As soon as the pilot announced our arrival at Miami International Airport, Miami, Florida, my intestines knotted. I’d been a bundle of nerves for the last few hours of the flight and now that I finally arrived at my destination, the nervous feeling heightened.
I hadn’t been to this part of the world in yonks. I left some pretty sour memories behind and I wasn’t frantically looking forward to any of them. The only beautiful thing that happened to me here was my adorable daughter, Sheila Oyinade Magbadelo and she was the only reason I was back in USA, although for a little while.
When we finally landed, I exhaled the air I held in and quickly sucked in fresh air. “Breathe Arinola,” I said to myself. I picked my hand luggage from the cabinet and walked out of the plane. A burst of warm, fresh summer air hit my lungs and I sucked in happily. I engaged myself in another pep talk: “Arinola, you are here to enjoy this vacation with your daughter and that’s all that matters. You have to make it a memorable one for her.”
Few minutes at the conveyor belt and my luggage came sailing towards me. Few seconds later, I was at the arrival hall, scanning the perimeter for a familiar face.
“Mummy!” I heard the all-too-familiar voice of Oyinade, my lovely daughter.
A figure came springing at me. I caught her and swirled her round before gathering her into a tight embrace. She obviously packed some weight and my arms felt the impact immediately but that was nothing compared to the pure ecstasy I felt holding my daughter in my arms after many years.
“My sweet baby,” I framed her face with my palm and planted kisses on her forehead and cheeks, “I love you so much, omo mi atata.”
“I love you too mummy. I miss you a lot.” Oyinade put her arms around my neck and held me in a tight embrace.
“Me too my sweet little one. Mummy misses you a lot.”
Showering her with more kisses, I set her down and straightened. Her daddy stood by, grinning like a Cheshire cat. He looked the same. Handsome and confident with well toned muscles. The charming smile, which always did me in back in the days still tugged at the corners of his mouth framed with beautiful lips. That smile almost did me in again but I quickly blew it off. I didn’t come to the States for him, abeg.
“Hello,” I offered a casual smile. “Thanks for picking me up.”
Tade closed the distance and moved to hug me. I offered him a side hug and endured his lips smacking my cheek with a peck.
“Welcome back dear,” he smiled warmly while still imprisoning me to his side. “And you don’t have to thank me. It’s my duty.”
I wriggled from his embrace. I came this far for my daughter and her alone. Tade and I weren’t an item anymore, and I was not about to allow a fleeting moment of inhaling sweet cologne mingled with the fresh scent of aftershave turn my insides to jelly.
“Come sweetie,” I held Oyinade’s hand, “you and mummy have some catching up to do.”
Tade grabbed my luggage and moved ahead of us, “I’ll show you to the car,” he announced.
I held my daughter’s hand tightly as if my life depended on it. While in this city, I was bound to relive some not-so-pleasant memories but as long as I had my daughter with me, everything was just right with my world.
To be cont’d…
© 2017 AyotundeElegbeleye
Jesus is LORD!
Disclaimer: The characters in this story are fictitious and bear no semblance to any real person bearing any of the names used in the story.