The alarm is loud or maybe it sounded loud to me. It urges me to move forward.
"Do you have any luggage with you, Ma'am?" He asks me politely.
I look at him as I hand over my ticket. He has a smile on his face, a smile that seems genuine but it's directed towards everyone the same way. I grab the ticket returning him a small smile.
"No, just my purse." I say to the attendant.
"And your emotionals, Ma'am?" He asks once more.
I was looking at him but the moment he asked me, my gaze falls down at the countertop and gets fixated. My emotionals. What about them!
For a moment I phased out. "My emotional baggage?"
"Yes, Ma'am, we need to check your emotional baggage before we can let you pass through the security checks." He explains calmly.
I knew about the emotionals check at the airport and I have done it a few times, but today isn't the right day. Today my mind is occupied.
"Yeah sure. Just a second." With that, I began to pull out a few pieces of luggage, big and small.
"Will that be all?" He asks before putting a stamp on my ticket.
"Yes, that's all." I send a nervous smile towards him.
"If you please step towards the security checks!" He gestures me in the direction.
I pick up the bags and look around for a lounge or cafe. There's no rush, my flight is still hours away. I can hear the wheels wheezing on the tiled floor and thumps on the cracks. Often the bags clash with each other and at times they take a tumble. As I reach towards the cafe I see that there are a few people sitting around and snacking before their flights. There is a seat near the entrance, small and a two-seater.
Over the years, my bags have amounted to just the same, neither more nor less. Sometimes a tiny bag or case gets added but soon enough that too gets unloaded. Some would say it's an acceptable amount of emotional baggage, as some have more and some less. I see people going through the security clearance, some growing restless with the amount of emotional baggage they have to declare, counting all the fees that they have to pay - some even fight for a discount or unload some weight which doesn't help.
People have been coming and going for a while and it was my time to head towards the seating area near the terminal. My eyes roam around out of boredom, fiddling with my ticket and boarding pass. I was in a hurry to catch this flight but it seems the time is moving slower which is making me groan out of frustration.
A woman in her late 30s walks by which catches my attention - not her specifically, her baggage. I keep staring at her pile of emotionals and strangely I find myself intrigued. She doesn't have any big luggage, only a few medium-sized ones and two small ones - which got me thinking, I have never seen a person with such a light burden. Looking at my pile, it's making me feel a little queasy and somewhat guilty. I wonder how she managed to keep it so less a burden, almost making me feel jealous.
I need to keep my emotionals at bay, popping another rucksack right before a flight is not the best option, it's a threat to the plane and the passengers - I shift in weight may cause turbulence and may cause the plane to fall from the sky. It has happened before, and I don't want to be a cause for a crash. I shake my head to clear the fog. It is now time to board the plane. Disgruntled at my own pile, I walk inside and take my designated seat.
No, I have to fix it - walking around this huge pile is a hassle both for my own good and for traveling. Carrying around all of it can't be my life - what if it piles on more and it's too late to do something about it! I'll figure this out soon enough, I must.