A Fool's Errand - Part 5

Home again home again marketing doneIn the end, it didn't matter how many months had gone by since their abrupt departure. It might have been three years or three days, because the damage had been spread over a lifetime, and so couldn't be undone simply by wishing it. As Jimmy waited in the security line, the impulse to turn around and walk out of the airport alternated with the equally commanding desire to return to the new life—or at least the appearance of a new life—that lay on the other side of the boarding gate. Soon it would be too late to turn back. Once the security personnel began the check-in process, there would be nothing to do but continue through the line until, eventually, the dull thud of the plane's closing door would remove any further choice of destinations. At the other end of the flight would be the house he could not afford—the focus of several recent and ugly arguments with his wife, and the primary reason for the fool's errand from which he was returning this very day.

He thought about the pilot who had been staying with them since their arrival in Baltimore. Fighter pilots don't just disappear from one day to the next without saying something, even if they are ex-pilots. And yet, she had. Gone, just like that, without so much as a goodbye. Jimmy looked over his shoulder at the line growing behind him. Not too late to pick up your bags and walk out, he thought. But still he didn't move.


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