‘Any Minute,’ Short Story Based on a Photo

Danielle Lippert, Creative Writing student

“Any Minute” is a short story based on a picture of two older people, a man and a woman, gazing out an airport window.  Here is Danielle Lippert’s response to the prompt.

The man stood by the window and looked out with a slight smile. It was snowing and hard to see out the window, but that wasn’t going to stop him from looking for the plane. He couldn’t wait to see her. He smiled with the thought that he was going to see his daughter again.

His wife walked up to him and stood next to him. She gazed out the window along his side.

“I can’t wait to see her, Mary. It’s been six months without my baby girl. I’ve missed her so much,” the man whispered. Mary nodded her head and held his hand.

“I really miss her, too,” she said in a monotone voice, trying to hold in her tears.

“Any minute now,” he said with a big smile. Mary looked over at her husband and smiled sadly at him. She stepped away before she would start crying in front of him.

She went to sit in the seats behind him. She leaned forward, and her elbows rested on her knees. She hated doing this. She hated sitting here and waiting when she knew no one was actually coming.

A young man came and sat in the seat next to her.

“Who are you waiting for?” she asked him.

“My wife and son. They went to go visit her parents in Arizona for the week,” he said with a smile on his face. “I can’t wait to see them.”

Mary smiled at him and said, “Well, that sounds lovely.”

“Who are you waiting for?” the man asked her, still with a big grin on his face.

“No one,” she said quietly. He looked over at her with a confused look on his face. She glanced over at him as tears formed in her eyes.

“Then what brings you here?” he asked her. She gestured to her husband with a nod of her head.

“We come here every year on this day. Fifteen years ago our daughter went to study in Europe. On her way home, her plane crashed, and thirteen people died. She was one of them,” she said quietly and looked down at her shaking hands.

“I’m so sorry,” the young man whispered. She nodded her head and looked over at her husband. The huge smile hadn’t left his face.

“He took it the hardest. He wouldn’t believe that she actually died. So, every year on this day, we come back here and wait all day, but she never comes. She never will,” Mary said and wiped the tears from her eyes. She patted the young man’s hand and stood up to go back over by her husband.

“Any sign of her plane?” she asked him with a slightly shaky voice.

“No, not yet, but she’ll be here any minute, Mary. Any minute.”