Survivors of the Z’s- Graham Jackson, Edinburgh airport, UK
TEN YEARS AGO-
It was five in the morning
It was the day of all days
The day that my angel would be returning from her trip around the world. It had been ten painful months. Most of them were sleepless nights. Most of them were nights where I would think the worst.
What if something happened?
What if she was in the wrong place at the wrong time?
What if this and what if that?
I sat there in the waiting area. Waiting for her to walk through with her friend. I was ecstatic to see her and at the same time, absolutely shattered. I couldn’t sit down because if I did
That would’ve been the end of it and Evelyn wouldn’t have gotten the welcome home that I wanted to give her. I wanted to be awake, so I could give her the daddy hug.
I looked at my watch, “few hours,” I said, stay awake old man, stay the fuck awake”
I looked at the chair not so far away from me and yawned. Hardly anyone were in sight. Hardly anybody was walking around.
Hardly any noise
Hardly any anything
Which made it worse and made the fight against sleep even more difficult.
A few people passed time to time
Travellers as well
I looked over at an eatery called Bristol’s. I stared for a lil longer and felt my stomach rumble.
“Might as well grab something,” I said
I walked over
My legs just being able to carry me and my eyes
I was one on one with exhaustion itself and it didn’t help that five hours before I had just finished a 12 hour shift at work.
I walked in to the place and looked around at the nice layout.
It was relaxing
Just like outside
Only a few people were around.
A few men and women sitting on their own could be seen with one couple enjoying a drink together.
Was close to quiet
“You ok my friend?” a waiter said
“Not bad thanks,” I answered, “are you serving food?”
“Yes of course, table for one?” He asked
“Yeah,” I said
“Follow me sir,” he told
I followed him to a small table with just the two seats on both sides. A menu was already there just like the other tables.
He readied his paper and pad “Drink?” He asked
“Yeah…” I thought about it, “can I get a glass of coke please”
“Of course,” he said, “I’ll go get that for you, oh, this is the breakfast menu”
He took it off the pile of menus and handed it to me, “thanks,” I said, I thought about my drink choice, a coke, what was I thinking, I needed a fucking coffee, “hey pal,” I said
He looked around, “yes buddy?”
“Get me a coffee instead, I’m in for a long day”
“Coming up,” he said
I sighed into my palm and rested my forehead on to it. I closed my eyes for a second
Felt myself dozing off
And then quickly opened them
“No you don’t,” I said, “don’t ruin this now”
I grabbed and opened the breakfast menu and feasted my eyes on the choices.
“I think its an obvious choice,” I said
It wasn’t difficult to decide.
Out of all of the different breakfasts. The one that stood out the most was the full breakfast. Everything a man would ever want.
And full of every meat a man like me could ask for.
He came back with my coffee, “have you decided?” He asked
“I have,” I answered and pointed at my choice, “bigger the better”
“The full scottish,” he said, “my dad swears by it”
“Damn right,” I said, “so he should”
“Coming up my friend,” he said and walked
I rested my head in my palm once more and rubbed my eyes. I focused on what ever I could.
I focused on that
Time dragged for me massively as I sat there awaiting the arrival of Evelyn.
My plate had already been taken away.
I got up to stretch my stiff- tired- legs and back and I heard it crack.
Now half six in the morning
I made my way out into the waiting again. It was pretty light outside now and I had a feeling that it wouldn’t be long now until she was walking through to meet me.
I sat down later on once again and stared into thin air.
I lost focused and the one thing I didn’t want to happen…
I fell a fucking sleep
A voice came later on, a voice I knew, “dad…? dad wake up, helloooooo, daaaaaaaad, wake up old man”
“Errr, what?” I spoke, I opened my eyes and saw my beautiful daughter standing there, giggling with her friend, Lizzy, next to her, “ahhh shit, I’m sorry”
“Don’t worry pops, you looked cute when you were sleeping,” she told
I smiled a jaded smile and rose to my feet and gave her one big daddy hug, a tear then rolled down my eye, “I have missed you so fucking much”
“You’ll be missing me forever if you don’t losen your grip,” she told
I let go, stepped back and wiped away the tear, “is my big strong dad crying?” She asked
“Of couree I’m crying, I’ve fucking missed the shit out of you,” I told
“Ahhh,” Lizzy spoke, “you two are so cute, wish my dad was as emotional as you”
“Shall we go?” I asked
“Yes please, I am shattered,” she told
“Here, let me help you with that” I said
We began making our way to the exit
“So how was it all?” I asked, “did you both have fun?”
“Oh it was amazing!” Lizzy told, making me jump, “I feel like it was all a dream you know, everywhere we went, it was just all… I don’t even have the words to describe it”
“It was such an eye opener dad,” Evelyn explained, “its deffinately made me into a better person”
“Oh great, so its made you less expensive then?” I asked
“No, no way, I still want a car for my birthday,” she winked
I sighed, “damn it,” I said, “well, anything for my angel”
“Thats what dad’s are for right,” Lizzy said
She high fived Lizzy, ” damn right”
We all laughed
I brought her in close and we all walked out of the airport.
Both of them chatted all the way.
To the one voice I wouldn’t be able to live without…