Chin removed her luggage from the trunk of the rundown taxi and moved to the airport gate. With a small sigh, she turned to see the cab sputter away, leaving her alone with her thoughts and her upcoming adventure.
She had been planning this trip for 3 years now, and it was finally coming to fruition. The penny pinching she did to save up for it, the missed nights out with friends, the turning down of spontaneous travels, the extra overtime hours she took on. The fruit of bringing out her inner Scrooge was finally going to show up in her passport book and her one-way e-ticket to London.
Luggage in tow, she moved to the side of the doors and sat down on one of the benches there. In front of her, she saw everything she was leaving behind: the bustling metropolis she lived in her whole life, the never-ending traffic that always made her late, the familiar buildings and roads she passed by daily.
She leaned back and considered the other things she would miss. Brunches with her college friends, monthly meet-ups with her Spanish classmates, malls overflowing with people, videoke, taho, chicharon bulaklak. She smiled, though a little saddened by the thought of missing her favorite kare-kare.
Her thoughts then turned to another direction, as she remembered the difficult commutes, the slow-paced bureaucracy, the nosiness of her neighbors. She was sure glad to escape the frequent questions of her relatives of why she wasn’t married yet…
She shook her head and looked at her phone. 3:54 PM. She had more than enough time to check in and to say goodbye. Goodbye to the city, goodbye to her ties there, goodbye to him-
A familiar voice broke into her thoughts, and she grinned. She looked up to see Lei waving at her. She watched as her friend turned away for a bit and hugged her parents. They all seemed to be crying, so she looked towards the fading movie poster on the hotel in front of her, wondering how much movie tickets were in a country far away.
She soon heard laughing and footsteps coming her way, and she stood up. Lei grinned at her and gave her a big hug.
“Are you ready for our adventure?” Her friend asked this with a wide smile. “Are you ready for London!?”
Chin nodded. “Yes, let’s do this!”
Lei gave her a thumbs up and walked back to her little party. Her mom waved at her and she waved back.
She took a deep breath and looked back at the world and the people she was leaving. Unconsciously, her hands moved towards the locket she always wore around her neck, a symbol of a promised – probable? – return.
“Chin! Come on!”
Her reverie broken, she turned towards her friend, who gestured for her to come quickly. She nodded and walked towards Lei, her future, her adventure.
First written March 24, 2018.