Invisible Ties

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She doesn’t have prejudices but there are moments when she needs to take a deep breath in order to take into account the differences. The arrival in South America is one of these cases. She has been in between countries for almost fifteen years, residing in Canada and visiting Brazil while she can.

Since her mother got sick, she comes more frequently. But the impact is always immediate: people everywhere, heat, and a general disorganization. That is, without leaving Guarulhos airport, in São Paulo. She can’t imagine how real life must be, outside, in the traffic, in the big metropolis.

In the airport, she does the domestic check-in after a small argument about the right location of the line up. There is an employee that helps her and carries her bag to the weighting machine, indicating to the nearby passenger that she was waiting for a while. The woman, green shirt inside a jeans jacket, gracefully nods with her head, without arguing. Finally, she’s able to go through customs.

Little by little, the anxiety of being in a foreign territory fades away, and she starts to relax, feeling at ease when listening to Portuguese. Nevertheless, the sensation in the departure lounge is of a bus depot, with many people standing and waiting. Defeated, she walks to the nearest coffee shop, and asks for a macchiato.

Later, in an emptier area, she’s able to access the Internet, check her emails, and call her mother, whose voice is apprehensive as if tentative about her presence. Despite the tragedy that unites them, the monthly session of chemotherapy and hospital interventions, she notices an invisible thread of easiness that takes charge of her body.

The more difficult life seems to be, the less afflicted she holds onto quotidian, bureaucratic chores. What brings her back home is always an urge for love, a desire to make things possible. Relieved, she takes a deep breath and waits for the announcer to call her flight.

Short Fiction published in TreeHouse Arts.