Emma now blended into the crowd, and was working hard to see between the bodies. If she missed them, it would be horrendous. She saw the people coming from a hall at the back of the secured section, and again, her heart picked up its pace. Families, couples, kids. They were all dressed in their summer clothes, many of the men were wearing Hawaiian shirts which amused her. A woman with a large black dog was the next to come out from the hidden hall. The dog was undoubtedly excited to be free of its crate that had held it captive for who knows how many hours. Emma smiled, thinking how the dog would be grateful to its owner when it finally had the sand under its paws. She imagined it biting at the waves, and like an ad for dog food, she saw the dog jumping through the water in slow motion.
There was a lull in the number of travelers coming from the concealed hall, and she began to worry if they had been on the plane. A few more minutes went by, and she opened her phone to see the time. Many of the people on her side of the rope were gone now, celebrating the reunion with their friends or family who had joined them. The monitor for the incoming flights was on the wall above where she was standing. Backing up a few steps so Emma could read it, she carefully scanned the screen, looking for the Areoméxico flight from México City. Just as it had told her a few minutes ago, the notation next to the flight number said that it had landed twenty minutes ago.
A new group of people began emerging from the secret room, and her heart began to beat with a welcome renewed hope. Around the corner, she saw a wonderfully handsome man of considerable height, and next to him a cute little lady wearing a cowboy hat with blond curls protruding below it. The smiles on their faces gave her the warmest, happiest sensation she’d felt in months. “Daddy, Mom, over here!” She was waving and jumping in her place. How could seeing them regress her to a child in an instant, but there she was. The only thing missing was her childhood ponytail.
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