December 19th

 “Would you guys like a cup of coffee?”

 

Kjetil and I waited in my aunt’s living room for my uncle to return so he could bring us to the airport. We had just finished folding our clothes and were trying to pack everything into our carry-ons. I wanted to avoid carrying around this red suitcase. A suitcase filled with things my mom sent for our family here in Cuenca. On our way from Puyo to Cuenca the suitcase snapped. The handle just broke when it hit the ground too hard coming down the stairs.

 

I probably shouldn’t have dragged it as we walked down the stairs.

 

I was on a video call with my mom when I mentioned that our flight back to Quito would depart at 8:20. My aunt surprised tells us she had understood the flight was departing at 9 and that usually we should be at the airport an hour before. It was already 6:50. Paco was with Amanda at the ER because Eliani had fallen sick with a fever. I hang up the video call quickly because the extra hour we thought we had was cut short.

 

We tell Mirta that we should take a taxi because we couldn’t get in contact with my cousin Amanda and didn’t know what time they would be back. She tells me to speak to the guard of the condominiums so he can call a cab. While I run to the guardhouse, I think to myself that the things that don’t play out as intended are unfair. At least they feel unfair.

 

Now I think, it isn’t that it is unfair, just unfortunate. And while it is unfortunate, it is also necessary. Moments like these serve as a reminder that at times life will act beyond our control and we can only react.

 

Kjetil and I didn’t get to have that cup of coffee.

 

The taxi arrived within five minutes. We loaded up the cab with our bags and hugged Mirta goodbye. I felt my throat close up and my eyes water. She looks so much like my mother. I know it’s her sister and they have similar features but she looks so much like her. I felt like I was saying goodbye to another maternal figure I’m fortunate to have had. We head on our way to Mariscal Lamar, the airport in Cuenca. From the back of the car I see the uneasiness in Kjetil who was sitting in the passenger seat. I try to remain calm and tell Kjetil that will be arriving soon and that we have enough time before the plane departs.

 

I wasn’t calm. I kept refreshing the map on my phone to see how much time we had before we arrived to the airport.

 

Watching the little blue circle on my phone, I notice the driver goes straight past the airport. I ask him how long until Mariscal Lamar. I know how long, two minutes. At least that’s what it should have been according to the map. He had understood we were going to the bus terminal. He turns the car around and we head to the airport. Checking in and airport security was quick and we arrived to the gate ready to board.

 

A lot of things didn’t go “according to plan” during this trip. The night we arrived to Quito I was supposed to see two of my cousins who I had not seen in almost 11 years. But the day we left Cuenca to go to Quito was the same day they left Quito to go to Cuenca.

 

I also didn’t share as many posts as I wanted to after I got sick, but I have a lot of illustrations and pictures that I will continue to post and write about on here.

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