The drive over the Brooklyn bridge and towards the airport was viewed through eyes half-closed with sleep and disappointment that we were heading home. We barely noticed the sky above, let alone the dark clouds rolling in. Heavy, blocking out the morning light so that it felt even earlier.
We felt hemmed in to the back seat of the yellow taxi as the screen played away to itself – American TV shows and support for fellow New Yorkers that was no longer of any interest to us. There was a suitcase stacked between us, pushing us outwards towards the windows so that we were seperated from each other. Both thinking the other was wrong for the holiday squabbles and the badly spent souvenir money on cheap trinkets that wouldn’t look so good at home, away from the sparkle of the city – The Big Apple.
We breathed in the hanging air freshener and the smell of plastic leather and the stuff that stuttered through the air conditioning and the fumes of cars on either side of real city dwellers, the ones who would get to stay.
I let you pay the fare and then trundled my case ahead to the fast baggage drop, jaw tight as I tried not to flicker. Mumbling a stubborn ‘thank you’ when you flick my case easily into the conveyor belt.
Security goes smoothly. The uniformed officers have a bit of chat that sits incongruously amongst the metal detectors and the hint of threat.
We sit with our things facing screens, long baguettes in our hands because the breakfast food was already greying. I’m chewing my lip and wondering if I’ll manage to eat, you’re taking your first bite.
I look round, you’ve sprayed crumbs of white bread over your new jeans and your sitting forward, face puffed out and staring at the screens.
I look over.
Delayed in bold red and we hear the whole place groan as there’s a flash along the glass side of the room. The sky is now black and I look round at you, you shrug.
“Nothing to be done.”
I nod, sigh and set aside my sandwich. There’ll be plenty of time to eat that later.