I was apprehensive about going to the airport. I wasn’t on my way to some exciting assignment. I was going to meet a man from my past.
I first saw him while I was covering the story of a hostage drama in this very same airport. He was a hostage taker. I gathered that he was a decorated navy seal. He was formidable and strong, with a good head on his shoulders. He was a lot of things but a bad guy. He simply lost his sanity having suffered from a mental illness after his last mission and joined a wrong cause.
As they took him away, he walked past me and our eyes met. I saw tenderness and I thought it strange. It wasn’t something one sees in evil. So there I was with my belief in the connectedness of souls, thinking. What could a reporter do?
Later, I found myself visiting him in the asylum. I was a reporter writing his story. On a personal level, there was something else and I wanted to find out. After all, I have always been adventurous.
For a couple of months, when he was feeling up to it, we talked as much as we could. I got his story. More than that, I gained his friendship. If there could have been more, it wasn’t the right time and place to find out. Afterwards, all we could do was write to each other but that also dwindled as life got in the way. Eventually, the last couple of years were filled only with silence until that one fortuitous day when I received his letter.
He was coming home, he had written. I don’t know if I had become less venturesome but I was somewhat anxious. I felt I let him down when I disappeared from his life. I suppose I was embarrassed.
Agitated and undecided, I still found myself at the arrival hall early. I wanted to see him before he saw me. Perhaps I thought that being there first would make me feel like I was in my own territory and I would be confident. It was always easier playing my role as a reporter than that of a woman.
Then, I saw him. He was looking even better than I remembered. He still had the sculptured body and the handsome face but there was more. Was it simply his usual powerful presence? Was it a bright aura? I didn’t know. I didn’t really understand auras.
I had thought that there would be awkwardness between us for several minutes but he had confidence. His eyes also shone. With what, I wasn’t sure. I thought friendships faded through years of absence. I was surprised. Soon, we were chatting almost like old times. We had decided to have coffee at the café before heading out. The difference was I felt a peaceful joy in his heart. I could hear it in his voice.
As we walked out of the airport, a sense of adventure swept over me. I knew there were a lot more things to say. In front of us was an uncharted territory. But we had time, I thought.
© Anna Jailene Aguilar
I had every intention of writing a flash fiction for last Friday’s Microcosms. However, time wasn’t on my side. I did write a story but it went way over the 300-word limit.
Title: The day we met at the airport Word count: 528 words Character: Reporter Setting: Airport Genre: Memoir
This is my first time to try flash fiction in the Memoir genre. What do you think?