The Nice Thing About Strangers

Creative Non-Fiction Short Stories. :) Travel, Oldsters, Love, and Compassion.

Carry On

Several members of the Hajduk Split soccer team coalesced outside the airplane. Since the players were spry, many were the first out. They wore matching tracksuits. A few punched at each other, a few wandered toward the terminal in meditation over their cell phones. Eventually a different group appeared, also in uniforms, following a handful of antique nuns in black habits moving down the stairs to the tarmac. They were followed by the last of the players who carried the baggage for the Sisters. The boys chatted easily with the nuns, the groups made each other laugh. Passengers in vacation uniforms and business suit uniforms began to disembark without the same team reception.

This scene went unnoticed by most people waiting at the gate above, including two long, beautiful sisters bearing Croatian passports and a small girl. The girl toted a speckled stuffed dog and puffed out her cheeks as the supermodel-most-likely-to-be-her-mother began to adjust her daughter’s braid. In the next moment, the girl whipped her head to the side, causing the release of her hair and the unraveling of her mother’s handiwork. A new plane came in for a landing outside. Before the mother could scold her, the girl squealed with delight. Other passengers snapped out their stares of waiting. The girl called out happily about her upcoming flight; she tossed her dog in the air and caught it. She hugged her toy fiercely, found this wasn’t sufficient, then pounced on her mother for hug that could be returned. The woman adjusted her jewelry and laughed quietly, letting this carry on for a moment, before turning her daughter around and resuming work on the braid. The women exchanged a look over the girl’s head, a smile that didn’t permit such outbursts, but revealed pleasure at a reminder of the joy in flight.

-Split Airport, Croatia

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3 comments on “Carry On

  1. thenicethingaboutstrangers
    December 11, 2013

    Reblogged this on The Nice Thing About Strangers and commented:

    For Gonzalo, who loves to fly.

  2. Conrad (The Wine Wankers)
    December 11, 2013

    A very touching story. Reminds me of the many times where I’m both annoyed and quietly laughing at the antics of my own little ones. Cheers!

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