TITLE: Across Borders
Standing in the middle of the London Gatwick airport Tessa looked at the Departures flap display. In half an hour she was leaving for Slovenia. She remembered that the Slovene word for ‘thank you’ was ‘hvala’, she knew that the country was in the Mediterranean but despite that it could get very cold there, yet she had no idea what were the colours in its flag or whether you could buy marshmallows there. With her luck, probably not.
Dad’s hand squeezed her shoulder as he looked at her concerned.
“Be careful, sweetie. And if you need anything, call me.”
“I will, Dad.” She wished more than anything that he and Mom would come with her instead of sending her on vacation all alone, but Mom had just returned from the hospital from her latest cancer treatment and she needed to rest.
“You’ll have fun at Nona’s place, you’ll see. And you’ll be back before you know it,” Dad was saying.
“I know, but …”
He hugged her fiercely and she poured all her thoughts and unspoken wishes into the hug.
“I love you, pumpkin. Have a safe trip and send Nona our love. Tell her that next time we’ll come too.”
That lightened Tessa’s mood a bit. “Love you too, Dad.”
Next, she was being dragged towards the security line by her cousin and losing sight of Dad in the crowd. Seventeen-year-old Alyssa was going on a three-month trip across the Continent and Tessa would travel with her till Italy.