Through the bars, Sam could make out a tiny rectangle of gray sky, with a dark blob in the corner. A rain cloud, she figured, considering the tap-tapping noise she had heard continuously for the past two hours. She could have done without the rain. Rainy days had a funny way of bringing her back to her first hours in the US, a full two years before.
She'd been eager, back then. She had barely been able to contain a childish scream of joy when the cabin crew had opened the aircraft door. She was in New York! Who cared that it rained, that the temperature was 53°F., she didn't even know what that was in Celsius - although, judging by the way people were dressed, she should have taken a jacket. Who cared? She'd made it to New York City. The place where she would start over. That was the plan and she fully intended to carry it out. She'd joined the flow of passengers into the terminal, with a tiny apprehensive pinch in the stomach when the police booth came into view. She couldn't stop the apprehension. She'd been waiting for this moment for so long, she'd die on the spot if there was a hitch.
Right in front of her in the queue, a family with a lot of pink was chatting away. The little girl was dressed top to toe in pink, with a pink Barbie suitcase, her mum was also dressed in pink and had her own pink suitcase, and her dad was wearing cream-coloured cords and a cream-coloured denim jacket. Sam couldn't see his shirt, but she would have wagered her first monthly pay that it was pink. She'd have gagged if she was still back in Edinburgh. She wasn't, though: she was in NYC, and she felt very forgiving. The old lady right behind her was also very obviously relieved to be out of the plane. Something to do with her legs and her bloodflow, or the stuffiness of the carriage, or both... Sam tuned her out quickly.
Looking around, she saw several couples happily making out in front of everybody, all alone in the joy of being together again. Seeing them, she felt like chuckling quietly and crying at the same time. Chuckling because there was nobody waiting for her, and it actually felt really good to be that free, and crying because if he hadn't screwed up, Paul would have been with her.
What a twat. They'd been planning that trip, that exile, that second birth, for months together. They'd even tried to decide exactly what area of New York they would want to live in, and of course they hadn't agreed, she wanted Brooklyn, he was set on Soho. One thing was for sure, they were sharing the same dreams, it was only a matter of time before they all came true.
And then he'd cheated on her. And the arse had told her about it. Sam had been devastated. There was no fucking way he was going to New York with her now. But there was no fucking way he was going to live happily ever after with that tart either. Oh no. She'd never been so mad. Five years they'd been together! Five years! And he'd blown it.
Sam took a deep breath. Thinking about Paul wasn't going to help her get started in NY, now, was it? Especially where he was. Ew. Sam didn't want to think about that. She couldn't even believe she'd done it. How possessed had she been that she'd actually done it? How could she have even thought of doing it?
She had to stop remembering, though. It was the pretty-in-pink family's turn - bingo, dad's shirt was indeed flesh-coloured - and right after that, it'd be her. She got her passport out of her bag, opened it on the picture page, pinched it with the boarding pass and inhaled deeply. This was it.
She smiled at the police guy, handed in her papers, and waited. He looked at the passport, at her. Back at the passport on his tablet. Sam tried to still the shakes in her left leg. What was taking so long? The passport was valid! He picked up his phone. She panicked. Two armed, uniformed cops appeared as if out of thin air, grabbed an arm each and dragged her away screaming. Turned out there was a hitch, and she hadn't died. But a killed dream was not a pretty sight either.
After spending all of five hours in NYC, Sam'd been deported that same day. She'd been heavily medicated during the whole trial, but the psychiatrists had declared her sane, and she'd been rotting away in that cell in HM Prison since then. Rainy days were the worst.