"Flat-cold" he said.
Everything was always "flat", even when it wasn't.
He pulled her suitcases from the trunk and placed them on the curb. He checked to make sure she had her boarding pass and money, everything she needed, that she was set to go.
She pulled the carrier from the back seat as he helped her put it gently on the stroller. He glanced up at her, his eyes willed her to say it was alright to take her son out, for him to give one last kiss.
Of course it was.
Then, amid frozen air, he held her son. He held him up and smiled, beamed as love and pride blanketed her son with everything he wasn't used to saying. A blanket she wishes her son could still wear, still feel.
He stood in line with her, in the cold, waited for her turn. They chatted about nothing while she got her ticket and got everything in order. She tucked her son back in to his seat and they were ready to go.
So they did.
She walked away after hugs were exchanged and words finalized the weekend. As she turned to wave at them again, she noticed he was still standing by the car. Just like when she would leave the house to return to college, or after she was married and came for a visit, he waited outside to watch her leave.
And so he did.
She didn't know, then, what exactly it would mean.
One year later, she does.
And she is thankful she remembers it.