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2 min read

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Laura boards the flight to Los Angeles to seal another business deal. Scrolling through her contacts, she stumbles upon Javier's profile picture. And it takes her down memory lane & leaves her with unanswered questions...
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"Dear passengers, we're going to take off in about 5 minutes..."

Laura rushed to write a quick message to her business partner before she'd have to turn off her phone. Rapidly scrolling through her contacts, she paused when she saw Javier's new profile picture.  

And once again, her stomach was in knots.

Javier hadn't changed much despite a few grey strands in his neatly trimmed beard. Holding his little son in his arms, he had a broad smile adorning his face — the smile which brought them close ages ago.

And the same smile swayed her away when they flew to Rome.  Especially when at a cosy little cafe in front of Fontana di Trevi, Javier asked, "Have you thought of your future, Laura? Our future?"

Overwhelmed by the situation, Laura opened her heart.

She closed her eyes and explained how she wanted to spread her arms and fly. To the end of the world. And to the stars. And she wanted Javier to accompany her. Just the two of them. And no one else.

When she opened her eyes, Javier's smile was gone. And it never came back.

And gradually, he got more distant. Until one day, when they decided it was over. She never understood why. And seeing the same smile now when Javier held his son in his arms, she knew the answer.

She watched the clouds floating by the aircraft wings and wondered.

What if Javier was right? What if money and freedom meant loneliness and emptiness? Did she sacrifice her love and life for a false sense of identity?

Javier saw his son fall asleep. He closed the colourful book of stories and pulled out his phone. And like every day, he checked Laura's profile picture. She was dining somewhere on the other side of the planet in a glittery dress and with unwavering beauty.

Staring at the little round picture, he wondered.

Was he happy? Did he abandon love and adventure for a boring life of a family man living in the suburbs? What if he had taken out the ring from his pocket in Rome?

"Papa", whispered his son in sleep. He turned around and saw his little son lost in dreams, and he kept watching.

And he forgot everything.