The Airport : A Short Story About Love

Updated on March 2, 2019


I've met this grandma at the airport last week as I was sending off a friend who came to visit me. It was a sad night for me since I may not be able to see this friend again for years. We live in the opposite sides of the planet, you see. I was about to go home when I saw this old woman sitting all alone. I arrived here at the airport for an hour now and I first saw this grandma when I came in- on the same spot. I just thought that she might be waiting for someone to arrive or maybe sending someone off- her child perhaps? I wasn't in the mood to go home yet so I thought to join her.
"Is this sit taken?" I asked.
Grandma was shocked. I may have interrupted her and her thoughts.
"Sorry, is this sit taken?" I asked again.
"No, child. Go ahead." She replied. And I believe I saw a smile in her eyes.
"Thank you."
And then we sat there in silence for a couple of minutes. I looked at her. She doesn't seem like she's waiting for someone. She was just looking at the people. Glancing from right then to the left.
"Grandma, are you waiting for someone?" I asked for confirmation.
"Then you're probably sending someone off."
"Sorry for being nosy, but may I ask why you're here then?" I wasn't really curious about that. It's none of my business. Maybe I was just looking for a small talk to ease my own pain.
"That's alright, child. The guards kept on asking me the same question every time I come here."
"Oh, I see. Do you come here often?"
"Almost every day, child! Hahaha!" She replied. She sounds proud.
"Everyday? But why?" Now I'm getting curious.
"To watch."
Then I saw this big flat screen TV hanging on the wall in front of us.
"Hahaha, I see. What program do you like to watch?"
"Yeah. It's almost 8. The newscast is about to end. The telenovelas are about to start."
"Oh! Now I get what you mean. But I wasn't talking about the drama shows on TV, child. I came here to watch.... the people!"
"The people???" I didn't understand.
"Yes. The people. Oh how I love watching them! I've learned a lot from them. They make me feel alive!"
I did not respond. I was still trying to understand what she just said. I'm honestly lost. My curiosity might have been painted on my face because grandma started to talk again.
"Look, child!" she exclaimed. Pointing at what seems to be a family- a mother, a father, and their child. I still don't understand. I'm still lost. I was about to ask grandma again when the child started to cry. The child's cry is echoing inside the airport.
"Mama, don't leave!" the child pleaded. She was tightly holding on to her mama's leg. The mother knelt down and looked her daughter in the eye. Tears are running down her cheek. She might have said something to her daughter for the child slowly smiled and wiped her tears with her hands.
The mother smiled back and slowly got up. She embraced the man beside her (must be her husband) for about 3 minutes. Or maybe longer. My heart broke. I felt sad for all of them. I could feel my tears ready to come out any minute now. Or I might have cried. I'm not sure.
"Now look over there, child." I almost forgot about grandma. She was pointing to my right. I turned my head to look. Just about 5 meters away, another couple is hugging each other tightly. When they parted, I noticed that the woman was pregnant. The man knelt down, rubbed her belly and kissed it.
"Hey, champ! Did you miss daddy? Sorry I wasn't able to take care of you. But I'm here now and I promise that I'll never leave your side again. Daddy's here now!" and he kissed the woman's tummy once again.
Grandma and I remained seated for God knows how long. She was constantly pointing at different people. And we watched. There were young lovers, friends, couples, and a lot more. Grandma and I never said a word to each other except when she points at someone.
Time passed and it's time for us to leave. I've offered to take grandma home but she refused. She said that she lives nearby and she could go home on her own. Besides, she prefers to walk. So I offered to walk her outside the airport. Grandma agreed.
"Grandma, the reason why you come here everyday is to watch the people. May I know the reason why?" I asked as we continued on walking.
"Because this is a good place to find the real meaning of true love, child. Everyone is just so sincere. Well, not exactly everyone, but almost. People here maybe sending someone off and bidding their goodbye's or welcoming someone back but what I truly love to see are their sincere emotions. People sending their loved ones off are sad but behind that sadness is hope. Hope that they'll see each other again. That hope is fueled by true love. And that hope is fulfilled by those people who comes back home to their loved ones. They were able to remain strong. They were able to endure the pain of longing.
Here, you could see all kinds of love, child. The love of a mother to her daughter, a father to his family, a friend to another friend, or a lover to another lover. And they’re all sincere. They’re all true- true love.”

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    © 2019 Mumbaki


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