She thought about him often, he was the question constantly in the back of her mind, drifting around without answer.

It wasn’t that she didn’t love him. It wasn’t that she didn’t spend hours picturing their life together. She kept moments from their adventures scattered around her house, a quiet nod to the kind of happiness she could have had. The simple truth was she was motivated by a picket fence fairy tale that he never wanted to give her. He wasn’t the Noah to her Allie, he was the Dawson to her Joey, a kind of story that was great on paper but she knew they could never make it off the page.

She stood at the gate, waiting for the flight attendant to scan her ticket and the years flashed before her eyes. She could turn around now, and maybe he would be there, waiting at security. The opportunity grabbed at her heart strings, leading her down a path of what ifs. Her hazel eyes gazed out the windows onto the runway of planes, carrying people to new chapters in their stories, knowing that her true adventure was behind her.

“Ma’am, your ticket?” the flight attendant asked, and suddenly the ticket felt like a heavy weight on her chest, pressing her with the age old choice of following her heart or her head…