I slip off my sandals and feel the linoleum on my bare feet. I haven't gotten used to this new ritual of flying, but then I haven't gotten used to flying.
I stare at the neck of the woman in front of me, and I think about hugging Mom and Becky good-bye. I can't tell whether Becky's upset with me for leaving or glad to see me go. Is it the friction between us, or is she just eager for the band-aid to be ripped off?
Mom was sad and happy. I know she doesn't want me to leave, and I know she doesn't want to keep me, doesn't want to lose me on some winding road. I promised I'd visit more often. And while none of us said it, we silently prayed that her good test results would keep coming back good. The negative that's a plus.
We shuffle forward and wait again. Then the flurry. I haul my bags up onto the conveyor belt and walk through the door. But my bags don't come through. The attendants scrutinize their screen.
"What are these?"
"You can't take them on the plane."
I blush, feel the heat rising. I want to argue, but I know that will be bad. I want to run back and check that bag--but the cost is a lot more than a few pairs of knitting needles. I unzip the bag, carefully slide my knitting off the points and hope I'll be able to pick up all the stitches.
It's going to be a long flight for my hands.