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  1. Charlotte
    “Viens, viens, mon amour,” I say to Arabella as she struggles to put her last Mary Jane on.
    “Attendre maman,” she calls out. She buckles her shoe and runs over to me, placing her little hand in mine. “Where’s dad?”
    “La toilette,”
    “Can I have the window seat?” A smile spreads across my face. We had this conversation when we bought these tickets and a million times in the car.
    “You know the answer to that question.”
    “Maman, are we going to miss the avion since papa’s en la toilette?” I laugh. She has been speaking frenglish for a while now, but it still melts my heart when she speaks it.
    “Don’t worry sweetie, we got here in plenty of time,” I say and rustle her hair.
    “Non!” she says, smoothing it out. “Keep it straight.”
    “Bella,” Conor says, coming out of the bathroom and scooping her up. “What do you say to you and I going to get some yummy Jamba juice?”
    “Yeah!” she says, giggling. I take her backpack and Conor’s bag and head towards the gate.
    When I first found out I was pregnant I completely freaked out because I knew my mom wouldn’t want me to get an abortion but Conor and I weren’t in the steadiest place. Conor had moved to Paris when we decided to live together, but once all the small fights began, he started looking for one-bedroom apartments. I just didn’t want to raise a baby alone. My mom kept having to convince me that everything was going to work because I had a steady job and would be able to pay for help, but I couldn’t shake the fact that my baby might not have a father. After all, growing up with my dad were some of my best memories.
    This may sound lifetime movie-esque, but I could tell Conor got on board when he first held our Arabella. Her eyes were still closed and she was screaming her head off, but she was perfect and he knew it.
    I set our bags down on a couple of empty seats and close my eyes.
    “Excuse me,” I hear. I open my eyes to see a girl around ten years old standing next to me. “Are those seats taken?” she asks, looking at the couple of empty seats next to the ones with our bags on them.
    “Oh no, go ahead,” I say and look up at her mom who is trailing behind her. Something about the woman makes me pause and search my mind. How do I know her? Does she just have one of those faces? Her brown hair falls loosely down by her shoulders as she makes sure she doesn’t hit anyone with her bags as she makes her way to the seats. The moment she sits down, she looks at me smiling. We stare at each other for a second before she turns to her daughter and hands her, what looks like, her ticket.
    “Keep this with you,” she says. I know that voice. Not well but I know it. Then, all of a sudden, I remember. Remember that one day years ago, when I was just a little naive teenager. I had met her in this exact airport heading to the exact place.
    “Jenna.” She looks up.
    “Charlotte, I knew I recognized you,” she says. “How are you?”
    “I’m good. Wow, it’s been, what, fourteen years?”
    “Fourteen years.”

