Plane lands. Hustle, bustle, get the luggage! Zip, zap, up down, all around. Escalator, elevator, escalator, out. Out into the fresh city air of Foggy Bottom. Thump-thump, thump-thump: heart and suitcase wheels over brick-lathered sidewalks. Look down – butter stain on cotton shirt. Look up – flash! shine! sparkle! crystal windows, clear glass eyes of towers that scrape the sky. Whoosh! Swoosh! Cars slip scrape slide past. New, fast, crazy world. Stick your head out of the quiet of home and there is a different definition of beauty. Down again – scarlet droplet of blood bubbles on thumb. Forget. Backpack strap sinking into craning neck. Heft and remember: blood. Too late. Blood and butter smeared on cotton shirt.
This piece has been published in Teen Ink’s monthly print magazine.