Creative Non-Fiction Short Stories. :) Travel, Oldsters, Love, and Compassion.
Waiting for a three a.m. flight after their vacation, the couple weigh themselves on an airport baggage scale. She giggles before stepping up on the square silver platform. Her husband takes the coat she removed, a puffy beige one with fur lining, but she remains in her black boots with heavy gold buckles. She stares at the changing digits and laughs boldly when the numbers settle on her score. Winking at her husband, she accepts his hand as he helps her down.
Then he takes a turn himself. She peers over his shoulder. When his weight displays they both grow still, look away from each other as he comes down. He assists her in putting on the coat, taking a glance at his stomach when she turns her back.
This bold misuse of the baggage scale begins a trend. It sets off a curiosity among the bored travelers resting in the airport before early morning connections. A man in a tracksuit gives it a try. Then a mother and child, two women in headscarves, various members of the airport cleaning crew. And an extremely old man. As the man wobbles unsteadily on the scale, a terminal full of strangers sit up and involuntarily reach out their arms–as though they can steady him from across the divide.