    I always knew my daughter was going to be like me. Even when I was a teenager I always had the image of me and my daughter doing the exact same things that my mom and I used to do together. Ever since Juliana was born, that’s exactly what we’ve been doing.
    When my mom finally moved out to San Diego, I spent a year there with her before going back to New York, getting my degree and starting work at Cosmopolitan Magazine. At one cover photo shoot I met Tim. He was the photographer and I fell in love with him the moment he put down his camera and asked the stylist to show a little bit more skin around the stomach. Juliana only made our love stronger.
    “Why are we here so early?” Juliana asks, as I hand her her carry-on.
    “You know me, I don’t like to have to rush at the last minute,” I say, looking at the check-in desk to see that is it pretty much empty.
    “Whenever grandma and I travel, we always rush.”
    “Yeah, that’s why I don’t like to. But when you are older, you can rush your family as much as you want,” I say, closing the trunk. I walk over to the driver side of the car and hand my mom the keys.
    “You know, Mom, you can open the trunk with a button up by here,” I say looking around for the button.
    “I know, but it’s so much easier with the keys, sweetie.” I roll my eyes at her and lean in for a hug. “I don’t want you guys to leave.”
    “I know, Mom, but Juliana has school and I have work. We will come out again soon. And next time, we’ll bring Tim if he doesn’t have work.” She looks up at me with the same eyes she has been looking at me with for years. A feeling of love and protection floods out of them. I kiss her cheek letting her know that we will always be here for her.
    “Juliana, come give grandma a kiss.” She walks over and leans in, whispering something in her ear. They both laugh.
    “You’re turning out to be a beautiful young woman. So much like your mother,” my mom says, caressing Juliana’s cheek. “I love you.”
    “Love you too.”
    Being my daughter, Juliana stands in the check-in line and the security line listening to her iPod and texting away.
    “Can you please find us a couple seats while I check the status of our plane?” I ask, Juliana getting no response. I pluck one of her headphones from he ear.
    “Mom, please.”
    “Juliana, I ask you to find seats.”
    “Okay, I will,” she says, putting her earphone back in. I look at the departures board to see that our flight is on time. Perfect. I look over at Juliana who is talking to this woman. I walk over to her and attempt to get through the small crowd of people’s legs without bumping them with my bags. I had her her ticket and look up at the lady Juliana had spoken to. She is looking at me with a slight questioning expression on her face. I smile at her, but am slightly puzzled how I know her. Is that Charlotte from a million years ago? I would look like an idiot if I ask her and was wrong. Plus, my daughter would be embarrassed but that’s minor because when do I not embarrass her?
    “Jenna?” the woman asks. I was right! I really need to learn to take chances when I think I might be right about something. All through high school and college I would think I knew an answer and would spend five minutes trying to get up the courage to say it on the off chance I would be wrong and then someone else would swoop in and say my answer and get all the credit. Not that this is the same thing, but still. A quick note to self.
    “Charlotte, I knew I recognized you,” I say. “How are you?”
    “I’m good. Wow, it’s been, what, fourteen years?”
    “Fourteen years.” I look over at Juliana, all plugged in, and give her a small nudge.
    “What?” she says, adjusting herself in her seat so she is not as close to me.
    “I would like you to meet Charlotte. I met her here fourteen years ago.” Juliana looks at me as if to say, ‘that’s fantastic Mom.’ She then looks at Charlotte, smiles and says, “it’s nice to meet you.” She goes back to going though her iPod trying to drown out the current situation.
    “She’s beautiful,” Charlotte says.
    “Do you have kids?” All of a sudden, this little girl comes running up to Charlotte holding a cup of Jamba Juice shouting, “Jamba se tres tres bon!”
    “This,” Charlotte says, lifting her up onto her lap. “Is Arabella.” I look at Arabella in her little pink dress and Mary-Janes and see Charlotte. “And this is my husband, Conor.” I look at Charlotte who smiles, blushing.
    “The Conor?” I ask, smiling. She nods.
    “We’re only missing Savannah,” Charlotte says. And, like clockwork, we hear a familiar voice.
    “Charlotte? Jenna?” We turn towards the voice and see the missing Savannah, all grown up. Her once simple blonde hair is now up in a half ponytail. She is wearing a sleek black dress that catches every curve of her body and black high-heeled boots.
    “Savannah,” Charlotte and I say in unison.

