Part 1 here: https://www.theodysseyonline.com/12-23-short-story...

I breathed out shakily. I wasn't ready to meet with them. Six years had grown between us. I thought back to the memories, and more came to mind. My stomach fluttered, and my heart filled with longing. I decided to go with it. It was too late now. The plane was supposed to leave in five hours, at six o' clock. I shake my head at my incredulous action and go to get ready. Five hours later, I pulled on my hat and coat, my light blond hair perfectly fixed into beautiful curls held in with a shameful amount of hairspray, my outfit the best, most presentable dress I had. I picked up the printed plane ticket and looked down at it warily. My nerves had started to bubble up, but I pushed myself to do it. I had to go. It was clear that my parents weren't going to make the first move, but something had to be done. I had convinced myself of that this afternoon with Grace's push. I shoved the ticket into my pocket, then stuffed my thin leather driving gloves on top of that. I would have put them on, but I still had a way to walk before I got to the car, as my apartment was inside a building full of other apartments. I walked down the stairs, purse in hand, towards the door. My tall black suitcase rested there, ready with a few days' worth of clothing. I grabbed it as I opened the door.

You're okay. I thought reassuringly to myself, You have a three-hour plane ride to decide what to say to them.

I glanced back to the modern apartment, minimally decorated, a lone tall pine standing in the living, with a few scattered presents beneath it, resting on the cold marble-tile floor. I took another steadying breath, then forced myself to shut the door. My stomach did a quick flip as I shut and locked it. I was lost in thought as I walked down the hall, then down the stairs. My thoughts drifted back as I opened the door and a cold burst of winter wind bit at me. I shivered as I stepped out into the cold, then walked out to my small, silver, four-person car. I reached into my coat pocket and slipped on the gloves, then pulled out the keys, too. I stuck them in the car to open it. I got the car door open and drove the few miles over to the airport. I couldn't stop my hands from shaking, so I kept them gripped tight on the steering wheel.

When I climbed out at the airport, I decided to leave my gloves in the car. I would probably lose the expensive things if I brought them with me. locked the car tight. Another gust of cold winter wind blew in my face and stabbed at my bare hands. I was putting my hands in my pocket for warmth. I stopped short, my heart dropping. My pockets were empty. I ripped the coat off my shoulders, and rifled through the pockets were I could see them. I suppressed a scream, confirming the ticket wasn't there. My short-sleeved shirt was insufficient in the cold night air, but I hardly noticed the weather. My ticket was gone.

The bridge to my parents had just sunk with my heart. I turned back to my car and searched through it. I looked under the seats, in between the cushions, and even in the glove compartment that I hadn't opened. Half an hour later, I shook my head. The ticket was gone. I realized then that I had bought my ticket online, meaning it was probably in their computer. I checked my clock quickly, and seeing it was 4:45, rushed inside. I only had fifteen minutes to get everything settled.

I got into the huge line. When it was my turn, I began to sort everything out with the teller on the other side of the airport's desk. We finally got everything done, then I ran to my gate. I checked my bag as quickly as I could, then ran to the other side of the gate, trying to find where loading was. I finally reached the door. My heart sank. It was shut, and the entire area was empty. I checked my watch. 5:10. I had missed my flight and my opportunity. Now my luggage was on a plane headed to my parent's house, and I was stuck here. I dropped into a chair in the nearby waiting area, and ran a hand through my hair, messing up my curls. I sighed and crossed my arms. I was so set on getting home for Christmas, and finally, finally fixing things between my family.