“The aircraft has now been cleared for departure.”
The plane began to gently rumble and back up. Light streams of rainwater shuffled across the window, hanging on for a few seconds at the edges then flying off into the chilly air.
The plane lifted off, and the streams multiplied in number and speed, sprinting across the hypotenuse of the rounded rectangular window.
And then the plane entered the fog, a blur so constant that only the trembling water across the window suggested that they were making any way.
Chicago held Jane’s past life, her past memories, her past joys. This was exactly why she had prohibited herself from visiting; because leaving the city always did this to her – always left her sickeningly nostalgic and sad.
Instant regret. Had she not visited the city, she wouldn’t be feeling all this, but ten years had passed. Ten years. Who would have thought it would all still feel the same?
Pulling her fashionably over-sized Vince sweater up over her head, Jane caught a waft of the four miles she aimlessly walked down on State Street, the three hours she spent at Macy’s Seventh Café watching the ballerinas in the next building over practice, the rain and wind that sprayed and tousled her hair, and the compliments four sincere men stopped to give her.
For a few brief seconds, Jane envisioned an evening aerial shot of the city and it all reminded her of what it was like to be in love.
But, Jane she preferred not to be reminded.
The plane exited the fog, and the window turned into a deep, hollow navy blue.
“You may now turn on your electronic devices and move about the cabin.”
Jane used to visit Chicago at least twice a year, but ten years ago, realized it had become an emotional crutch – a way for her to escape the routine loneliness of New York City and sink back into her flirtatiously adventurous early years.
The early years: Back when Jane and her girlfriends were all hot and single… and knew they were. A smile combined with a soft playful squeeze of the bouncer’s arm granted them instant VIP status. Sitting at the bar, just a slight inward arching of the back called over three handsomely suited men. The confident synced strides of their freshly exfoliated legs made girls cling tighter to their boyfriends. And, they won all this without ever having to say a single word. In fact, it was the lack of words that made them all the more attractive. It was a silent, poised, universal agreement that they were all damn hot.