She was the only one who didn’t sleep, and exhaustion made her eyes glow red in the semi-dark of the cabin. The flight was smooth, which was comforting.
She tried to write a letter to friends, that she knew she wouldn’t send. She tried to sleep again. She tried to read again. She looked at her husband and son. Her son with his knees and elbows pushing into her as he struggled to find comfort in his cramped seat. It reminded her of the wistful, happy annoyances of her pregnancy with him. Her time was no longer her own.
She shook them both awake as the captain blearily told them that they were approaching Anchorage. She gathered her magazines, the portable dvd player, their many layers of Winter clothing. Theresa didn’t feel like getting off the plane. She felt like staying on until it turned around. Not necessarily to what was just recently home, but to somewhere else even. Somewhere less exotic and more cost effective. And she knew there wasn’t a bed to sleep in, but one of those inflatable mattresses when they arrived at their friends’ house one hour from the airport. There were dogs, and more children, and solitude only in the bathroom. She wondered when she and her husband would stay up late watching horrible Science Fiction, rolling in laughter and then rolling on the floor onto and into each other.
As the plane made its descent, she wondered if the air was as cold as she imagined it would be. She wondered how she’d sleep in this place of near-perpetual twilight.