Thursday, September 6, 2012

Thursday Tales: The Long Drive Home

Paul put his hands on the counter. "I need to buy a flight to Portland for tonight. It's a family emergency."

The airline employee's fingernails clicked away at her keyboard. "I'm sorry, sir," she said, barely even looking up. "I'm afraid the last flight is completely full, but I can get you on a flight in the morning."

He ran his hand through his hair. "No, I can't go in the morning.  I need to go tonight. It's an emergency. I-- I need to get there tonight."

"I'm sorry, we don't have any other flights, and this is the last flight out tonight from the whole airport.  The car rentals are downstairs?"

Driving was going to take all night.  He wasn't sure that he had all night.

"Dad, you need to come home."
"But I'm in the middle of a conference, kiddo."
"I know, Dad.  I wouldn't ask.  But, you need to be here tonight."

 Driving up the interstate, Paul pushed his little rental car to its limit.  He prayed that the cops were all at the doughnut shop... He wasn't stopping for anyone.  As the little towns slipped by, so did his memories.  Christmases, birthdays. First dates, a wedding. Babies, tears, joys, fights.  All of it.

"Why do you have to go again? What happened to our trip to Hawaii?"
"Honey, it's for work. I have to go."
"It's always for work."

He wished he hadn't gone.

Paul pulled into the driveway of the building, nearly running over the curb, and parked in the Handicapped spot by the door.  He'd probably get towed, but he didn't care.  It didn't matter anymore.  He pushed the button on the elevator frantically and cursed it for being so slow.

Running out before the door was even open, he nearly collided with his own daughter.  She looked at him reprovingly.  "I'm sorry, Lizzie.  I got here as quickly as I could... There were no flights, I had to drive all night.  How is she?"

Lizzie slipped a hand into her pocket and pulled out a folded piece of paper, and waited while he unfolded it.

"My darling,I'll wait for you.Love Your Girl"

"I'm sorry, Dad."




4 comments:

  1. I hate you.

    Ok, you know I don't. I love you. But I really didn't want to start this morning crying. Darn it you.

    ReplyDelete
  2. I love your thursday tales:) you have such a gift!!

    ReplyDelete
  3. Oh, man! I'm on the verge of tears. You truly have a gift, Jo! (just in case I don't say it often enough!)

    ReplyDelete

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