At the airport

This continues the story of Agnes and Matilda. It remains untitled. I guess this would probably happen some time before The Woman in the Photograph and Back at Henry’s House. The other parts of the story include Agnes and Where is Mama?. Constructive criticism is always appreciated. Especially since I’m not going back to previous sections and I’m sure there will be continuity errors. What can I say? It’s a first draft.


Matilda stepped off the airplane and walked past the crowd of people waiting to board the next flight.

Heels clicking determinedly down the tile hallway, she pulled her cell phone out of her purse and dialed the most recent missed call.

“Mat? Where the hell are you?”



“Do you know another Miami that I would refer to without specifying a state?”

“Oh my god, Mat. You have got to be kidding me.”

“What? I told you I was going to see this to the end, Charlie. And I think this is going to be it. The end.”

Charlie was silent for a moment. Matilda took a right turn and followed the signs toward baggage claim.

“That’s insane. So she lives in Miami now? Kind of a change from Kansas, isn’t it?”

“Well, I’m not a hundred percent sure. But the people I talked to in Kansas City pointed me here. She’s got to be here. I feel like this is it Charlie.”

Charlie signed. She could hear someone talking int he background and then Charlie spoke away from the receiver, “In the cabinet by the refrigerator.”

“Who is that?”

Charlie’s voice dropped to a whisper, “His name is Dean. We’ve been seeing each other a few weeks now.”

“Charles Harrison! Why is this the first I’m hearing of him?”

Charlie chuckled, “Well it wasn’t really anything until recently. But yesterday, he asked me to be his boyfriend.”

“That’s so exciting! I can’t wait to meet him.”

“You’ll love him, sweetie. He’s fantastic.” Charlie stopped whispering, “So what’s the plan?”

“First thing I need is a hotel room, a shower, and a nap.” She stepped up to the baggage carousel right as it started to turn. She saw a little girl holding an older woman’s hand. They looked so similar, she was sure it was a mother and daughter traveling together. The little girl saw Matilda watching her and she smiled shyly. Matilda waved her hand right as the woman followed her daughter’s gaze. She smiled kindly at Matilda and turned away. The little girl kept watching Matilda.


“What am I doing?”

“You’re on a journey, sweetie. You’re trying to find more about who you are.”

Matilda sighed, “I know. It’s just…what if she doesn’t like me? What if she wants nothing to do with me? What if she won’t tell me why she left? I have a mom. The woman who raised me. The woman who has been around the last twenty-three years. What if I get through this whole thing, and my questions don’t even get answered?”

“Sweetie. There are a million what ifs. You can’t do this to yourself. Yes, I think it is a crazy journey. But your mom, the one who raised you into the strong and fabulous woman you are now? You know she’s supporting you through this whole thing. Wanting to know more about your biological mother does not take away how much you love your mom. We all know this is something you need to do for yourself. You know this is something you need to do for yourself. Just take it easy. You really need to get some rest. Let whatever is going to happen, happen. And then get your skinny ass home. I miss you!”

Matilda saw her burgundy suitcase coming around. She excused herself between two older gentlemen and grabbed it.

“I miss you too, Charlie. I think, if something happens and she isn’t here. Or she isn’t here anymore, I’m going to take a break and come home. At least for a week. I miss everyone.”


Matilda started to walking, dragging the suitcase behind her. How many airports had she been in since she’d begun this crazy journey?

“Okay Charlie. I’m going to grab a cab and find a hotel. I’ll call you when I wake up?”

“Sounds good kiddo. Love you.”

“Love you too.” She disconnected the call and tossed the phone back in her purse. There were a few more missed calls, but she didn’t feel like talking to anybody else just yet.

She exited the airport and stood in the line for cabs.

It took thirty minutes before she got a cab, then another for the guy to drive her to a hotel he said was very popular with vacationers.

Once in a tenth floor suite, she kicked off her heels and stood in front of the window overlooking the hotel’s private beach.

She felt anxious to know if she was standing in the same city as her mother. She wanted to go out to find her right away. But she’d been on a plane for 2 and a half hours and, before that, she’d been awake for almost 48 hours straight.

So she fell into the bed and was soon asleep.

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