The first lines of dawn are writing themselves on the sky as we pull in, gravel crunching under tires, rubbing sleep from our eyes and unfolding ourselves from the seats. There are twenty-four hours of music and audiobooks and Waffle House coffee and McDonald's bathrooms behind us. Bed-shaped, we stumble toward the house, carrying pillows but leaving suitcases for later. Before we even reach the door, they are there, pouring out into the barely-light, arms wide open and faces beaming, their eyes scanning every inch of us to see how much we've grown.
They're here! There they are! You made it! Awww...just look at you!
Hands reach out and pull us into warm pajama hugs, taking our pillows and coats, guiding us into the house, into the familiar smells of coffee and old books and family. As one aunt points us toward the room that is always ours at the end of the hall, another is following with luggage, and the third is hurrying ahead to plump pillows and smooth blankets on a bed that is already warm, I realize they are giving up their beds for us at barely four in the morning.
Aren't you going back to bed? I ask, concerned about the early hour in spite of my exhaustion.
I think I'll get a head start on the sausage biscuits, she tells me, eyes crinkling with the pleasure of a good welcome.
Five-Minute Friday is a chance to write for five minutes without over-editing, backtracking, or worrying, just for the love of the process and to see what happens. After we write, we share with the rest of the community of word-lovers over at Kate Motaung's blog. Come visit her to read more Five-Minute Friday writers and to share your own writing, if you want to play along!