What things would you take if you thought you may never see your family again?
In the end, I took all my photographs. I left my coin collection because it was too heavy. I took old diaries.
The letter I wrote was in an envelope marked “Mom & Dad”.
I had cried rivers writing it, and every time I saw it, my eyes watered precariously.
Zipping up my bags, I took one last look around my childhood bedroom and wondered how long it would be before I saw it again. Would I ever see it again? I blinked back tears and breathed deeply.
I got into the car with my mother who would discover the letter hours later, on the bed I purposefully left unmade so it would attract her immediate attention. We drove four hours to the airport.
I boarded the plane only after I sent an apologetic email to my brother who didn’t know yet either.
Several whiskies later, I slept while the plane soared over the Atlantic. No more lies.
I was free and it hurt like hell.
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