“I can’t believe you’re leaving when there’s a week left before Christmas,” Clare shot at me from the bed.
“It’s not like I have a choice,” I hissed back. I threw some clothes into a duffel and zipped it up.
“Do you at least have your toiletries?” My wife asked me after a few moments of silent self-pity.
“Yes I do,” I responded hastily. I didn’t want to leave.
“What time is your flight?” Clare asked, her voice softer from before. I looked over at her. She was clutching the bedpost and suddenly looked very frightened. She didn’t want me to leave either.
“In two hours,” I told her. I sat down on the bed next to my duffel bag and played with the comforter, not daring to touch her just yet. I could sense the anger coming from her body. She and Zoë had returned home not less than an hour before to learn that I would be leaving to go across the country. Zoë cried when I told her I was leaving because when I get home from LA “the snow will be melted and there will be no time for Snow Angels and the snowmen will all have died!” Her statement hurt and I tried to tell her that snowmen don’t die, they just hibernate until the snow comes again but she wouldn’t hear it. Instead she ran to her mother and clutched her until I left the room to go and pack.
I carefully reached over and touched my wife’s shoulder. She turned to me and collapsed into my arms. “Taylor, please be careful,” she begged. “I don’t like the snow on the runways. There could be ice and I can’t lose you. Especially not before Christmas!”
“Shhh, baby,” I soothed stroking her hair gently. “You’re not going to lose me. I promise.” I kissed her hair. “If the airlines feel it is dangerous to fly they’ll cancel my flight.”
Clare sighed and looked up at me, “I know. I just don’t understand why you can’t do this after Christmas.”
“You know why, honey.”
My wife nodded in defeat. She knew that the label liked to take care of prospective clients as soon as humanly possible. Usually the bands flew to us but on a rare occasion I flew to them. Since it was the holiday season it was one of those rare occasions.
“Just be careful,” she pleaded sitting up straight, her fingers lingering on my chest. “If you get a bad feeling about getting on the plane I don’t want you to board it. Please, Tay, promise me you won’t.”
“Please, Jordan Taylor! Just... please.” The corners of her mouth twitched and I knew she was seriously worried about an accident. She was pale and her eyes dull.
I smiled softly, an empty feeling forming in my chest. “I promise, Clare,” I reassured her as firmly as I could. “I promise.”