“Where’s home?” I asked.
“Right here on the plane,” he said.
“And when you’re not on the plane?”
“At another airport. And then another. And then Halifax.”
“The accent didn’t give me away?” He laughed. “I haven’t been home in five years. I guess I’ve, you know, acclimated to another flavor. I haven’t slept in a Canadian Tire parking lot for a long time, or plunked down a tooney in Tim Horton’s.”
“Nothing.” He smiled. “I’ve missed it, but I don’t think I’ve been missed, you know? My sister’s getting married, my folks are getting old, and I figured it was time.”
He nodded, and drank more Dr. Pepper.
She was a cinnamon girl, Irish red hair and freckles on her nose and running down her bare arms. She offered me tea and a blanket to cut down the chill, but she didn’t shut the window. I could hear traffic from outside, staccato horns, bored dogs, and I didn’t know what time it was. The light was a gray laundry color, and it felt early. But early is relative when you wake up in a strange room with someone you don’t remember, and she’s offering you tea.
Something about a coffee shop and a squirt of donut jelly dripping down my shirt. Cute laughter and green eyes. My boyhood disappeared in those vague, undistinguished hours, and remembering didn’t seem that important. I was tired of remembering.
A shock of pink fire, and I declined the tea.