The Journey Home

This post is for my Writing 101 Day 15 assignment, Take a cue from your readers. On 15 September, our Day 6 assignment was to create a poll for readers to vote on a list of ideas for a post; my readers chose “a short story, made up as you go along. NO planning” which got 25.81% of the 31 votes. (8 votes). 

This story is purely fictional {its characters based on nobody in particular} written in first person because I find it easier to write that way. I didn’t think about the story, nor did I edit {except for grammar / spelling} or rewrite.  I don’t know how it’s going to turn out, but without further ado, let’s find out, shall we?

It seemed like we lived in airports, the way we traveled. I never saw myself as a “jet-setter” type, due to the fact that I wasn’t a fan of flying. But, hey…if you want to see the world, you do what it takes, right?

Still, I’d reached a point where I had to think about where I was because, as much as I hated sleeping on journeys, there was no way around it if I wanted to be awake upon reaching our destination. There were times when I was barely coherent during our dashes between gates/terminals, then I would fall back to sleep soon after boarding. Hard to keep track of our whereabouts that way. Those who had copies of our itineraries back home probably knew where we were better than we did. We just ran…and ran…and ran barely making it to the gates for our connecting flights. Always holding hands, as if they were magically fused together in a perfect fit.

Funny how things evolve into unexpected situations. We’d just made it to our hotel before a major storm was due to pass through the area where we were in Concord, NH. Flights out of the local airport were grounded and stranded passengers were being transported to all of the hotels in the area, which were filling up fast. What was supposed to be a somewhat quiet getaway was turning out to be anything but quiet. MB ~ {My Beloved} ~ had business meetings for our first few days here, starting today. After he was done with the meetings, we planned to stick around and explore for a few days.

We barely had time to get settled in our room when the receptionist called to tell MB’s colleagues had arrived for their first meeting. Before we left the room, I gave MB a long hug. It was something we did when we needed to reconnect. He brought my hand to his mouth and kissed it without breaking eye contact. He knew he made my heart melt when he did such things and I loved him for it.

Downstairs, the lobby, bar, and restaurant were crowded with stranded people, waiting for the maid service to ready their rooms for the night. Fortunately, we were given exclusive use of one of the smaller meeting rooms, which had a boardroom table. One of the room-service waiters stayed long enough to pour water for us and put out some trays of fruit, cheese and crackers. The meeting was going very smoothly when the lights flickered a few times before leaving us in darkness. It was raining pretty hard and the sky looked as though there was plenty more up there.

‘Unless you arrived in an ark, it’s safe to say you’ll be stuck here for the evening,’ I said. There were eight of us standing at the window, looking out and wondering what Mother Nature had in store for us besides knocking out the power.

Back at the table, we abandoned the business agenda, our discussions steering toward our families. I’d been trying to text my kids since we arrived at the hotel, but the storm isolated us from the rest of the country. I kept checking my phone for messages but nothing. Without power, there would be no way to charge anything. Word was filtering through that there were tornadoes in the area. Two of MB’s colleagues ~ Dennis and Robert ~ both lived nearby, a couple of streets from each other; the rest lived in other parts of the state.

‘Let’s go and see if anyone knows anything,’ Dennis said to Robert before they both headed toward the lobby. The rest of us sat in silence. I prayed for their families…and us.

Dennis and Robert came back into the room, both looking ashen. Apparently, a tornado had hit a neighborhood between one of the local malls and the Interstate, but they didn’t know which one. Dennis sank into a chair behind him and started to cry. I pulled up a chair next to his and grabbed his hands in mine, in an attempt to comfort him. ‘What if my family didn’t make it?’ he asked, ‘what will I do?’

I squeezed his hand. ‘Dennis, I know you and Robert are worried, but until we know what’s happened, we just have to believe that your families are okay. I know it’s hard to not imagine the worst, but we can’t know anything until the dust has settled. So until then, let’s just keep occupied while we wait for news.’

He looked at me and smiled. Glancing at MB, he said, ‘You have a good woman here, sir. I hope you know that.’

I knew, from looking at MB’s expression that he’d been watching me talk to Dennis the whole time. Tears were in his eyes and he nodded. ‘I know.’

Robert stood by the window, looking in the direction of his neighborhood. At the risk of intruding, I walked over to him and, in a soft voice said, ‘Are you okay?’

Immediately, his eyes filled with tears as he grabbed me and hugged me for several minutes, appreciative of the concern and comfort. I tried to assure him as much as I could, just as I’d assured Dennis. It was going to be a long, long night.

The hotel staff brought in candles, food, and drink, as well as pillows and blankets for those who were stranded at the hotel {but not staying there}. Others from the lobby wandered into the meeting room, looking for a quiet place to sit away from the noisier areas of the hotel. We spent hours talking about everything under the sun.

After a while, I sat against a wall, watching MB talking to his colleagues. Occasionally the others in the room joined in their conversation and offered their prayers when they learned that Dennis and Robert were waiting to hear if their families were okay.

It was situations like this one that served as a stark reminder of how quickly we can lose everything. I watched Dennis and Robert doing their best to keep positive despite not knowing the fate of their families.

It instantly made me want to go back home to where my children were. Maybe I was done traveling for a while, struggling to remember which time zone and city I happened to be in during moments of wakefulness. True, we were seizing the opportunity to see the world…but there was something to be said for sitting still for a while and appreciating the mundanities of daily life. Before I knew what was happening, I realized there were tears in my eyes and an overwhelming wave of homesickness. I suppose if anything could make one homesick, it was being many miles from home, sitting in a hotel with no power. Lives changed just a little while ago. Forever. The homes people worked hard for no longer existed because of a natural disaster. My children were living out their lives while we globe-trotted from place to place.

MB noticed me crying and rushed over to see what was wrong. ‘I want to go home.’ I said, through my tears. “I miss everyone  and everything  about being home.’

He nodded. ‘Funny, I was thinking the same thing. Tell you what. Let’s see how quickly we can wrap things up here and we’ll go home. For as long as you need or want.’

I hugged him in gratitude. He and I had always been on the same page. I only had to tell him how I felt and he knew because he felt the same way without my having to tell him a thing.

“ROBERT!” A woman’s voice shouted from the door. And then, “DENNIS!” We looked and saw two women running toward their relieved husbands, followed by five children. They all hugged in the middle of the meeting room, amid the applause and cheers from the rest of us. Knowing that their families were okay filled us with enormous relief.

A few days later, we, too, were at home and reunited with our children and friends. They were all relieved to see us and pleased to learn that we planned on settling down for a while.

‘It’s just as well you’ll be here,” said my son, with a smile. ‘We wanted to wait until you got home to tell you the news…’

His beautiful wife patted her stomach and said, ‘Soon, you’ll be meeting your first grandbaby. We’re pregnant!’

After all the hugs and tears over the news, MB gave me another hug. ‘Welcome home, my darling. Welcome home.’

11 thoughts on “The Journey Home

    1. Hi Sarah! I’m so pleased you enjoyed my story. Although I know that all stories can’t have happy endings, I prefer writing ones that do. Hope you’re having a great week.


      Liked by 1 person

      1. Hi Sarah! I’m so glad you’ve had a good week.

        I’m good, too. Thank you for asking. I have a lot to do and hopefully I’ll be able to wrap up this writing course today so that I can get to other things.

        Do you have plans for the weekend?

        Liked by 1 person

  1. I’m good, just busy, busy, busy. So much to work on and I’m hoping to get loads done over the next few days. Thank you for asking. Any plans for the weekend?


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