Romi ran through security, clutching her purse and crushing her boarding pass in the bargain. She had never done this before – been so late for a flight – but the stupid, son-of-a-bitch boss could not be bothered with making his point quickly. This after she had told him a bajillion times she had a flight to catch that evening.

But no…he had to tell them, in great annoying detail, for the bajillionth time how he was the best thing that had happened to them, how he was the only one in a team of fifteen who was doing anything…how they would suffer if…

…more curse words were ringing in her ears but the sprint wasn’t over yet. She still had to run to make it to the gate and needed her full concentration to ensure she didn’t fall over someone’s bag or crash into an unsuspecting Aunty or kid. So she relegated her boss to the back of her mind (where he belonged) and focused on reaching the gate which as per airport and getting-late laws, was the furthest from her.

She was panting violently by the time she reached but she was happy to see there were a few stragglers and she hadn’t missed her flight. She tried to breathe through the stitch in her side as the man behind the counter smiled and wished her a Merry Christmas. Unfortunately, she didn’t have enough breath to answer but did nod her head, promising (for the bajillionth time) she’d get back to exercising once she returned.

*

Romi stood outside the door, taking in the lights, the glimpse of the tree just visible through a window with only half the curtain drawn. She took a breath and held it for a second, testing if the scene would dissolve before her eyes. When it didn’t, she let it out.

She saw her parents, clinking their glasses, smiling at each other. A tear found its way down her cheek and she shook her head. Now wasn’t the time to think about how she almost didn’t make it home. She finally rang the bell.

Romi hugged her parents tight, forgetting all about the mad dash through the airport, the boringly-long meeting and her insufferable toad of a boss. She made a beeline for the kitchen, knowing only the smell of home-cooked food could further solidify this waking dream into a reality.

She stood at the doorway, her stomach rumbling happily (she had not eaten the sad airplane food knowing real food was only two hours away). She took a deep breath…ah the smell of Christmas was here.


Wishing everyone a Merry Christmas!

This post is dedicated to the delicious rum / plum cake that Mallika’s mom makes.

For December, I will be writing stories based on prompts I have gotten from friends, family, friends of friends and some generous people on Twitter. Thank you Mallika for this prompt.

 

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