I could barely see the clock on my work desk. My vision was blurry but tried hard to make out what time it was. It was 5:30 AM. There was already clamor in the kitchen, something I wasn't used to. I've been on my own for quite a long time. I kept telling myself it's too early to be getting up, but I have to. Dad's flight is at 9:15 AM, and we have to be at the airport at least two hours early. En route to the bathroom I glanced at Mom and Dad having a cup of coffee and enjoying the orange scones I brought home yesterday; they were keeping their conversation low as they didn't want to wake me up.
Dad arrived about three weeks ago, and I was so happy that he's finally taking the time off. Since we moved to the US, Dad's been working six days a week. He's a stubborn man. I kept telling him to cut down his hours, so that he can at least take two days off, but he insists it's for the family. Stubborn indeed for his love for us.
Looking back, I couldn't help but think of all the family problems we've faced. If my Mom is emotional and has hysterical tendencies, Dad would be calm and composed at all times. If I had a problem, even to the point of sobbing my heart out on the phone, Dad would have the right words to calm me down. He is the source of my comfort and guidance.
The morning air felt nippy. I thought it was unusually cold for late August. Summer won't end in another three weeks. I decided to drive the car to the Metro, as it would be inconvenient to walk the whole 20 minutes carrying bulky bags. The Metro station looked lonely and deserted at this early in the morning. As the red train bound to Glenmont approached, there were so many empty seats. It was nice. We could seat wherever we wanted. We sat, talked and planned about the coming winter holidays. The train ride felt like a blur. The next time we knew, we were already at the airport. My chest felt heavy, and I suddenly felt the pangs of sadness. I didn't want my Dad to leave. Through the years, this is exactly how I felt whenever I drop my parents at the airport. I helped my Dad get his boarding pass and get him ready for his flight. In my heart, I wish he could just stay here - with me.
At about 7:45 AM, we hugged, as he proceeded to his departure gate. My eyes started filling up with tears but managed not to let them fall. I saw him go through airport security fine and gave him a big smile and a wave. How time really flies. It felt like I was just in the airport picking him up yesterday. From the airport, I went straight to work. It was 8:30 AM when I turned on my computer in the office. It was too early, and it was too quiet. I miss my Dad already.