving soon. It was their last chance to help me carry something or clean up after me. It was their last chance to be my parents. Once I was on that plane there wasn’t going to be much they could do besides send money or visit me every so often. I shook my head and respected their kindness.

“Thank you,” I said.

Dad barely managed not to cry. He sniffled and said, “Your plane will leave soon. We should hurry, son.”

We walked through the garage and into the airport. It was my first time inside one. It was so huge. When we left the garage, we stood on this moving walkway that took us across the entrance room. There were currency exchange booths, drivers with signs waiting for travelers and even newly weds going to a honeymoon in Lancington.

From there we took an escalator up a level. Then finally we were on the top level with all of the check in stations. After I checked in my bags and got my ticket, we went to the food court. I had to beg my mom to stop babying me. So they just let me walk on my own for a bit.

The food court was like those food courts they have in malls. They had all sorts of fast food places all around. Besides food places they also had bookstores, accessory and souvenir shops. There wasn’t any time to eat since we were already late for check in. So I bought some gum and soda pop for breakfast. My family was just sitting at a round table in the middle of the food court.

“Riley leave the plants alone,” I heard my mom say. She took my sister’s hand and led her away from large plants lined around railings leading to the escalator. I walked to the table as I opened with my packet of gum.

“Wow,” I said. “I’ve never seen this many people before.”

My father looked at his watch for the hundredth time. He said, “Forty minutes. You might want to get on board, son. It takes a while to find your seat. Then you have to put your bags away,” he sniffled.

“Oh. Right.” I suddenly had this lump in my throat. It felt like I had swallowed a large marble or something. I took my laptop bag and one of the black bags I chose as my hand luggage. See, at airports they let you take two bags on. One personal item and a bag. So I chose my laptop and the bag with my books. All of my other things were in luggage somewhere on the back of the plane. Anyway I gathered my bags and all of the sudden I had to use the restroom.

I put the bags down as quickly as I picked them up. “Restroom,” I said before quickly walking off. My mom called for me. Probably wondering why I left so randomly. I didn’t answer back as I zigzagged between the dozens of people in front of the restroom. My eyes were fixed on the ground. The moment finally hit me. I was going REALLY far away from home for a REALLY long time.

But that was the point right? I was going away on this journey for new experiences and a fresh start. No rich snobs and overly structured social classes. I should have been overjoyed and thrilled. But my nerves were rattling like bones in some dry deserted island with no one around to offer me water. I was scared out of my mind. It got worse when I went into the restroom and bumped into someone without looking.

I staggered back and finally took my eyes off the ground. Now the hairs on my back were rising as I saw this pudgy man in a black trench coat. He had this wild black hair that covered his face and eyes. He was at least a foot taller than me.

“Watch it, kid! You made me drop my briefcase.”

“Ah! Sorry,” I said fast. “I didn’t see you!”

He grunted and shooed his hand at me. He bent down to pick up his briefcase as this shorter and thinner guy walked beside him. He had blonde hair, weird shades and unlike his friend, he was wearing a white polo with brown kakis.

He said, “Give the kid a break, Luf.”

Seriously? Luf? That was this guy’s name? Add that to their accents and I seriously started thinking these two were murderers or something. Not those bank robbing murderers. They gave off this body snatcher’s vibe. Everything about them came off as sketchy and dangerous. Like how the big guy looked at me or how the blonde guy was grinning at me way too much.

“I don’t care about this idiot,” Luf grunted. “We need to hurry and get on the damn plane. We’ll be in trouble if we miss it.”

That’s when the blonde guy lit a cigarette and started smoking. He started smoking in the restroom like it was nothing. I was repulsed. “Hey! You can’t smoke that in here, man.”

He rolled his eyes and scoffed. “Bloody American. I thought you lot were supposed to be cool.” He dropped it and stepped on it. Slowly he rubbed it out as he said, “Let’s get out of here, Luf. Stay in school kid.” They started walking towards me. The big guy made me flinched but never tried to grab me. When they left the bathroom my pocket started to vibrate really, REALLY loud.

I screamed and jump shouting, “No! No don’t kill me!” But no one was behind me. They were gone. I hadn’t been hit with a stun gun or stabbed. My pocket vibrated again and that’s when I realized my phone was going off. My father was calling me and I knew why. My plane was going to leave in ten minutes! Forgetting why I went to the restroom in the first place, I quickly raced out and met my family.

“What took you so long? Have you changed your mind,” Mother said with hope.

“No. I got distracted. I have to hurry,” I said nervously. I grabbed my bags, ignored my mother’s questioning and urged everyone to follow me to the check in station. There were two entries; A and B. My plane was at entry B. My family couldn’t follow me once I was past the gate. Beyond the gate was security and bag checkings. I heard my mom sobbing and felt Riley tugging to my leg. It was time to say goodbye.

“Son. You should hurry or you’ll miss your flight,” my dad said.

“No don’t go. Please stay, big brother.” Riley tugged on my leg with one hand as she held her thumb to her lip. She looked so nervous and sad. I bent down to her and patted her head.

I said, “I have to. This is the next step in my life. I want you to do me a big favor. I want you to take really good care of Mom and Dad while I’m gone. This is going to be rough for them.”

She was so strong and brave. Tears were flowing down her face but she refused to sob or anything. When I wiped her tears she finally took a breath. That’s when she couldn’t hold them any longer. She hugged me tight and said, “Ok. But promise me you’ll come back and pay firefly with me?”

“I promise.”

The last call for Canson City was made. That’s when I had to hurry. Or I really would miss the flight. I stood up from Riley.

I said, “I guess this is goodbye then you guys.”

Dad said, “I’m proud of you, Son. Go out there and have fun. Don’t get distracted from school but still have fun.” He gave me his last hug. Then Mom and Riley joined in. It was the last time I hugged them before leaving Lancington. After that I was heading towards the lines with my bags. After I went through security and checked in, all I had to do was follow the groups of people heading towards my plane’s terminal.

There were dozens of people of all ages, ethnicities, shapes and sizes. It was unlike anything I had ever experienced. I heard so many dialects and languages. There wasn’t anytime to take in the moment. I was finally at the terminal. We all stepped into this walkway that connected the plane to the building. It was really chilly and the air felt fresh. It was only in the walkway. Once you got on the plane the temperature dropped instantly to room temperature and the air felt less fresh and clear.

The plane wasn’t as big as the movies showed. It was actually PRETTY crowded. I kind of felt like I was in a classroom. Everyone was seated on the rows left and right. Some stared at you but most people were too busy getting themselves and their families adjusted. It was hard not to get excited. I forgot to mention that this was my first plane ride alone and I had only been on a plane once and it was to Yelich with my family. So all of this was both exciting and nerve racking all at once.

My row was A20. After squeezing and maneuvering passed the dozens of passengers I was at my seat. I was lucky enough to get a seat next to the window. After putting my bags into the overhead compartments I took my seat. Everything was finally set in stone. I was soon to be flying to Canson City. Being seated for a while gave me time to think about everything. Mostly my family.

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