When I left Utah, I was bitter. I didn’t approve of how things were there. Dogmatic. Sheltered. So I left and I didn’t look back. For my friends and family I had vanished off the face of the planet.
I can’t remember why I was so bitter. I used to cringe my nose when asked about Utah, but now I find myself speaking fondly of my home state. It’s a beautiful place. Snow capped mountains in the north. Red rock canyons in the south. People are kind and life is relaxed.
I’ve tried to get back to what I had. I’ve missed out on a lot. A new nephew born in the summer. My siblings going to new schools. I call home and their voices have changed, their daily schedules have changed, and I’ve changed so dramatically that it’s difficult to relate sometimes.
And then the bombshell. Grandma is sick. Really sick. I only have another 50 days to go before I’m scheduled back home, and she might not be there when I arrive.
I’ve never considered something like that. It makes me wonder: have I reached the point of no return? Who could possibly continue to love a person who vanished without ever saying sorry? I’ve said it now. But it’s been reduced to an empty word.
The strange thing is, I didn’t think of it as running away. When people asked how long it’d been since I’d seen my family I’d say ‘a while’ like I was just taking a break. With my agencies I was adamantly willing to keep going, saying ‘send my anywhere’.
I go to Tokyo on Monday. When the contract was arranged I demanded my return flight to land in SLC, Utah. I know there’s a cost for the recklessness I’ve shown. Time will tell if it can ever be repaid.