    “No, no I said for the plants to be outside the door not inside. How are they going to get the sun they need if they are inside? Just put them outside, water them and then call me when they get there. Things will be fine. Put a small smile on your face, and greet them. I’ll fix things when I get there.” I here a faint ‘ok’ then hang up. I always get stressed around the time I’m supposed to show someone a house, but this one is all the more important because it’s for a client with money and the real estate market is not amazing right now. I had another one of these clients last month, but I had accidently showed them a property that had tulips along the walkway and during the showing, her allergies started acting up and had to leave right away. About a week ago I got a call from our office in New York asking me to help sell one of their larger condos in downtown TriBeCa (my friend works there). So here I am, in the San Diego Airport heading to what I once considered my home away from home, New York.
    I take out my phone and quickly call my mom. When I graduated from Columbia, I moved back home until I got job at the real estate office, when I began to pick up business, I bought my own place. It’s only a couple minutes away from Mom’s house so we have dinner with each other at least once a week.
    “Yeah, I’m at the airport. I’ll make sure to get you something in New York if I have time,” I say, simultaneously looking for my gate. “I love you too.”
    As I see gate 23 ahead of me, I check my phone to see how long I’m going to have to wait. As I get closer, I scan the area for empty seats, then, out of nowhere, I hear my name. I turn around to see Charlotte and Jenna sitting with what could be their families.
    “Charlotte? Jenna?” They turn around and look me up and down.
    “Savannah,” they say in unison. Charlotte takes one of her bags off a seat for me to sit down.
    “Wow,” I say. “How long has it been?”
    “Fifteen years,” the young girl next to Jenna says looking at all of us.
    “Oh,” Jenna says. “This is my daughter, Juliana.” She smiles at me.
    “It’s nice to meet you,” I say.
    “And this is Arabella,” Charlotte says, tickling the little girl on her lap, having her start giggling all over the place. I can’t believe they have children. We all friended each other on Facebook, but never got around to actually seeing each other again. Soon, our friendship on Facebook became a regular friendship on Facebook: you have them added but never actually communicate.
    “So, wow, fifteen years. That’s crazy. And it was in this very airport,” I say looking around at everyone.
    “How are you Savannah? You look amazing.”
    “I’m good. It’s surprising how much changes, and doesn’t change, after so many years.” They all nod.
    “Do you have any children?” They ask. I shake my head.
    “No, but I’m thinking about adopting.”
    “Wow, that’s fantastic,” Jenna, says. “You would be a great Mom.” I look at Jenna, remembering how strong she was the last time I saw her and how scared I was about everything. It feels so nice to know how my life has turned out. They all look like they have had pretty full lives themselves.
    “What do you all do?” I ask.
    “I work at Cosmopolitan Magazine,” Jenna says.
    “Wow! That’s really amazing,” I say, smiling at her. I turn to look at Charlotte.
    “I’m a stay at home mom for now. I might want to go back to my job as teacher once Arabella is fully settled in school. What about you miss glamorous?”
    “I’m a realtor.”
    All of a sudden, an announcement comes on over the loud speaker.

    Attention passengers on flight 86 to Newark. Due to severe weather conditions in the area this flight is now delayed.

    We all laugh.
    “Déjà vu,” Jenna says.
    “Maman, je suis ennuye,” Arabella says.
    “She’s bored,” Charlotte says, laughing.
    “I’m sure Juliana would be happy to take you around. There’s a cozy corner over there where you guys can play,” Jenna says, pointing to the area where we all met.
    “Good things happen there,” I say, remembering all the advice they both gave me there, and the first week back in New York. We all smile at each other as we watch Arabella and Juliana walk off together.
    “Sweetie, you think you can take Conor and have some boy time while we have some girl time?” Charlotte asks Conor, who smiles and nods. Soon, we are all alone in the same terminal we were all in fifteen years ago. We look at each other, unsure of what to say. We never truly had an amazing friendship, but the small amount of time we spent together, and the small comforting messages we left on each others Facebook that one week, impacted us even if only for a mere second. Perhaps our friendship lies within this airport and here alone, but we should always know that, in fifteen years, we might meet here again.

    Attention passengers for flight 86 to Newark. Due to severe weather conditions in New York, this flight is cancelled.

