“Are you cold?” Hank asked Ede. They had just stepped outside of the airport and were going to the pick-up location for a taxicab to take them to his mother’s house in Hawthorne.
“Not really,” she replied as her eyes darted everywhere with excitement. They were finally in Portland after a very long flight. Being on the plane was a fun experience for her and Hank had let her take the seat by the window so that when they took off, she could look out. She looked at the land and houses until she couldn’t see them any more. Although she had never been in a plane before, she wasn’t at all nervous about flying. The air hostesses and staff were very friendly. They were on and she liked hearing them speak because they had Hank’s accent.
During the flight, she and Hank chatted, they read the Bible together and he listened to music while she watched a movie. It felt strange sleeping on a plane but when she woke up, she felt great. After they had breakfast, she and Hank talked about all sorts of things, mainly, his childhood and his Christmases in Portland. He warned her that his mother was going to show her lots of photo albums and she told him that she was looking forward to going through all of them.
A gentle tug on the sleeve of her Jacket brought her back to the present. Hank grinned at her. “Our ride awaits,” he said.
“Oh,” she replied, staring at the yellow car before following him as he carried the bags to stow them in the trunk. When he was done, the driver closed the trunk. Hank held the passenger door for Ede to climb in and then, he got in after her. After giving the driver the address, they were pulling out of the airport.
“Welcome to Portland,” Hank said as he reached for her hand as it lay on the back seat between them. On the day of their departure, they would take the MAX light-rail train which took 38 minutes from downtown Portland to the airport. Ede would like that. He smiled at the thought.
Ede’s eyes were glued to the window. She couldn’t get over how big the city was. It was so different from what she was used to. She couldn’t wait to go sightseeing. The first thing she wanted to buy a postcard and send it to her grandmother. It looked like they were in the city. People were milling about and shops lined the wide streets. She had enough money and a credit card to go shopping for things for her grandmother, mother and even herself. And she could buy a nice Christmas present for Hank. She had already gotten something back in Porto Novo for his mother.
Hank watched her. He still couldn’t believe that she was sitting there in the back of a taxicab with him. This was going to be the best Christmas for him because he was going to celebrate it with the girl of his dreams. He couldn’t wait to introduce her to his mother. “Tomorrow we can come downtown,” he said. “It’s just less than 25 minute bus ride from where my mother lives.”
Ede looked at him. “I’d love to come downtown,” she said. “I can’t wait to go into all those shops.”
Hank grinned. “I bet you can’t,” he said, his eyes twinkling. “After you’ve bought everything in the first two stores we pop into, we can have lunch.”
She laughed. “I’m not as bad as my friend, Isoka who would shop until she dropped. She will be green with envy when I email her photos of the different stores.”
“My mother was never keen on shopping. She only did it out of necessity and now she has someone else do it for her.”
Twenty minutes, later they were pulling up outside a nice, good size wooden home with steps leading to a landing. As they got out of the taxicab and Hank unloaded the luggage, the front door opened and his mother appeared. She waved at them.
Hank grinned when he saw her. He set the luggage at the bottom of the steps and ran up the steps to hug her. “Hello, Mother.”
“Hello, Dear,” she beamed up at him. “It’s so good to have you home for Christmas.”
“It’s good to be home,” he replied. “You look great.”
“And you’re looking very well.”
“I guess living near the beach agrees with me. Mother, I have someone very special for you to meet.” He released her to hurry down the steps to get Ede. “Mother, this is Ede. Ede, I’d like you to meet my mother.”
Ede smiled shyly at Hank’s mother and held out her hand. “Hello, Mrs. Johnson.”
Instead of shaking her hand, Mrs. Johnson hugged her warmly. “It’s a pleasure to meet you, Ede,” she said when she drew back. “And I’m delighted that you will be spending Christmas with Hank and me.”
“I’m very happy to be here,” Ede told her.
“Come, let’s go inside and get you all settled in. You must be tired from the long flight.”
Hank watched them and taking up the luggage, he followed them into the house. Yes, this was going to be very special Christmas because he was going to be spending it with the two most special people in his life.
Sources: Travel Portland; Travel Portland