“He has made everything beautiful in His time. He has set eternity in the hearts of men, yet they cannot fathom what God has done from beginning to end.” Ecclesiastes 3:11
Chapter One: Goodbyes
Bonny Bryant knew it was crazy to even think about a man when she was headed for Scotland. The Albuquerque International Airport was the first stop in her quest for a new life. Nonetheless, she paused to look at the tanned, trim man in the business suit as he came down the escalator. There was no harm in appreciating a handsome man while she waited for Kari, but then the familiar lump formed in her throat and she turned away, looking for her best friend.
Where was Kari, anyway? She had paused to speak to some old friends of her parents, and Bonny went on to check her bags. The bottom of the escalator was their designated meeting place. A glance at her watch showed only ten more minutes before she would have to go on. She swiped her hand across her eyes. Hurry, Kari, I can’t leave without a hug. You’re all I’ve got.
The tall man stepped off the escalator, a few feet away, and Bonny clasped her hands and closed her eyes, forcing herself to close her mouth. The similarity of his build and appearance to Adam gave her a jolt. Why did she have to be reminded of him right now?
Forcing her thoughts to the present, Bonny looked around the familiar chaos of the “Sunport” with a feeling of nostalgia. Massive wooden vigas carved and painted with bright Native American symbols provided a unique New Mexican flair, undiminished by the varied origins of the travelers. She would miss the distinctive culture of her hometown.
The frantic fluttering in her chest stopped when she spotted Kari Anderson hurrying though the crowd. “I’m sorry, Bonny. They wanted to know all about the wedding plans and how Dan is doing. It took longer than I intended.”
“It’s okay. Walk with me to security.”
“I hate that you had to stand here alone all that time. Let me take your carry-on. You’ll be handling it alone long enough. There’s so much I wanted to say to you.”
Relieved of the backpack, Bonny grabbed Kari’s elbow. “Slow down, will you? I want to remember everything—the sights, sounds, and smells, all the things that make New Mexico unique. I’m glad you thought of bringing frozen green chile along. It will be nice to have a taste of home.”
Kari put her arm around Bonny’s shoulders as they made their way down the crowded hallway. “I’ll send you care packages when you get homesick, just like I do for Dan.”
“Not quite the same, I hope. I can do without the socks.” Bonny set the pace as she continued her sentimental farewell, sniffing the delicious odors of New Mexican food from a nearby café and savoring the distinctive flavor of the Sunport. She had never lived anywhere else. From this point on, everything would be unfamiliar. No reminders of home or of Adam. Whoa girl, one step at a time. Too much time dwelling on it and she might panic.
The glass doors leading to the security area meant the time for good-byes had arrived. She leaned into her friend’s shoulder, knowing nine months stood between them and the next hug.
“No, don’t.” Bonny didn’t want to hear all the reasons why moving to Scotland was a bad idea again. Sidestepping to allow a group of businessmen to pass, she held Kari at arm’s length. She looked into her friend’s watery blue eyes, taking in her tall, willowy build, jet-black hair, and casual elegance. “I’ll be back for your wedding in the spring. Let me leave with the memory of my best friend wishing me well.”
Kari nodded, shaking the shining waves of hair behind her shoulders and pasting on a smile. “I’ll be lonely with Dan in Afghanistan and you in Scotland. I hope you find what you’re searching for.”
Bonny tried to swallow the lump that lodged in her throat once again. “I’ll be fine.”
She stretched to kiss the freckle-sprinkled cheek of her much-taller friend. Squaring her shoulders, she stepped through the doors toward her future, whatever it held.
After clearing security without a glitch, she paused to look up at the imposing sculpture of an Indian shaman grasping the feet of an eagle in flight. It seemed appropriate. “Here I go, stepping off into the unknown. Goodbye, New Mexico.”