This first ‘Short Shot’ is based on the Skylar Grey song titled ‘Coming Home’…If you do go looking for it, type in ‘Coming Home Part 2.’ I hope you find it mildly entertaining!
I wonder…I really do wonder, if this is how everyone feels while waiting it out to catch their flight at the airport. Do they feel as uneasy and nervous as I do, while waiting to board their flights? I think I’ve chewed off pretty much all my nails…a habit I thought I’d gotten over a long time ago. Clearly, just like everything else thus far, I was mistaken. 14 hours until I get to my destination, which means I still have 14 hours to change my decision…to not board this flight…to turn back and let my resolve dissolve. I check my watch yet again, probably the 150th time doing so…Yupp there’s been no change in the last 2 minutes since I last checked my watch. Guess I should’ve thought of the ‘Should I stay or should I go?’ question before clearing security…That just leaves me to conclude that my heart, gut or even brain for that matter decided on the matter before I could logically and rationally process my thoughts. It’s surprising how perceptions change with time…I remember feeling this anxious, or maybe a little less anxious than I am at the moment, a few years ago when I made a decision to leave home for greener pastures and brighter futures. At that point, I wasn’t even sure if I was certain about the decision I’d made, or, if my enthusiasm to go ahead with this decision was a result of riding the euphoric waves of happiness everyone else around me seemed to be riding when they heard my decision. But between then and now, so much has changed…the place I called home makes me feel more like a transient visitor if not a tourist, catching the sights, taking pictures to capture the moments and playing the waiting game all over again at yet another airport waiting to board that flight back to reality.
A while later I notice my leg shaking of its own accord…Great, now I have no control over my physical reactions as well. Nice work, this is definitely going to be a unique homecoming. The butterflies definitely seemed to be growing exponentially every time we pass the quarter hour mark. The closer it gets to boarding time, the more sweaty my palms get, the more jittery my legs get…pretty soon I’m going to start squirming in my seat at the boarding gate. I have got to get it together…but then again I’m not sure what to expect. It’s not like I’m going to get a hero’s welcome, in fact, nobody really knows about my arrival…I think they all gave up on me. I can almost distinctly remember seeing the twinkling excitement and joy in their eyes dissipate the last time I was back. The chill in the air was so very real and palpable that it could probably freeze anything in a 10 mile radius, but sometimes life leaves us no choices with the decisions we have to take and make. I finally get up from where I’m seated and look around at my semi-full gate, knowing full well that I’ll lose my spot, but I just can’t sit here and take it anymore. I have to walk around, probably get a coffee while I wait, buy a book to read on the flight, just something or anything really to distract me from what lies ahead.
I walk around perusing through the various sections of the Duty-free store, contemplating if I should pick up that bottle I promised I would pick up one day when I flew home for Dad, once I made something of myself. I find myself staring a little too long at it, perhaps a little unnecessarily as well and turn around and walk away from the alcohol section and drift towards the watches, jewelry and fragrances sections and remember similar promises I made to myself for my Mum and the others that mattered. Oh boy, perhaps leaving my spot was a terrible idea…I dash out of there and head to the closest bistro/café and hope some mind altering caffeine can clear my head of all these unnecessary thoughts. I step into one such establishment, place my order and get myself a quiet corner to sit in. I look outside the café and see all the eager travelers frolicking about, some pointing and staring at things in display windows, others taking pictures with their various devices and posing in front of stores, pieces of art and what not…taking a moment to record these memories in digital format so they can share it with the rest of the world, and then some people hustling and bustling off towards the washrooms. As I turn and look to my side I see a pair of twinkling eyes, the color of chocolate, observing me. I look at the owner of those heartwarming eyes and I see an expression mirroring mine; brows furrowed out of curiosity, an upturned mouth curious as to whether it should transform into a smile or stay in a perpetual frown. I make the attempt to communicate first, I wave…this causes him to move forward in his seat and observe me closely. This is followed by me smiling and making faces at him…after a few moments of uncertainty he starts gurgling and giggling in approval and seems to be having fun. Of course his enthusiasm catches his parents’ attention who now turn towards me…so much for discretion. With a sheepish smile I tell them how adorable their little boy is, they smile their thanks and try and get the little guy to have his snack, and I try and redirect my attention now to the TV to try and catch a few news updates before leaving.
As my attention flits back to my little friend, a new and sudden wave of realization, fear and anxiety hits me in the chest, and I know right then and there that I have to get out of there. I guess the little guy senses that I’m perturbed and starts getting fidgety in his seat…it amazes me how little kids are able to pick up human emotions so quickly, no matter how much we try to hide or bury them. For just a moment, I stop and look into his eyes, searching for an answer, and without any words I guess I asked him if I would be able to shoulder the biggest responsibility I’ve ever come across in my entire life? He flashes me a huge grin, and, slams his sloppy hands onto the tray of his high chair in approval. With a small smile on my face, I check the time, and see that time has actually managed to fly by a lot faster at the café, and that my flight is about to start boarding in the next 15 minutes. I gather my belongings, look towards my new friend, nod my head in thanks, wish his parents a safe journey and head off towards my gate.
I’m not as anxious as I was a few hours ago. I know it’s going to be an arduous and difficult road ahead, what with restoring broken bonds, repairing and creating new vows…but in the end it will work out, it just has to work out. Why? Because, end of the day home really is where it all begins and where it all ends. Where, every beginning, be it promising or bitter, meets with a rightful end and where a balance is struck.