I got married just two days before flying north alone to Naval Air Station Adak. At 1197 miles from the Alaskan mainland, the island actually sits closer to Russia. Standing at the terminal gate, I turned to give a last wave goodbye to find tears glistening in my new hubby’s blue eyes. Moments later, I slumped in my seat, thankfully tucked near a window where I silently sniffled over the book I brought to read.
I don’t remember the book’s title or the story because a high-pitched voice, like a bird I wanted to smack, chirped near my ear, disturbing my gloom, “You fly a lot?”
My gaze shot up and over to find a woman with dark curls framing her pale face tilted to one side with a sparkling smile radiating happiness. How annoying! Her round green eyes gazed intently in my direction.
Trying my best to scrunch into a ball and disappear inside the pages of my book, I shook my head while mumbling, “No.” I then tried unsuccessfully to force an invisible wall between me and the woman’s searing gaze. Still I could feel her crinkled up her nose and eyes.
I bit my lower lip when I heard a deep intake of breath just before she cooed, “I do. This is my second trip this month. Hmm, let’s see, two weeks ago I flew to a writers’ conference in Hawaii and just last year I landed with my family at Narita International.”
While the woman chattered, her hands gesticulated from side to side and around in circles as her adoring gaze swung toward the row of seats right behind us where a tallish man with broad swimmer’s shoulders, a crew cut and firmly set chin, sat wedged between a toddler girl and an elementary age boy. The girl’s round face, golden Shirley Temple curls, eyes at half-mast, and lips parted dipped sleepily toward the man’s lap, while the boy’s head bent forward in ramp concentration as he thumbed a Game Boy.
The woman pursed her lips and squinted at me. “Do you know where Narita is?”
“No.” I shook my head giving her a sidelong glare as I pressed my lips tightly together and then pushed my gaze back on to the book opened in my lap.
The next instant, a well-placed foot kicked the back of my seat. My head popped up and over as I turned to glare menacingly through the space between seat backs.
I heard a deep voice command, “Stop that!”
I flinched at the father’s stern voice as I locked gazes with the boy’s hazel-green eyes peaking up through dark lashes. His lip poked out beneath. The ginormous iceberg in my heart melted as I gave him a wink and for the first time that day, my smile mirrored the one on his face.
Copyright by Ledia Runnels 2012
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