Creative Non-Fiction Short Stories. :) Travel, Oldsters, Love, and Compassion.
The middle child adores her baby brother. She kisses him and holds his tiny hand while waiting to board. She’s a proud Kindergartener, offering to carry packages down the jetway with her family. Her older sister trudges along empty-handed, and the middle girl tracks her mother and little brother as closely as possible. Mom has darkly penciled-in eyebrows and a tired glance, brooding over her brood. Dad is young and happy, shepherding the group along. Mom holds the baby at her side in such a way that his legs dangle down, bumping seats and kicking the shoulders of already seated passengers.
Once at cruising altitude, the dutiful middle girl runs her mother’s errands–taking a dirty diaper back to the trash, fetching a glass of water for her little brother’s bottle. She waves to the flight attendant like an adult, then walks in a bounce of awkwardness, bangles on her wrists, hair in her face. She meets my eyes as she stands a few rows ahead of me, waiting for a man who is blocking the aisle to finish wrestling with items in the overhead bin. We blink at each other and grin in a silent friendship. Then she sighs like a career woman, which catches the man’s attention, and he steps aside so she can carry on with her family business.
–Somewhere between Vienna and Istanbul