    Again, we all laugh.
    “I guess you never realize what’s going to be important until time passes without it,” Charlotte says.
    “But at least we get a chance to relive it and appreciate it,” I say. Jenna smiles and takes both of our hands.
    “This time, can we promise each other that we will at least have one dinner together in New York.”
    “Deal,” Charlotte and I say in unison. We all stand up, holding our phones with each other’s numbers on them.
    “Promise,” Jenna says, walking towards the cozy corner as Arabella and Juliana emerge from there.
    “Promise,” Charlotte says, reaching her hand out for Arabella.
    “Promise,” I say, winking at them. I promise.
  2. Charlotte
    “Dad and I are going to get the paper. Do you want any magazines or candy?” Without looking up at my mom, I shake my head. Normally I would jump up and grab every magazine on the rack, and my favorite milk chocolate M and Ms, but now, ever since two Sundays ago, my cell phone is permanently glued to my hand. The moment my mom walks away, the new part of my hand buzzes.
    I miss you already
    I feel my checks turn red and look around to see if anyone notices this. Nothing.
    Six months is too long
    I write back imagining the morning sun against his face as he goes about his morning duty of dropping his little sister off at school. That’s what he was doing when I met him. My aunt Lea was taking my cousin Joey to school and he wanted me to bring him in. We walked in and I saw Conor. Apparently Joey and his sister are friends so she came running over to us and he followed. He offered to take my to get some coffee since it was after all eight in the morning. We sipped and talked and pretty soon we were inseparable. What hurt the most was telling him that I live in Paris, a nine-hour difference.
    “Charlotte,” I hear my dad say. “I got you these anyway. Thought you might want them for the flight.” He drops a bag of M and Ms on my lap.
    “Thanks,” I say, finally looking at my parents.
    “Who are you texting? Nassima? Aurelie? Clara?” my mom says, naming a few of my friends back in Paris.
    “No, Mom, just a friend from here,” I say, putting my phone in my pocket.
    “I know you’re not thrilled to go back, but it wont be so long until the summer and then you can come back here if you want.”
    “Not soon enough,” I say under my breath.

    Attention passengers for flight 196 to Newark airport. The flight is now delayed due to weather conditions in New York. We will continue to update you on the status.

    The car screeches to a stop right by the side of jet blue curbside check in.
    “See, told you we would make it,” my mom says. “Jenna, you mind to go check in for us while I got park the car?” I let myself out, grab the two immensely heavy bags and attempt to pulls them towards the check-in. Here we go again, always rushing at the last possible moment. My mom always says it’s the New Yorkers in us, but I just think we are both really bad with time management. I still don’t know why we couldn’t allow Julia to drive us here. “She opened her house to us, I don’t want her to have to do any more for us,” my mom said last night. But now that we let her sleep in, she still has to come to the airport later today and return the care. Whatever.
    “Are these the only bags you’re checking?” I hear behind me.
    “Yeah, and checking in for a flight to Newark.”
    “Jenna and Kristen Parker.”
    “I can’t check Kristen in without her and her ID.”
    “Please, our flight is in forty minutes. She just went to park the car.”
    “I’m sorry. Rules are rules.” I roll my eyes and begin to check myself in.
    Twenty minutes later, my mom comes running from the parking lot, holding her passport out.
    “Sorry, sorry. I had to park the car and there weren’t any spaces.”
    “Mom,” I say, slightly irritated. “We have to go.”
    “I know,” she says and hands her passport over.
    Of course, with out timing, security takes forever. For several minutes, the line doesn’t move an inch. Finally, a security guard comes up to us asking if we had a flight leaving in the next hour. The moment she sees our boarding time, she rushes us to the front of the line. The moment we pass security, we run to the gate. There are two available seats right near the gate. We sit down and await the announcement to start boarding.

    Attention passengers for flight 196 to Newark airport. The flight is now delayed due to weather conditions in New York. We will continue to update you on the status.

