The woman in the blue suit trudged through the airport, her carry-on bag and briefcase wheeling along behind her. She couldn't help but wish that the rest of her life was gliding along as smoothly as those two wheeled cases. Her mind was filled with images of her weekend at home - the screaming matches, the slamming doors, the angry husband, the sullen children. That phone call with her mother and her recriminations.
"You should have known this would happen when you chose a career that would keep you away from your family all the time. You missed your daughter's thirteenth birthday, what did you expect, a medal? Of course they're angry. As well they should be. That damn job always comes before your family." She felt her shoulders sink a little lower. They just didn't understand. It wasn't fair asking her to choose between her family and her job. Of course she loved her family, more than life, but these were the demands of the job. She might just as well have tried to swing the moon out of its orbit as insist on being home that day. Yes, it was a tough job, a demanding job, but she had worked damn hard to get there. Clawed her way up as one of the only women in a man's world. She wondered bitterly if her coworkers' wives berated their husbands for missing a birthday, or if they just accepted it as part of the job and celebrated when they got home.
Her thoughts were heavy as she moved towards the gate, and the smile she gave to the flight crew as she boarded was lacking some of its usual luster. Nevermind. Later. It was time to push all thoughts of home out of her mind and focus on her job again.
She knew that in a few minutes her troubles would begin to fade into the background as the powerful jet engines hummed to life and lifted the 747 high into the sky.
She stowed her bags and sat down, then pulled out her paperwork. She turned to the men sitting around her, her smile stronger now, "Okay guys, time to get started. Everyone ready for the pre-flight checklist?"
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