The Immigrant

September 28, 2007
The small freshly painted white and blue plane glided steadily across the cloudless afternoon sky, silently following the invisible path leading from La Ceiba, Honduras to Miami, Florida. Within the grim interior of the plane, there was a fury of passengers, all stiffly situated in the cushiony narrow seats. However, among the vast majority of passengers, a particular young woman seemed to stand out with a striking uniqueness. She was seated in the middle row surrounded by the constant murmurs and soft snores of neighboring passengers. The young woman, with her frizzy brown curly hair and tense demeanor, was apparently oblivious to the adjoining distractions and commotion that seemed to echo and vibrate throughout the plane. It could only be assumed by her perplexed facial expression, that she was being engulfed by a current of deeply worrisome thoughts and the only thing that could expel her from this trance-like state, was the occasional stirring of the sleeping snowy haired toddler that was cuddled beside her.

The young women turned her attention to the window and began to focus on the navy blue ocean scenery and the barely distinguishable meager speck that formed the outline of Florida. In realizing that the plane was finally approaching its destination, a flood of relief seemed to physically envelop her and a nervous smile spread across her pale face. She made a slight involuntary jump of surprise as the energetic flight attendant shrieked that the plane would be landing in five minutes. The young women gently awoke the drowsy toddler, and began to gracefully compose herself and emotionally prepare for the long awaited arrival into the U.S.A. the rumored land of limitless opportunity.

The plane slowly descended with a series of sudden jolts and jerks, onto the bumpy landing stripe. With a cheerful final announcement by the flight attendant, the passengers rose from their seats in a unison manner and eagerly rushed towards the aisle in a rather desperate effort to quickly exit the plane. The young women however, eloquently gathered her single faded brown bag that contained her only possessions, tightly grasp hold of the toddler’s clammy hand, and calmly strutted through the stream of people towards the dimly lit exit. Once off the plane, she briskly walked through the narrow over crowded hall, which surprisingly emitted a mild scent of body odor, perfume, and cleaning substances, towards the check-in desk. As she preceded further though the hall, it became noticeable that she was in the early stages of pregnancy. It was obvious from the young women’s body language and facial features, that she was overwhelmed with anxiety as she approached the check-in desk and withdrew her Honduran passport and green card. It seemed as though her fate and future would be determined within the next few slim minutes that passed.

The young women reached the check-in desk and with a shaky hand gave the necessary documents to the stern airport employee who simply peered down at them with an intimidating gaze, nodded and handed the back to her, then made a gesture for her to pass through and continue her business. The young women seemed to be emanating rays of pure happiness and relief as she endearingly looked down at the toddler with a toothpaste ad smile. She joyfully picked up the giggling toddler and positioned her on her left hip, then strode towards a distant ice cream booth in the center of the airport, pulled out twenty-four dollars, which was all she had to her name, and purchased an ice cream sandwich. She and the toddler sat down on a hard wooden bench and shared the ice cream, all the while the young women was contemplating the method in which she needed employ in order to began her new opportunistic life, and achieve the American dream. Then it seemed as though the heavy pressure of despair began to physically weigh down on her, because she immediately realized that she had a meager amount of money, no arranged place to stay, and absolutely no family members who lived in the U.S.A. She was the epitome of a hopelessly distraught immigrant.

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