20 minutes free fall – whatever comes up

“Millicent” David shouted up the stairs. “We have to go now. I can’t be late to catch this flight”. He straightened his tie and looked at his watched. He sighed. His luggage was piled precariously in the hallway. He double checked his pockets. He had his papers, his passport, his iPod, gum and wallet. David quickly ran through the list in his mind. When he was certain he had not forgotten anything, he yelled again for his sister to come downstairs.

“Millicent. Goddammit get your ass down here, we’ve got to go!” he yelled. He stomped across the hardwood floor and looked in the den. He was just about the shout again when Millicent came down the old winding staircase. She was calm and unhurried.

“finally” David said, heaving a sigh of relief that could have been mistaken for mockery. Millicent said nothing. She walked passed him and opened the front door. David quickly gathered up his bags and headed outside into the street. He piled everything in the backseat of the car. Millicent folded herself into the driver’s seat. She did not look at David when he piled into the seat beside her.

“We have an hour to get there. I have to check in and then go through security. I hope that there isn’t much traffic.” David said. He looked at his watch again.

“I am sure it will be fine” he said. He watched the streetlights go by through the window. It had started to rain. The light bounced through the raindrops on the windshield.

“Put on the wipers. I can’t see.” David said testily. He didn’t wait for Millicent to turn them on. He flicked the lever himself and the wipers leaped into action, clearing the glass of the offending waterdrops.

“Watch it, you’re driving too close to that car. What if he suddenly braked? I’d miss my flight, that’s what” David said. He started to chew on the finger nail of his index finger. The skin around the nail was already raw and torn. Millicent did not say a word. She drove in silence. David become more and more anxious with every block.

“Aren’t you going to say something? I am going to be leaving on a plane in an hour and 45 minutes. I don’t know when i am going to see you again. Are you angry with me?” David craned his head to look at his sister. She didn’t turn to meet his eyes.

“I’m not angry David.” she said quietly. The traffic light turned red. Millicent slowed the car down to a stop. David looked at his watch. He pressed his hands together and then held them in his lap.

“You seem angry.” He said. The light turned green. Millicent moved the car forward with the traffic.


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