Baggage Claim


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.

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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.

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