The plane had just landed in the state of Colorado. Based on the magazine that I was reading a while ago, it’s famously known for its huge beautiful mountains, like the Maroon Bells. These sky-scraping mountains lure a bunch of tourists, hikers, and photographers. In addition, there are also deep canyons, huge sand dunes, big lakes, red rock formation, and deserts. With all four seasons, this makes Colorado one of the most beautiful places in the world and I am dying to see each of them, kind of.
I sighed to myself, remembering why I was traveling to this place. It’s been years since I last saw my father, and now, I’m here, about to meet him and his new family. Correction. I mean my new family. You see, I’ve been living with my aunt and uncle for awhile since my mother had died. She got into a car accident, typical. But there was more to that, and I wasn’t planning on sharing the whole story… yet.
People were already chatting and talking, making loud noises that my ears couldn’t bear. It totally annoyed me, especially to the passenger who was sitting beside me. Ever since he had boarded, he had drifted off to sleep and started snoring. I glanced at the small window and looked to see that the blue sky has been covered by altocumulus clouds. They are grayish-white with one part of the cloud darker than the other. Looking at it made my day even gloomier.
Sighing underneath my breath, I listened to the boring announcement of one of the attendants.
“Ladies and gentlemen, welcome to Denver International Airport. Local time is 6:30 pm and the temperature is 14°C (57.2°F) .” announced the flight attendant.
I took off my earphones and placed them back into my grey shoulder bag, along with my mp3 and a laptop.
“For your safety and comfort, please remain seated with your seatbelt fastened until the Captain turns off the Fasten Seat Belt sign. This will indicate that we have parked at the gate and that it is safe for you to move about.”
Not bothering listening, I’ve taken off my seat belt and started to get ready. She continued talking about checking around our seat for any personal belongings, a caution when opening the overhead bins, and much more crappy safety stuff that I’ve heard of.
“We remind you to please wait until you are inside the terminal to use any electronic devices. On behalf of Air Canada and the entire crew, I’d like to thank you for joining us on this trip and we are looking forward to seeing you on board again in the near future. Have a nice evening!”
With that finished, people have already started getting up into their seats and taking their luggage out of the overhead bins. I couldn’t get out since the guy next to me was still sleeping. Gosh, this is so annoying!
I stood up and sighed. I tapped his shoulders to try and wake him up but I don’t even think he felt it, so I started shaking him harder and this made him jumped up. I let out a yelp and the noise on the airplane died down to look at us. Oh my god that was embarrassing. A flight attendant came towards us and asked if there was something wrong.
I shook my head no and said “Uhh.. umm.. sorry. I just tried waking him up cause I really need to get out.”
The man got up and gave space to me. “Sorry.” He said. I nodded and immediately took my gym bag from the overhead bins and left.
The airport was pretty huge. It was like a huge dome. White lights filled the area and people were crowded everywhere. After picking up my two luggage from the baggage claim, I stopped over Dunkin’ Donuts to grab a cup of coffee. I sat on one of the tables and took out a book and started reading it. It’s called “Life of Pi”, a Canadian fantasy adventure novel written by Yann Martel. The story is about an Indian boy named Pi who explores issues about spirituality and practicality from an early age. He survives 227 days after a shipwreck while stranded on a lifeboat in the Pacific Ocean with a Bengal tiger named Richard Parker.
After getting lost in the book for about an hour and a half, my phone started ringing. I took out my phone from the pockets of my sweater and answered the call.
“Jesse, where are you? I thought we were going to pick you up near the baggage claims. Section four, right?” The voice came from my father.
“Oh um… Sorry, I stopped by Dunkin’ Donuts. I was hungry. Sorry dad”, I apologized. I had forgotten to text him that I was at Dunkin’ Donuts. Thanks a lot, Yann Martel for getting me lost in your book!
10 minutes later, I see my dad and an unfamiliar face of a woman coming towards my way. They were holding hands and were speaking to each other. I guess that must be his new wife… which also means, my stepmother. She had long luxuriant brown hair that goes up just before her waist. Her height was around 5’7” and she looked quite skinny, just an average woman who was just younger looking. Her skin is quite tanned and she has green eyes. In pure honesty, I think my dad had good taste in picking a woman.
I probably got lost in thought of looking at her cause my dad had to nearly yell out my name in order for me to snap out of a trance.
Still won’t ever get used to that one.
I quickly directed my eyes to my father, who was still snapping his fingers in front of me. I couldn’t help but let out a small smile.
“It’s nice to see you again dad,” I said. He smiled a very big smile and hugged me tightly. I missed my father so much. I haven’t seen him for nearly 5 years. I was living back in Ontario, Canada with my uncle and aunt. When my mother passed away, he couldn’t take care of the expenses in the house so he had to move here in Colorado to get a better job.
I hugged him back as tightly as I could. The woman behind him smiled at me and I smiled too.
“I miss you so much Jesse.”
When he broke the embrace, he introduced me to his new wife. “So I told you about her before when we’re emailing each other, but I’ll let her introduce herself to you.”
“You must be Jessica!” she said in a very exciting voice. The woman gave me a quick hug and a peck on the cheek. I was quite stunned, not really feeling comfortable with other people touching me but I let it pass. I nodded and smiled.
“Uh” I started, not really sure what to say.
“Oh! My name is Caelie. Caelie Anderson. But now I guess I’m called Caelie Francis.” She looked over at dad and smiled. A flirty smile. I had to fight back myself on giving them an eye roll. Then they started giving these looks between the each of them, in which I will never understand. I pushed back my glasses and sipped on my coffee very loudly just to break the romance atmosphere between them. Had she forgotten that his only child was here?
“Yeah, nice to meet you”
“Anyways, how was the flight?” she asked as I started to clean up after myself on the table.
“Tiring” I answered truthfully.
My father ran a hand through his jet black hair and coughed. “Well, you must be tired kiddo. I guess we should get going”. He looked at his watch. The gold watch that my mother gave him during their wedding.
“It’s almost 8 o’clock. We should get going”, he said. My dad took my 2 luggage in his hand. I was still staring at the watch. It reminded me so much of mom. I wish I could take back the days when she was still here. The days when she would care for me when I was sick, ask if I’m doing great in school, prepare my breakfast, lunch, and dinner. I missed her so much.
“Jessica, are you okay?” asked Caelie. Right she was now my mother, someone whom I don’t even know. She looked at me with a concerned face. I pulled on my hoodie and hid my face from them, trying not to let the tears that were building up in my eyes fall into the ground.
“Mhmm” I nodded
We left the airport and walked through the parking lot. My dad took my luggage and placed it in the trunk of the car. I opened the doors and hopped myself into the seats. Just for today, I was now able to sleep.