2004.03.31

Anna at Fifty Yards

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Buffalo, NY | August 2000

Anna at Fifty Yards

Fifty yards to go, and she needed to stop. Time to compose yourself, Anna. Won’t do at all to let him see you’ve been running, not on his account. Briefly, things went out of focus; grabbing at a tensa-barrier, she steadied her body until the wave subsided. Careful, don’t pass out! That would just be perfect.
 
She’d been out of sorts for the entire trip. Whether that was a result of stress, anticipation or rage was unclear, though some combination of all three was likely. It wasn’t as if she hadn’t been through a lot — two thousand miles, two connections, twelve hours of travel time, and nine hundred dollars’ worth of airfare — and yet, she knew that Howard would still give her grief for being late. Seven years of marriage had taught her plenty about her ex-husband.
 
The dizziness had left her, but now her stomach was dancing. Anna wondered if it would always be like this. Surely he can’t try to sue every time, she mused ruefully. Howard had money to burn, but not nearly enough to waste on frivolous legal maneuvers. She knew that this first time had been a show of strength on his part — he’d already won the battle, and he’d wanted to rub her face in it. That was just his style.
 
She rested for a second, catching her breath and regaining her bearings. Albany was a lovely, clean airport, and not a very busy one; completely the opposite of Denver, where she had risked life and limb weaving through crowded terminals, barely making it to her connecting gate despite a brisk run. Chicago hadn’t presented that particular obstacle, but there’d been the thunderstorms — an hour’s runway delay in a warm, stuffy plane, poison to mind and body alike.
 
Now, there were only fifty yards to go. Taking a deep breath, she rounded the corner, passed security and entered the baggage claim area.
 
Anna saw them against the glass doors, backlit and indistinct, but Howard’s smirk was unmistakable. That was almost too much, after weeks of uncertainty: between when she had been served with those awful papers; and the court date, where — thankfully! — the judge had thrown out the lawsuit as completely frivolous. By then, it had barely been possible to get travel arranged in time, and still he’d had the gall to complain bitterly about driving in from upstate on a Saturday. “Short notice,” indeed!
 
Don’t look at him, she chided herself, as she continued her approach. He’s not the reason you’re here. Her eyes were inexplicably wet, and the sun still too bright, but she could finally make out what she’d waited months to see: that tiny shape, clutching her father’s leg, beautiful beyond words. Doubts came flooding back into her, fed by months of worry: Will she recognize me? Is she still my little girl? Anna was sure her mind would break in two if her fears were confirmed. She resisted a powerful urge to run, mostly because there was no way of telling which way her legs would take her.
 
And then her daughter saw her, and smiled, and Anna knew that it had all been worth it.

  • Loliinspired

    You captured it so sublimely. I kiss your toes, Yuki; I am not worthy! Also, I agree with Yogi, but unfortunately scene two will involve him saying something snarky to Anna and then getting the young blonde parking attendant's phone number.

  • Your writing is beautiful, Yukino. It's a smooth read that lets you feel what Anna is feeling.

    Scene two needs to have Howard getting mugged as he returns to his car. Thanks!

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