I said hi to the cute little fellow sitting next to me in the plane. I can't remember his name, was it Steve? He was nine years old.
"Are you travelling by yourself?"
He startled me with his confident eyes. "Yes, I am."
"Wow, you're a grown-up. The first time I travelled by myself was when I was fourteen. Do you live in Denver?"
"My mother's family does. I live in Oklahoma City with my father's family."
I suddenly noticed how grown up he looked in his seriously cut blonde hair and dark blue blazer. He looked like a miniature Gap man in his khakhis and sweater vest. His unwavering gaze definitely didn't belong on a child's face, but they fit perfectly on his controlled features. A Peter Pan who didn't believe in fairies.
I began to stammer but quickly collected myself.
"Oh, so you're visiting your mother for the long weekend?"
"Yes, I travel between Denver and Oklahoma City often to spend time with both my parents. They divorced when I was young, you see."
"That must be tough." I didn't know what else to say.
"It's hard but you know, these things happen." He shrugged and sat back in his seat. He stared directly at the tray table in front of him. "What can you do."