argyle_princess: (just Hannah)
[personal profile] argyle_princess

In the last few years, many of the details of where Hannah spent what parts of which holidays have been dictated by the terms of her parents' divorce settlement. But this year, she's 18, and there's nothing telling the three of them how to divide up her time. So Hannah draws up a calendar, and with the help of occasionally slightly heated e-mails from both of her parents, works out her schedule herself.

Christmas Eve with Mom, Christmas Day with Daddy, New Year's Eve (over both parents' objections) at the Keiths' party. She splits the rest of the time as even as she can, tries to be mature and fair, and then sends the final schedule to both parents.

She's listed herself as starting out at her mother's -- rather arbitrarily -- and her father calls to suggest that he be the one to pick her up at the airport, so that they can both see her the day she gets home. It seems a good, fair compromise.

Storms make a snarl out of the flight schedule the weekend after exams end, delays and cancellation light up the arrivals and departures boards. Hannah spends hours in Midway, waiting to find out when and if she'll be making it any further west. She's grateful for Mrs. Keith's suggestion that Sam and Hannah fly home together; it's so much easier to not be alone when things go wrong. She and Sam keep each other even-keeled, and point out the humor in the whole absurd situation. And when Hannah gets close to a breaking point, Sam finds an out-of-the-wayish patch of floor, so she can curl up against his shoulder and sleep for half an hour.

They finally land in San Diego six hours later than they should have, on Saturday night. Sam is intercepted by his younger brothers the moment they get past security, and his parents aren't that far behind. Hannah wonders how much conversation is required for this to not be completely rude; she likes Sam's family, but all she really wants to do now is get to her mom's, shower, and sleep.

"Hannah," says Mrs. Keith, hugging her. "It's good to see you."

"You, too," Hannah says, scanning the crowd for her father.

"Your father had to go; he had something he had to do. He asked us to give you a ride back to Neptune."

"Oh," says Hannah, too surprised to even manage thank you.

"Come on, let's get your bags," Mrs. Keith says, and Hannah follows Sam's family to baggage claim.

Luke and Jon talk the whole way back to Neptune, filling their big brother in on everything he's missed, and that's good, because Hannah doesn't really have anything to say. Her father left the airport without even bothering to call and leave her a message. Why?

The Keiths drop her off at her mother's, she thanks them and promises to call Sam tomorrow -- "Not too early," he begs, laughing -- and she lets herself into the house. Her mother doesn't say anything about the change in plans; Hannah wonders if she even knew.

(She doesn't ask -- that would be too much like ratting one parent out to the other, if her mother doesn't, and that's something Hannah tries to avoid. The middle's a bad place to be, and she's spent enough time there already.)

Steph helps her get her things up to her room, and fixes grilled cheese sandwiches and soup while Hannah showers, and then shoos her off to bed after dinner. "You have to be exhausted; we'll get completely caught up in the morning. I'm glad you're home."

"Yeah," says Hannah, "me, too."

It's enough, for tonight, to be glad to be home. She'll worry about the rest of it in the morning.


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Hannah Griffith

June 2009

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