(continued from flight, 6, written during November 2013)

Phnom Penh

I stepped out of the plane, holding my grandmother’s elbow tightly as we descended the stairs onto the tarmac. The warm, dusty air pressed close immediately. I wonder what they did when planes landed during the rainy season.

I had searched for Lakhena during the layover in Taipei. From the corner of my eye. I didn’t want to be obvious about looking for her. I didn’t want to seem too eager to connect. But I was. I wished that I had asked her for contact information. I wished I hadn’t asked about when her family left the country. Phnom Penh was not large city by any means. If I didn’t see her again here in the airport, surely there were places we would be likely to meet again.

Shaking my head slightly, I turned to my grandmother. After so many years away, what did she feel?