Over nine years ago, my mother and I drove my sister to the airport, we were almost late (as we often are) and tensions were high. We were saying goodbye. We straggled to the security gates, waited and shuffled in the line up until my mother and I could go no further without a ticket, my sister, antsy to get on with it (she’s not very good with emotional exposure) we were all quiet.
My mother hugged and proclaimed her support and proud-ness of her daughter moving to Manchester to finish off her last year of school abroad, and I remained quiet. Said my goodbyes, with awkward hugs (because we’re not so good at those) and then just like that – she was gone, through the gates and off to embark on her new journey.
I turned, still quiet, and my mother attempted to comfort me – it’s only for one year! she said. But I looked at her, scoffed, and replied no, mom, she’ll never come back. Because I knew what would happen; one year would not be enough, and she fall in love with the adventure, the life – and she wouldn’t come back.
Today, though, after nine long years, and after we’ve spent this time strengthening our relationship through emails, text messages, exuberant long distance bills, Facebook, Facetime, Viber, WhatsApp – today I get to pick her up from the airport (as I often do) but this time it’s for real. This time, there’s no departure date. This time, after nine years. I get my sister back. What’s really great – is that to make up for all the lost physical time – I get a brother too.