We land in the drizzle, the mist. The sky would be gray if it weren't already dark. Familiar, just as the SeaTac airport is familiar, even though everything has changed.
I follow the stream of travelers to the baggage claim. I didn't bring much, but that's where Becky will be waiting.
And now I can see her, and I almost shatter--it's been so long, so much too long.
"Hi," and we practically fall together hugging. I brush the back of my hand across my eyes, and my stomach is in my throat.
"Let's get your bags."
"This is all I brought."
She tries not to look concerned.
"Then let's go."
The windshield wipers make a metronome as we pull onto the highway.
"Mom's still here in town, and I'm with her, looking for a place to rent. If it's a while, I'm thinking of bringing the kids."
I want to ask if that's such a good idea, breaking up their routine--but I have no kid-raising expertise.
"I just want to help out however I can."
"The first thing is to see Mom."