Homecoming

They left the minivan in central parking. The bridge to terminal A looked as it always did, with the moving walkway churning away and the “Welcome to Logan Airport” audio playing. But they were the only people on the bridge. When they entered the terminal, they were on the fourth floor, and as they reached the escalators, they could see across the length of the ticketing corridor.

“Just amazing,” the man muttered.

Most of the lights were off. The shops were closed and gated. A single agent sat at security.

They started down the escalator. “I’ve never seen anything like this,” the man said. “Even at four in the morning, there are people here and people are getting ready to open the shops.”

“It’s eerie,” said Lauren.

“Apocalyptic,” said the man.

They exited the escalator, then found the next escalator down to the baggage claim.

Baggage claim was darker and quieter. No carousel moved. No one stood near any carousel. Near the end of the corridor stood one member of the state police. The only sound was that of their footsteps on the tile.

“Are we going to get Grant’s bags here?” Graham said.

“No,” said the man. “They took his bags off the plane in Colombia because the plane was too heavy. He’s coming home with his scriptures and the clothes on his back.”

A few minutes later, a security door opened, a few people passed through it, and then, their 300 lb nose tackle son appeared, dressed in his suit, his attache bag looped over his shoulder and across his body.

“This is not how I imagined this,” Lauren whispered.

“Not two months after leaving home,” said the man.

Grant approached. His black tag was clipped to his lapel: ELDER LAWS, The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints.

“Hey, bud,” said the man.

Lauren moved to Grant and hugged him. Grant pulled back, grimaced, and said, “It’s freezing. I freaking hate the weather here. I want to be back in Paraguay.”

The man half-smiled. “Nice to see you, too, pal.”

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