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Edenton, Here I Come

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Arriving at the airport is always an interesting experience. It is somehow always the same, yet exceedingly different. There is picking up and dropping off. There are ‘hellos’ and ‘goodbyes.’ There are always a countless number of people waiting to see loved ones arrive from far off places, only to match the flocks of people getting ready to leave the mundane. Today Rose Tyler walks into the airport. She stares at the lines of people and realizes she is about to be one of those people. She is one of the people who is leaving, saying goodbye to what was familiar. As she looks around the airport, she realizes that every airport is basically the same with the check-in, those new ‘self check-in’ kiosks that didn’t work quite right. Alongside plenty of workers in uniform that can be helpful if a passenger is in trouble. There are suitcases everywhere covered in labels and tags. Each bag carries the hope that they do not get lost in the process of flying across the country.
This is Rose Tyler’s first day of summer vacation. Yesterday at three o’clock she finished her last final on macro economics, and it became summer. As she gets her information ready, she realizes many of her peers are at the pool getting tan. Not Rose. She is a twenty-year-old college student flying home to North Carolina for the summer. Her Aunt is becoming old and tired. She needs help running her bed and breakfast, and Rose being the ‘favorite niece’ was graciously asked to come help out.
She stands in line at the counter and hears all the exotic and exciting places people are going. ‘Paris’ a woman says in an all black suit. ‘Las Vegas’ says the young man to the left of her. Soon Rose realizes that everyone is on vacation or going on a business trip except her. She is going to be spending her summer in the small town of Edenton. As she approaches the counter, she tells the small old man on the other side where she is heading and her name, and in no time she has her ticket. As she walks past other gates, she sees children asleep waiting for their flight. She notices a flock of middle aged women ready for their girls’ weekend to commence. Rose also sees the drunken businessman celebrating the success of his big meeting. And she wonders, ‘Does everyone have an adventure ahead of them except me?’
Rose reaches Gate 7. At her gate of departure she finds a seat in the empty area, not too close to anyone else, but not to far as too look like an outsider. She watches the people for a moment then stares out the large shiny window at the planes all leaving and coming. As Rose begins to daydream, she hears various names and plane numbers being called, and she wishes she was on them. ‘Flight 2026 to Ft. Lauderdale, Florida will be boarding in twenty minutes………Last call for Flight 2052 to New York ……Will Jennifer Goodsite please report to the help desk, your party is looking for you……..Final call for flight 2134 to Dallas, Texas.’
Rose was never a fan of flying. Although the thought of being thousands of feet in the sky didn’t scare her, she had a fear of being in small spaces forced to have awkward small talk with a total stranger for two hours. They always started the same way with an uncomfortable smile and ‘Hello.’ Before she knew it, she would be stuck talking about something useless like that latest reality show winner, or the weather or worse, why she was flying. That was her least favorite topic.
It’s not that Rose hated Edenton. She just thought it is too small. Everything was little, even the four isle grocery store and the bank with only eight workers, “All of which have been the same since I was fifteen years old.” Rose would tell people. Everyone knows everyone’s business. Not that this bothers Rose at all. She didn’t have anything too out of the ordinary about herself, so she didn’t mind the constant gossip. They know Rose was the niece of Janet Tyler the nice Inn keeper. They know Janet had two dogs that did nothing more than lay on the porch and only move when dinner was served. They know Rose gets her fiery red hair from her father’s side of the family, who are natives to Edenton. And although Rose had yet to arrive in Edenton, she was sure everyone knew that she was going to be staying the summer. They know that Rose came to visit every summer with her brother, Henry for two weeks since she was a baby. They know everything.
Henry was older than Rose and had always been the more outgoing of the two. Everyone in Edenton can tell you that. Henry will not able to help out because he recently became engaged and has to help his fiancé plan the event. Rose was happy that Henry would be the topic of discussion for most of the summer. This will pull the attention away from Rose. This is the way she likes it. While thinking of the summer ahead the plane began to load. As each section was called, it became more and more evident that there was no turning back. Finally section L was called and Rose boards the plane.
As she takes her seat on the plane, Rose realizes there was no turning back. She was on her way. Rose reminds herself she enjoyed the two weeks of every summer she spent there, but two weeks was enough. This was going to be the whole summer. She wasn’t ready, but she had no choice. She was on here way. Just as the plane took off and the small talk with the sixteen –year-old boy next to her died down, Rose tries to fall asleep. With the boy next to her playing music much too loud out of his iPod, it seems to distract from the sound of the engine and the noise of other passengers. Somewhere amongst it all Rose falls asleep and dreams of the pool. She awakes as the plane was getting equipped to land and Rose knows. She knows it is time. She can feel the plane as it lands on the tar mat and the excitement from the other passengers, not including herself. She was able to smell the warm, humid air and she knew. She knew her summer had started and that the small town of Edenton, North Carolina was her home for the next three months.





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