    I don’t know why I’m doing this to myself again. I love New York, but last semester’s homesickness really made my view of it as negative. The increasingly cold weather did not help either. This break made my fear of homesickness even worse. I was greeted at home with the usual warm love. My bedroom was all clean with fresh sheets and my acceptance letter to Columbia University hangs on my wall. The night I got home, my mom had made my favorite meal of lamb chops and we had watched the movie that we always used to watch before I went away to my month long sleep away camp: The Parent Trap. The entire break I was my moms little helper. We decorated our Christmas tree, went shopping for the families Christmas presents, and every night, after my little sister Maya went to sleep, we would cozy up by the tree and drink hot coco.
    “Sweetie, don’t forget your new bag,” my mom says, handing me the Coach bag she had gotten me for Christmas. “You want to be fashionable in New York now don’t you.” I smile and force my tears back. I know I am strong enough to do this, but right now, as we are standing in the airport, a degree from Columbia University doesn’t seem as important as my family.
    “Mom,” I begin. “I don’t think… I don’t want…”
    “Savannah, everything is going to be fine. Maya and I will visit you soon and don’t forget about our Wednesday night skype sessions, right?” I nod and realize my face is already stained with my lava hot tears.
    “Savannah, don’t cry,” Maya says. “I love you.”
    “I love you too.” I give them a quick hug and make my legs race away before I am able to convince myself to stay.
    When I arrive at my gate, I look around to see who I’m going to be on a plane with for the next five hours. There are mostly adults. I spot two girls around my age with their family, but no one to really become friendly with. I am alone.
    Attention passengers for flight 196 to Newark airport. The flight is now delayed due to weather conditions in New York. We will continue to update you on the status.

    Flight is delayed
    Within seconds he writes back.
    I hope it gets cancelled : )
    I feel my cheeks begin to redden once again. How is it that he makes me feel so alive? I glance around the terminal to see if there are any shops that I could spend any time in. Hudson news, McDonalds, California Pizza Kitchen, the same old thing. Then, out of the corner of my eyes, I notice a couple of men pulling away gates, revealing what looks like another lounge.
    “Ill be right back,” I say and walk away before my parents can say anything. “What’s this?” I ask one of the men.
    “The new lounge.” I look at this little space placed in a corner of the airport. There are colorful couches, a big screen TV and a huge window that allows me to look out and see all the activity on the runway. I take a seat on the dark blue couch and close my eyes.
    “Oh, I’m sorry,” I hear, quickly open my eyes and get on my feet. “I thought this place was empty.”
    “Oh, no, but it can be.”
    “Nonsense, at least you’re not my mom.” I smile unsure of what to say. “I’m Jenna by the way.”

    “You know what we forgot to do?” My mom asks. “We forgot to get presents for my friends at work.”
    “Yeah Mom, I think that’s something you forgot to do. I don’t know your work friends.”
    “Don’t be silly Jenna, you know Lucy and Carmen.”
    “Oh right, I forgot about that dinner that we had five years ago where I was barely aware of anything since I was so drugged up on flu medicine,” I say sarcastically.
    “Well, they love you.” I smile and nod. There’s no point in trying to get my mom to understand. “Come and see if we can find something for them here.”
    “Okay, I have nothing better to do.” We make our way through the terminal when I see this cozy corner come out of nowhere. It looks empty and rather peaceful. “I’m going to go over there. Come get me when you’re done.”
    “You don’t want to shop with me?”
    “I’m tired Mom. I’m going to go close my eyes for a bit.” I make my way over to find this small isolated space. Just as I am about to sit down and finally let myself relax, I see someone on the dark blue couch, eyes closed.
    “Oh, I’m sorry,” I say. She jumps up as if she had been caught doing something wrong. “I thought this place was empty.”
    “Oh, no, but it can be.”
    “Nonsense, at least you’re not my mom. I’m Jenna,” I say, sitting down on the maroon couch.
    “Charlotte.” I look out at the crowded terminal and take a breath. I am so not ready to go back to everything in New York.
    “I think we have someone else joining us,” I say, eyeing a girl walking towards us. She comes into the cozy corner, smiles and takes a seat near the window. All she does is position her coat as a pillow under her head and stare out the window.
    “Are you okay?” I ask. She turns to look at me with her red, watery eyes.
    “Yeah, I’m fine.”
    “Well, I’m Jenna and this is Charlotte. What’s your name?”

