A/N this is not my best work. I wrote it a couple of years ago as a plan for the opening for a short film. I would love some feedback :-)
A wisp of blonde hair, flying over the shoulder of a tall woman in a white dress. That was all AJ remembered of her mother. A distant memory, one that might not have even been hers, but she clung to it as she exited the plane into the airport. This would be the first time she’d seen her mum since she was 3 years old. 12 years was a long time, and she didn’t know what to expect. 12 years of not knowing the truth was even longer.
AJ had never been on a plane before, and never wanted to again. Being in the air in a big aluminium tube was not her idea of a good trip, but no one else had been freaking out, so she had kept herself calm, her head deep in the book she was absorbed in. The worst part had been taking off. She couldn’t concentrate on the words, they kept flying around on the page as the engine roared and her headache soared.
This airport was busier and louder than the one back in England. Here, no one seemed to care that there were other people around them, everyone just charged around like they were the only ones there. She couldn’t spot her mother anywhere, being only 5”2, AJ was unable to see over anyone’s heads, stuck trying to squeeze through the business suits and Hawaiian shirts. This was not the reunion she pictured. In her mind, it was like a modern-day Railway Children, with AJ jumping off the plane and running into her mother’s arms.
Over the continuous hum of pointless conversation, AJ heard a voice call out her full name. She cringed at the use and swivelled round in the crowd, knocking into several people and tripping over a handful of suitcases as she made her way towards the voice. Then she saw her, the woman from her memory, except she’d aged, and was wearing a tight formal grey dress and blazer, with high heels that looked almost impossible to walk in. Other than that, she looked the same; long blonde hair that fell over her shoulders with an elegant clumsiness, same piercing blue eyes, same crimson red lips that had no need for make-up. She smiled as AJ approached, the deep-set lines around her eyes creasing.
The woman leaned down to hug AJ, who awkwardly tried to return the affection but was put off by the overpowering aroma of sweet, pungent Roses. She remembered that perfume, and it reminded her of the young woman in the white dress her mother used to be. She used to be so free, so full of life and loving, happy and almost magical, able to dazzle anyone with her charm. What happened 12 years earlier had changed everyone in the family, but it stabbed AJ and her mother the hardest, a knife in the chest that they couldn’t remove. Like a tapeworm lodged inside their stomachs, eating away at who they were and shaping them into who they are now.