Strapped in and careening through the air toward the unknown.
Or in plain English, belted into an aisle seat flying toward Chicago.
She was desperate to put on the brakes, scared of where she was going, what she was doing. But planes don’t stop like cars.
And life doesn’t either.
It just keeps moving forward. You can try to steer it, but who’s really in control?
She opened three different books on her Kindle before stashing it in her bag. Seriously? Flights are for that luxury you never allow yourself called reading. But the poetry refused to carry away her emotions, and the novel wouldn’t carry away her imagination, and the theology couldn’t hold her mind.
So she crossed her ankles, chewed her tasteless gum, and laid her head back.
She found herself holding her elbows, uncomfortably empty arms missing their baby. Her mind drifted back, but she forced it forward, pulling out the booklet from the Art Institute. Don’t waste this opportunity, they said. She had promise, they encouraged.
If it was meant to encourage, why did it feel like she was being pushed toward a cliff?
The booklet went the way of the Kindle and she let her arms cradle nothing again.
It wasn’t really her baby – the child belonged to a friend, but she’d claimed him for the week she spent at their house. A delightfully hectic week, spent prepping for the trip and socializing with friends. Friends with families.
She wanted one.
A baby, that is. She had a family . . . Sort of. It wasn’t like her dad was kicking her out, or her sister wanted her room. Her mom welcomed her help around the house and her brothers had no trouble keeping her busy and entertained.
But that life at home wasn’t enough.
She chided herself for the discontent creeping in. But the longing stayed, keeping her hands grasping her elbows.
She looked out the window. They were gliding over a sea of blue clouds and the horizon glowed pink. Which would come first, a boy or a girl? Maybe both – twins run in the family.
The sky was fading. Between the drifting clouds city lights began to appear. The city. Full of promise and adventure. Supposedly.
But what if she didn’t want the promise and adventure the city could offer? What if she wanted the promise of a ring on her finger and the adventure of raising little balls of energy?
It wouldn’t really matter. Because she was stuck moving forward, without a way to brake or turn.
What a word. So much could pivot on that one word. But that pivot point was outside of her control, so she’d try to sit back and enjoy the flight.