    “It’s delayed,” I say to my mom over the phone. “Yes, I’m sure. No, I’m sure it’s going to be going soon, they just said stuff about the weather. Yeah, don’t worry, I’ll call you if there is a cancelation. I love you too.” I close my phone and secretly pray to myself that the flight gets cancelled so that I have one more night with my mom and Maya. I walk back over to my seat to find some old woman sitting in it.
    “Oh sweetie, is this your seat? I couldn’t find another one and assumed this bag was this other young woman’s. Would you like me to move?” I sigh, smile at her and say, “No, you stay right where you are.” She smiles back at me. I grab my bag and walk away looking for another seat. I see a girl around my age walk over to this cozy corner that seems to be empty. Maybe I can get some quiet time there.
    There are two girls sitting on the couches, talking. I smile at them and make my way over to a couch near the window and settle down staring at the home I will soon be leaving once again. I can feel my eyes well up. I pray I can control them enough to not fall down my cheeks.
    “Are you okay?” I hear one of the girls ask. I turn around.
    “Yeah, I’m fine.”
    “Well, I’m Jenna and this is Charlotte. What’s your name?”
    “It’s nice to meet you. What brings you to this cozy corner today?” Jenna seems to be one of those girls at my high school who is completely extroverted, but really nice. I was always the introverted one unless surrounded by close friends.
    “Oh well, I’m going back to school.”
    “Yeah same. Where do you go?”
    “Columbia University.”
    “Wow, that’s impressive,” she says, turning to look at Charlotte who nods.
    “What about you?”
    “Well then you’re not doing too bad yourself,” I say, letting out a smile. “Where do you go Charlotte?”
    “I’m actually not studying in New York. I live in Paris.” Jenna and I both turn to look at her in amazement.
    “Did you grow up there?” She nods. Jenna turns to look at me.
    “Before we discuss more, I’m assuming you grew up in New York like me,” I shake my head.
    “Here in California.”

    Whenever I tell people in the States that I live in Paris, they always have an ‘excitement attack’ as my mom calls it. She told me the same thing would happen to her when her mom would take her to the States. When I told Conor, he asked me to say a couple things in French and told me he had always wanted to go there. I didn’t mind. I wanted to impress him anyway.
    “Yep, born and raised in Paris,” I say.
    “That’s incredible,” Jenna says. “I mean New York is one thing, but Paris. I loved it when I went there. So peaceful.”
    “It might be peaceful to go there for a couple weeks, but living there is just like everywhere else. Problems are created.”
    “Well, New York and Paris are both very different from here. I’m sure you both took subways to school right? My mom drove me until I was able to get my drivers license. That for me was freedom.”
    “Well my school was in my neighborhood, but I would take the subway other places,” Charlotte says. “Some families would drive if they lived a little outside Paris, but in it, like in New York, parking is a nightmare.”
    “Ugh, I know, my mom never wanted to get a car. She says it’s too crazy and you only end up paying more for parking than actually using the car. Whenever we wanted to go somewhere outside the city my mom would rent a car,” Jenna says.
    “Yeah, and most of my time is spent in school anyway so, there’s really no point.”
    “What is it like being in school there? I hear the French are very strict with their academics,” Savannah says. I laugh.
    “Well, it’s just school. Pretty similar I think except for the timing. Depending on our schedule we can start the day at 8:15 or 10 and finish at 3 or 5:30. Lunch is from 12 to 1:15.”
    “Wow,” Savannah says. “That’s a long lunch period. We only have forty-five minutes.”
    “Well, it allows students to go home and eat with their families.”
    “Oh cool, our school wont allow us off campus until you are a junior,” Savannah says.
    “We can go out as long as we have a signed permission slip from our parents. We usually just wander around the neighborhood and get food from the local delis,” Jenna says. “But, wow, if I lived in Paris I would be so fat from eating all those chocolate croissants. What do you call them?”
    “Pain au chocolat. Bread with chocolate,” I say. They both say it out loud and laugh when they can’t get their accent to be like mine.
    “You must love it there,” Jenna says.
    “I do,” I say. “It’s my home, but I really love it here too.” I watch as Savannah slowly turns back to the window. “Is this your first time away from home?” I ask. She turns towards me, head up. Then, within seconds, she breaks down and lets her tears fall from her proud eyes.
    “No, but I really do miss everything here when I’m in New York.”
    “Your home will always be here. You shouldn’t forget that. Whenever I’m missing Paris when I’m here or anywhere else, I always remember that my home is there, waiting for me when I need it.” Savannah smiles and wipes away the oncoming tears. My phone vibrates.
    Any news? Do you get to stay here for another night?
    I hold up my phone. “Case and point. I recently met this guy, Conor, and now I get to fly all the way back to the amazing Paris without him. Oh, and I wont be able to see him for another six months.”
    “I’m sorry,” Savannah says.
    “No, it’s okay. It was probably just a holiday fling anyway.” I quickly write ‘No new,’ back and put my phone in my pocket. “No use trying to hold onto something that probably wouldn’t last anyway, right?”
    “You never know what is or isn’t going to last,” Jenna says. Savannah nods. “Don’t let that boy go without a fight, okay?” I laugh.
    “Even if we are in different countries?” I ask.
    “Even if you were on different planets.”

