Chapter 1 - Kumasi to Chicago

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CHAPTER 1


LUKE


It was almost 4AM when Luke noticed for the first time that his plane was finally in American airspace. It wasn't supposed to land at O'Hare International for another couple hours, so he still had a while to sit tight, but he knew better than to try and sleep now. Luke could never manage to fall asleep in planes.

He might've dosed off a few hours ago while watching a movie, but he doubted the jetlag would suck any less once he got off.

The young woman sitting next to him was traveling alone with a baby, and he had absolutely no idea how she was even managing, especially on a 26-hour flight. She barely even made eye contact with him all day, so he was a little surprised when she actually spoke up.

"I need to feed my baby, I apologize," she said softly.

"Oh don't worry about it, I'm gonna put another movie on and you just do your thing," he assured her with a grin.

"Thank you," she murmured shyly, her smile appreciative and her dark eyes filled with relief. "I didn't want to go into the bathroom again," she admitted sheepishly.

"Yeah, I think you'll both be a bit more comfortable here," he chuckled and glanced at the little baby in her arms. "How old is she?" he wondered, and then realized maybe making conversation while she breastfed would make her uncomfortable.

"Um, five months," she replied.

"Oh, sweet, that's a really cool age," he said.

The young Ghanaian woman didn't say anything else for a few moments, at least not to him. As he started going through the list of movies available to watch, he could hear her whispering words to her baby in Twi. He volunteered as an English and Music teacher in Kumasi for the last two years, so Luke was able to string together the majority of what she was saying.

He couldn't help it, the corner of his mouth twitched up.

She seemed to notice this, and she looked at him with a sheepish smile. "Do you have any children?" she asked him.

"Me? Oh, definitely not... Not yet," he chuckled and ran his fingers through his messy blond hair. It's not like he didn't want kids one day, but he was only twenty-six years old. There was plenty of time to settle down later, once he got a few more things crossed off his bucket list.

They talked for a while and he found out a little more about her story. Her name was Kifah and she was traveling to the States for the first time to join her American husband. She seemed pretty excited about the trip. She explained how her daughter still hadn't met her dad, so it was bound to be an emotional family reunion.

"Well, good luck to you and your family. I'm sure it'll be great," he said.

In return, Luke talked about his adventures teaching children in Ghana, and told her about his family in Chicago, and the job he was starting in the last week of August.

He was always very close to his parents and three younger brothers, so there was definitely some homesickness during the couple years he was away. There was always FaceTime to get him through the rough patches though, and a couple trips back home whenever he could afford the plane tickets. Now his latest adventure was over, and he was going home for good.

He had to since he was piss broke and needed to get a big boy job.

It was his plan to go back and teach for a year, that way he could save up a bit of money. He was lucky enough to get a position with his old school district, so he wouldn't have to settle for substituting.

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