The sun has just risen, but it hides behind the clouds that rise in search of hiding it. A dense mass dyes the entire airspace of Houston gray, turning on the automatic lights of the runway.
One plane after another takes off while Ali’s little hands cling to the icy glass that vibrates with each exit to the heights of those brutal machines and his big eyes watch the way they soar and get lost in the sky.
Zara holds him in her arms as they wait in the pre-departure lounge, while her tense husband looks at his watch, knowing it will be the first time his wife has been so many miles from him and little Ali. So far, this is the first time he has to take care of the little one, which fills him with fear considering his busy work schedule and the idea of not being a good enough father as he considers his wife to be for the baby. .
It is unfair to Zara that only she has had to take care of the child they have in common throughout all this time. Both are aware that it is time for the woman to recover her life within the firm for which she works and make the necessary trips, in this case, to Canada.
Canada. So far in factual distance, so close on an illustrated map, and so real it amazes you.
Kerem never wanted her to leave him from one moment to the next, but the situation became even more tense when the blessed call came that caused Zara to pass the child into the arms of her lover.
Once her hands cling to Ali’s chubby little body, she presses him to her chest.
“And if she cries?” he asks, terrified. They already talked about it a thousand times, but even so he decided to keep the argument in case he changed his wife’s mind. They already had the discussion in which she gave him the necessary arguments by which she made her husband understand why it is so important that he also learn to take care of the baby and why he is not the only one in the couple with the right to rejoin their working life normally.
“You give him a bottle, darling.”
“And if he’s not hungry?”
“You rock him.”
“And if he keeps crying?”
“He falls asleep.”
“And if he doesn’t get sleepy?”
“And if it’s still not enough?”
“Hmm. So you make something up because that’s what you’re the father for and he’s your dear wonderful son. Surely at some point you will be able to understand each other,” she assures him, bringing her lips closer to his in a kiss that tastes of magical warmth.
Her lips were home.
She is his family.
Where she is, Kerem’s heart will also go, he was always sure of that. How is it possible that such a rude and calculating man from the Turkish soccer team at the University of Economic Sciences has become a father with vulnerable feelings, holding a child that for a day and a half would depend solely and exclusively on his care, being the reason for horror to his own personal challenges?
Love materialized and made the person in his arms.
“I love you, Zara,” he declares, his heart pounding and making a superhuman effort to keep his voice from breaking. It would only be one day! He has also traveled before for work, even with longer stretches and longer deadlines, but this time he would be the one left in charge of the baby knowing his little experience with children and how much he loves his perfect woman, he wants to fall apart and burst into tears when not even the little one adopts that reaction, he seems to react very maturely and hardly understand what is happening.
“And I you, Kerem. I love you,” she assures still against his lips and then moves on to her baby who looks at her with his big eyes, holding a pacifier between his lips and gums that are just beginning to tempt the distant possibility of seeing some teeth appear. “And you, sweetie. My little Ali. I love you with my heart. I’ll be back tomorrow, I promise,” she says, after averting her honey-colored eyes, just like the baby’s, from Kerem’s, who tries to give a new argument to extend the talk, finally deciding not to do so because he doesn’t intend to make her miss her flight.
“Why didn’t you get a private flight to take you back and forth in the day since you’re barely flying from the US to Canada?” he had complained to her when he found out that he would have to be present at the event to celebrate the twenty years of the fashion investment firm for which his wife works.
“Because I don’t intend to spend more, even less in the case of something so brief that it will keep me out,” she explained.
“I’ll pay for the flight if necessary.”
“They are my expenses, I need to be the one who manages them again.”
“Money is not a problem for me and you know it. Therefore, neither is it for you, Zara” he shielded himself.
However, the arguments of why she needed to manage her personal and financial life and her work life again took shape in that discussion that led to Kerem’s regret for having raised it. That night they both ended up going to bed furious with each other when there was no need for it to end up that way.
It wouldn’t make sense that now she should leave like this.
Kerem was happy.
He was happy to see her happily leaving in the direction of the business firm that makes her happy working in the profession that makes her the happiest person in the world, knowing that she has talent for it..
Once Zara takes one last look at them before disappearing behind border controls, he stands for a while with the baby in his arms, utterly stunned. It is little Ali who reminds him that he is still there by stirring in his power. Kerem looks at his son and warns him, “Well, it’s just the two of us. We’ll see what this adventure is about, right?” he tells the little boy, as he begins to get restless in his arms. He senses that he might be hungry or wants to go home, so he looks for a cafeteria in the airport shopping arcade to drink coffee and have his child made a bottle of warm, nutrient-fortified milk.
Of course it’s not part of the menu at the place but it’s in the backpack with the emergency items for Ali that Zara has left ready.
Once the boy is already sitting on his lap and with the bottle in his hands, he sends a selfie photo of both of them to his wife.
She is online.
She sees it and responds with a little heart-eyed face plus a selfie of her walking up the stairs of the plane.
“Geez, I almost forgot what this feeling of taking a flight was like,” she warns in an audio that makes him smile.
“You sound very happy and I like that,” he declares, with a heavy heart as he has rarely felt in his years of life.
“I’m going to miss you, honey.”
“And we too…”
Little Ali chimes in on Kerem’s audio and makes him giggle. He gives him space to finish stammering her unintelligible speech and then proceeds to say:
“We will miss you, someone has already given you the arguments apparently.”
“I’ll put my phone away now, I’ll let you know as soon as I can connect to the plane’s network on the flight. Love you! I love you both!”
“And we to you.”
He finishes sending the audio and sighs, looking at the cup of coffee in front of him.
He takes a drink and looks through the glass wall of the cafe at the plane in which he supposes his wife is going to go right now, crawling down the airstrip and taking off to get lost from one second to the next among the density of clouds suspended in the sky.
“I love you, my love” he thinks. “Have a good trip.”