    “What brings you to California all the way from Paris?” I ask Charlotte, after she texted Conor back telling him her plan for them to skype every week.
    “My dad’s family lives out here, so we came to see them for Christmas,” she says, bringing her hair back into a ponytail. “What about you? Vacation?”
    “I guess you can say that. My mom is thinking about moving out here, so we came to check out our options. It’s just so difficult with my mom because she is constantly going back and forth between ideas. But, at the end of the day, as long as she’s happy I’m happy. Or so I like to think.”
    “That’s exactly what I feel,” Savannah says. She is sitting up now, her jacket-pillow on the floor. Dry eyes. “I am so happy whenever I’m with my mom and get so sad when I’m not, but I just keep telling myself that if she’s happy and content then I can be too.” I look at Savannah as she speaks. She is definitely what you would call a mommy’s girl. Her face is stripped of any make-up and her blonde hair is nicely pulled back in hairpins. Her small pink lips scream shy, and yet, through all of this natural shyness, you can see someone very strong. I on the other hand have to be strong since my mom is the one in our family who is all over the place in terms of decisions.
    “But then again,” I start. “One has to be able to rely on themselves for happiness too.” Savannah sinks back into the couch. Was that too much? One of my best friends from high school had trouble moving on but finally got going. I guess it just takes different amounts of time for different people. “At least we know that our parents will be there to listen to us when there are problems, right?” I say. Savannah smiles.
    “Yeah, it’s always nice to know they are there.” There’s a pause while Savannah gathers herself. “What about you Jenna? What was it like growing up in New York City? I’ve only been there for one semester but it still terrifies me. Everything is so complicated.” She laughs.
    “New York is the ugliest, but sweetest, person,” I say. I giggle when I get confused looks from both Charlotte and Savannah. “I mean, it seems so scary from an outsiders perspective. I guess it’s because of all the horror stories, but in reality, New York is pretty chill. There’s so much to do.”
    “I’m always afraid I’m going to catch someone stealing something from my bag on the subway,” Savannah says. “Especially when I’m traveling alone. I can’t image being a child surrounded by all of that chaos.”
    “You get used to it,” Charlotte says. “I mean, I didn’t grow up in New York, but Paris craziness is similar. The only real difference is that you hear cursing in French rather than English.” We all laugh at this. Although the cozy corner is rather small, the couches are separated from each other. I get up and walk over to sit next to Savannah, then pat the side of the couch next to me.
    “Come join us Charlotte.” She takes a seat next to me. I turn to Savannah. “What was it like growing up in San Diego where it’s sunny all the time?” Savannah giggles, settling into the couch and begins.

