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The Eclectic Pen - Trip To New York

By: Sophira B. (sophiraness)   + 13 more  
Date Submitted: 10/20/2008
Last Updated: 10/21/2008
Genre: Literature & Fiction » Short Stories & Anthologies
Words: 1,058

  The hot air was so thick that she felt like the oxygen was being ripped out of her lungs with every breath. Tugging her luggage out of the cab, she rushed as quickly as possible into the airport. The blast of cool air was slightly refreshing, and Lara felt some of the sweat trickling down her back begin to dry. People brushed past her, in a hurry to get in or out. With only one suitcase, she strode towards the seating area and slid into a seat, sliding her suitcase in front of the adjacent seat so that no one would squeeze in next to her. There were a lot of vacant seats though; the seating area was virtually empty.
It was 4:00pm, and most people were heading onto their flights now, trying to get where they were going before Friday night was over. Lara felt like she was the only person who wasn’t so eager to hurry to where she was going. She slipped her fingers into her shoulder bag and glanced at her ticket again. Her plane wouldn’t board for another 45 minutes. She closed her eyes, and tried to picture New York.
It wouldn’t be anything like Florida. Somehow, how she pictured it was an oxymoron: rich, tall buildings with blinking signs and huge malls, and deserted, empty streets with a few people huddled into corners, trying to sleep away the bitter cold seeping into their bones. It was probably exactly like that; but she doubted she would see any homeless people in the area she was headed to.
Staring down at her jeans and sandals and white tank top, she wondered if the weather in New York was this hot, if her clothes would be appropriate. Sighing, she realized that her mind was looking for anything else to focus on besides the fact that she was leaving Florida behind.
Not Florida, really.
Her Grandma; Just thinking of her made Lara’s eyes swell with tears. The pain, the memory of what she was doing-who she was betraying, welled up inside of her. It was slow, but the waves rose high, crashing down onto her heart, her mind. Moaning, Lara tried to wipe the image of Gran picking up the letter she had left behind.
When she woke up that morning, there had been a letter waiting for her, too. It was from her father. She brushed that aside, and opened the small blue velvet box that she knew was from Gran. Inside, neatly nestled into the blue folds was a roll of bills. Lara had been astounded. There had been no way of her knowing, but Gran had given her exactly what she’d needed: a little bit of extra money. Gran usually gave her something that she could use: a good book, clothes, something that she thought that Lara would like. But this was different: a 21st birthday was special. It was the next best pinnacle of life, the only one to look forward to after sweet sixteen and legalized eighteen. Some would say that she had her whole life ahead of her. To Lara, that wasn’t something she was sure that could be celebrated right now.
She’d had to leave Gran. Lara had known it for a few years. As she had gotten older, some of the circumstances that had made up the collage of her life began to hit her with stunning clarity. Lara would never forget her sweet sixteen gift. Gran had given her one of Mom’s old performance outfits, one that she had kept neatly packaged, boxed and hidden for many years. It had been presented to her with the assumption that it was as important to her as it was to Gran. When Lara should have been learning the simplicity of life at eighteen, she’d just began to understand why Gran’s home could never be hers.
Her thoughts swallowed her, enveloped her in darkness, confusion and anger. She opened her eyes, shook away the tears and decided that now was a horrible, cowardly time to think of Gran. She would just end up going back. Right now, Lara realized that she had to look forward. She couldn’t look back until there was something to look forward to.
Time had become meaningless. She absently stood up, stretching her legs. Glancing at her watch, Lara realized that she should head to her gate before the line was too long. As she began to head to the gate, a nagging thought came back to her: she’d left her father’s letter, unread.
For some reason, though forgotten before, the letter haunted her. She dismissed the thought that it might have held an important message or information – somehow that seemed unlikely. Her father’s letters usually held noncommittal promises or read like a journal entry, listing every experience and thought he had as significant. Still, Lara couldn’t dismiss the nagging feeling that leaving it behind was…
Something that it was too late to do anything about. Lara pushed thoughts of her father and the letter out of her mind. That was the least of her problems at this moment. Everything around her had become foggy in the midst of her deep thought, her mind blurring the surroundings; but she saw a clear, straight line towards her boarding area in the midst of her mental muddled - ness, and headed there with her suitcase in determination. Now or never. And never wasn’t an option.
To remember, pinpoint, or record any circumstance between her departure from Florida and her arrival to New York City would be pointless. Everything else was a blur, a forgotten experience, a dream. Lara began to fall asleep on her flight at one point thinking that maybe, she was waking up instead. Her mind gave her the pleasure of ambiguity, which was graciously accepted. Anything was better than remembering Gran – an abandoned, forlorn and hopeless Gran losing the one thing, the one person that was all she had left of her memories.
Gran might not be in her thoughts, but she was in her blood. Forever, she would be tied to Gran and Father in a way that she’d not realized. And her Ma, too, though all she had for her for a long while was a resentment – for dying and leaving her, and for taking Gran’s love away from Lara, even from beyond the grave.

Time to move on.

The Eclectic Pen » All Stories by Sophira B. (sophiraness)

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Comments 1 to 3 of 3
Lena S. (SquirrelNutkin) - 10/21/2008 8:12 AM ET
I love they way your work flows. I want to read more, to know Lara's past and future. What a beautiful tale you are weaving, thank you
Sabriena W. (hazeleyesrangeleyes) - 10/25/2008 3:23 PM ET
Wow! Hurry with part two!
Wendy (Froggie) - 10/31/2008 11:24 AM ET
Sophira - I feel like I am standing right next to Lara. You do a wonderful job with your descriptions of the whole scene and everything going on. Please post more on what happens next.
Comments 1 to 3 of 3