Welcome to the second installment of the First Friday Freewrite at Refreshingly Riki! If you’re here for the first time, you can read about the First Friday Freewrite in my introductory post.
Today’s prompt is: “A man steps out of a taxi at the airport.”
Madly, he glances from side to side, searching for the shock of curly red hair that would be hidden below the heads of the many he skimmed. Was she wearing the blue sweater, he wonders, or perhaps the yellow one that pilled in the dryer. God how he hated it when she left that sweater in the dryer. Why couldn’t she just dry-clean it and have it pressed the way he would have liked?
Right or left, he had to choose. Which airline would the practical girl have picked in a most unpractical moment? Southwest, he decides and hurries to the south end of the bleakest terminal at the airport. Practicality would always be the way for Jane; plain Jane with her unconventional looks and most conventional mannerisms.
He pushes his way through the crowd at the irritatingly slow glass revolving door. How would he ever find her in this mess of rush-hour people on Thanksgiving weekend? The turkey sat abandoned in the oven, and the mashed potatoes were hardening in their glass bowl on the kitchen counter. He takes a deep breath and tries to put the picture of the pie sliding down the yellow wall of the kitchen out of his mind. He never thought for a moment that she might actually throw it at him.
In a moment of defeat he pauses and breathes heavily. The cause was as good as lost. All of the things he had left unsaid fill his mind and he begins to cry. Large, salty tears roll down his full cheeks and he turns to leave the terminal when a timid tap on his shoulder stops him.
Jane smiles weakly into his teary eyes and shrugs. “What are you doing here?” Her voice trembles in anticipation.
“Jane! I thought I’d never catch you!” He pauses a moment, overwhelmed with all that he has to say, and his inability to express how he is feeling. “I was wrong. You were right.”
Jane presses a single finger to his lips and shakes her head gently. “It’s okay. You don’t have to explain. Let’s get out of here.”
He looks at Jane with surprise and relief and leans over to grab the bag she had hastily thrown together on her way out the door. It is surprisingly light. He would never know that it was actually empty. She needed to get away in the moment, but never really planned to go anywhere.
As they walk with her tiny pale hand tucked away in his large calloused one, she thinks of the pecan pie and the yellow wall they had painted together so many years before. With a secret smile she thinks, I’ll let him clean this one up.
Once again I welcome your responses to the freewriting process. If you’d like, please leave your freewrite product as a comment or submit it via my contact page. If you are interested in having it featured as a guest post on Refreshingly Riki, let me know!