It’s a chilly night, a cool summer breeze softly brushes against my cheeks as I put my head slightly out of the window.
Looking at the cityscape, shimmering lights of the skyscrapers find a way to glow through the cotton candy clouds, far far away.

Taking deep breaths I try to absorb every bit of the after rain earthy smell in the air...there’s a plane descending from above the high rises like a shooting star, while the pilot announces the local time and gets ready to land.

Taking another breath, I get flashbacks of a time so far away, yet it feels like yesterday when I was just a little girl looking over the city out of the tall windows at night, while asking mom:

- When’s dad’s flight scheduled for landing? How long will it take him to come home?

"He’ll get home in a couple of hours sweetie, you should get ready for the bed and you’ll be able to see him in the morning!" 

I look out the window again, this time I try harder to find dad...oh! There’s a plane far away, I’m sure this one’s dad!
I sigh as the plane shifts directions and flies away.
- Ah! It’s okay, maybe next one will be him.

Using my new math skills, and based on mom’s given time for dad’s arrival, I finally conclude that he’ll be home by midnight.

- hmm...given my calculations, I believe that the plane is going to be visible in the sky while descending, at around 10PM!
It’s 9:50PM so I look out the window again, this time gathering all of my will power to find the plane.
- ohhh look mom! I can see him for real this time...I bet that’s him...You should call the airport and check!
"I’m sure you’re right come let’s get ready for the bed. it’s a school night honey..."

The sound of my mom calling my name out loud brings me back to the moment, she’s asking me to close the window...she never liked the cold.

As I slide the window shut, the cool breeze turns into a bitter cold as it struggles to find a way in, striking my face harder as if it’s trying to fade the sweetness of that memory away.

After all, somethings never change! The little girl inside me still loves to peek her head out of the window at night to get a whiff of the fresh smell of the trees after it rains.

Now the window is closed but the memory lingers within...I see mom locking the door, making sure that we will be safe all night kicks me back in time.

"sweetheart, dad’s coming home early tonight so please remind me to unlock the front door." 

All tucked in, I pretend to close my eyes and go to sleep, just to open them wide only a few minutes later and as I try to find the glowing handles of the round shaped tiny clock on my wall.

- It’s 11:30PM...I think dad will be home within an hour...maybe I should try and stay up so I hear the sound of his keys when he opens the door!

Finally getting to see him after 10 days brings out a joy from inside that can no longer be contained...the sound of the transit’s car engine has now become a familiar melody to my ears.

- yes!!! He’s finally’s 12:15AM and he’s late but he is here!!!

While rushing towards the door I stop to take a look at myself in the biggest mirror in my room, decorated with tiny flowers and stickers.
Hearing his steps on the stairs nearing the door, I take one last look in the mirror and fix the curls that are flying away...

He’s here...I slam my bedroom’s door open, knowing that mom is already up and will join me soon, so I don’t worry about the noises I make along the way.

I jump into his arms and hug him tightly with a big smile on my face. As he kisses my head, a shimmer of joy rushes through my eyes and makes them sparkly, just like the Milky Way.

"hi my beautiful girl, I’ve missed you so much! Why are you still up?! Don’t you have to go to school tomorrow?"

- hahah dad!! We both know it’s not that late...

As mom joins in for the group hug, our smiles get bigger and bolder. I know that the buzz from all of the joy and excitement and wanting to open all of the gifts won’t let me sleep...even if it means I'm going to be sleepy at school, it is absolutely worth it!

Now that the memory has come to its happy ending, I remind myself once again, why I buried such a sweet memory for so long...

Moments like this were locked and put in a safe place by the little girl inside me, once she realized dad won’t be flying home anymore ...he’s flight has been rerouted to heaven!

Submitted: June 01, 2021

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