    “Well, like New York there are some parts of the story that have holes in it. It’s not always sunny, but when it is, it’s amazing. My family has this huge backyard with a swimming pool, so my sister and I spend a lot of time out there. My mom would come home from work and barbeque something right near the pool and we would have dinner in our bathing suits.”
    “And your dad?” Jenna asks. I knew this was going to come up. I usually don’t like to talk about it with people I just met, but Jenna is so open and doesn’t seem like someone who would over react.
    “He left when my sister was born. Guess he didn’t feel like handling two kids.”
    “I’m so sorry,” Charlotte and Jenna both say. I laugh.
    “No, it’s fine. My mom is super mom. I wouldn’t want it any other way.” I pause for a moment after saying this. I seem to always say that when someone shows sympathy for what happened to us. Would I want it another way? I mean, it would have been nice if my dad didn’t think we were a handful and decided to stay, but then again, my mom and I might not have gotten as close. It became an all girls house and we loved it.
    “So you know how to drive?” Charlotte asks. I nod. “Wow, that’s cool. I want to learn but my parents are too busy to teach me. Plus, like I said before, we don’t have a car for them to teach me on.”
    “Well, getting my license was my freedom finally reigning in. Before, I would have to wait for my mom to have some free time to drive me places. But most of the time it was fine if she wasn’t free because we had a horse ranch right by our house. I would ride my bike over and take lessons a lot.”
    “That sounds so peaceful,” Jenna says. “The only way I can see a horse is if I go on a carriage ride near Central Park. But there it’s expensive, and I don’t even get to touch the horses.”
    “Yeah. I had a favorite one that I used to ride all the time. Her name was Stella and every time I would go over to visit her, I would bring several apples and would clean her. She loved when I brushed her and then she and I would go out together and just take in the sunshine.” She sighs. “But this is all after I finished my homework and did my jobs around the house.”
    “So,” Jenna says. “Why did you decide to go to New York for school?” This question has been circling around in my head ever since I sent in the confirmation check to Columbia University. I had visited the school with my mom and it felt like a place where I would succeed, but the moment I sent in that check, everything seemed to change. I began to look at my home as something that was not permanent since I would be leaving soon. Then, when I got to school, all I wanted was be back at home in San Diego with my family.
    “To be honest, I’m not sure. But I think it’s done me some good. You know the whole independence thing. But it’s really hard for me,” I say getting teary-eyed again.
    “Don’t worry,” Jenna says. “I can keep an eye on you in New York.” I smile at her.
    “And so can I,” Charlotte says. “I am there for a week before going to Paris.” We all pull out our phones and pass them around.

    Attention passengers for flight 196 to Newark. Due to severe weather conditions in New York, this flight is cancelled.

    Sighs fill the terminal as everyone collects their belongings and tries to figure out what to do until they can get a new flight.
    “Well, I guess I better call my mom and have her come pick me up,” I say. They smile.
    “Now you get your extra few nights with your family,” Jenna says. “But, please text me when you get to New York and I can show you around.” I nod.
    “Text me too. We can all meet up before I leave,” Charlotte says.
    “Charlotte, viens,” her mom calls. She waves at us and walks away.
    “Jenna, sweetie, can you believe that is happening?” I hear behind us. We turn around to see Jenna’s mom walking over to us holding two shopping bags. “Now we have to get the car and go back to Julia’s house. Ugh, what a mess.” Jenna sighs.
    “Mom, this is Savannah,” she says. Her mom smiles at me and reaches out her hand.
    “Good to meet you.”
    “Well, I have to go, text me,” Jenna says, and walks away with her mom still talking.
    I take my phone out and scroll down to find my mom’s name. One more night.