Friday, July 2, 2010

There's No Place Like Home

This is a fictional piece written years and years ago as a start to a longer short-story, but never got finished. My question to you is "As it stands now, does this piece make you want more .... or does it make you want to just move to the next story?

“Are you coming or going?”

“Me? Oh, I’m going home.”

“Home? How long have you been gone?”

“7 years. It’ll be nice to get back.”

Karry smiled slightly as she stared out the window of the plane. The conversation between the two women sitting behind her faded in the background as she watched the baggage handlers throw more luggage into the plane. Home. After seven years, the woman still called it “home”. She probably had her own house, maybe a husband and a couple of kids. But she was flying to some town 3 hours away that she hadn’t seen in seven years and she referred to THAT as “home”.

Karry couldn’t imagine ever referring to the house that she grew up in as “home”. Hell, she never thought of it as home when she lived there, where she spent most of her teenage years counting the days until she could escape. There. That place. The house. Never “home”.

It’s not like there was such a place she could point to as “the place I grew up” since her parents moved every two years, or, as Karry liked to put it, “…every time the rent was due.” It wasn’t a skill she could put on her resume, but before Karry was 14, she had learned to move to a new house fast, and at night.

“Excuse me. Excuse me?”

A voice interrupted her thoughts. Karry looked up to see a woman looking at her.

“I’m in the middle seat. Is that your bag?”

Karry looked in the seat next to her and saw her canvas bag.

“Oh. I’m sorry. Yes, it’s mine,” she said, as she picked up her bag and shoved it under the seat in front of her.

“Thanks,” the woman said, as she squeezed into the row while trying to push her own canvas bag under the seat and get out of the aisle at the same time. She finally got her bag in the storage area then started lifting one hip then the other, trying to get her seat belts out from under her.

“Usually this flight isn’t this full,” she said as she finally got her seat belts adjusted and fastened.

Karry gave her a polite smile and turned quickly back to the window. The last thing she wanted was a talkative “travel buddy”. She wasn’t one of those people who liked to chit-chat with strangers while waiting on delayed planes or while standing in line at Starbucks. She often thought about what made her seemingly so different from the other folks who thought it was so normal to strike up a conversation with a perfect stranger, as if they had been friends and neighbors for years.

Maybe that was it. Karry never lived in one place long enough to make long term friends or really get to know the neighbors. She went to three different schools the year she was in the sixth grade. She had never learned how to be friends with anyone, because she knew in a few months she’d be moving to a new school. It was easier to be a loner and not connect with anyone.

A voice came over the intercom. “Ladies and gentlemen, we’d appreciate you quickly taking your seats so we can have an on-time take-off. If you are having problems finding a space for your luggage, one of our flight attendants will be happy to help you.”

Karry tuned everything out after that. She flew so often she had every speech memorized by now anyway. As one the sales reps for her company, she was gone about 10 days a month. She had moved up quickly in her company, getting 3 promotions in 4 years. Sometimes she had to pinch herself when she looked around and saw the evidence of her success. Her large house, the BMW she drove, even something as simple as getting her nails done every week. Growing up as one of the poor white trash in her small town, she never imagined she’d get to this position.

She pulled her book out of her purse and opened it to where she left off. But it soon lost her attention as her thoughts drifted back to the year she was in sixth grade….

Other things may change us, but we start and end with the family. ~Anthony Brandt


  1. when she was in sixth grade....

    AND .....

  2. At the risk of sounding like Oliver in the workhouse (Oliver Twist), More,...please.