A first time

There is always a first time for everything. And this will be mine…for this. I do not know what came over me, but once I had it, I could not not go through with it. It was a bit of a dare and maybe with an element of a joke. Now, I am not so sure.

The vision of being stopped halts my step. Ahead of me is the barrier, its sentries looking fierce and entirely unfriendly. Maybe it is just my guilty conscience.

This is my second time visiting here, the first shortly after a terrorism threat to the country. Security was tight then, everyone was suspicious of everyone. But why are they looking grim… suspicious now?

Oh get over this. You are fine, you will be fine. It’s a minor thing, they wouldn’t care.

Each step closer to the barrier, the louder my heart beats. Oh, it is not illegal… or are they? Despite the liberalism portrayed on the big screen, America is more conservative than at face value. What if they are illegal unless a license is required…? It’s for personal use, pleasure and entertainment, they won’t … will they?

The officer smiles and beckons for me to approach. He seems friendly, not irritable or impatient. Even as I breathe a sigh of relief, another thought crosses my mind… Damn, they have time … increases the likelihood of being stopped.

I just need to brazen this out, come what may.

Smiling in reply, I walk casually to the counter, my hand clutching my luggage. ‘Good morning’, I said.

‘Good morning m’am. First time to America?’

I quickly replied in the negative, hoping this will be over soon. Looking behind me, the queue has grown significantly and getting restless. If there is a God…please.

‘‘M’am, if you could open your luggage.’

My heart sank. ‘Um…sure.’

Maybe if he saw how neatly everything is packed…

His hands reached into my luggage, somewhat carefully lifting the folded shirts then skirts then pants, moving aside my lingerie…

I groan inside… or maybe not, as he turns to look me in the eye.

I try to smile but I suspect it came out more as a … grimace?

‘M’am, are you alright?’

‘Ah, yes…it’s just I had packed my things so carefully… you know, tidy.’

His eyes narrow, as he continues with his inspection. Each movement deeper into my luggage …

Will he ask me to open the box? To take it out… I move to put myself between the officer and the passengers waiting in line behind me, to shield my luggage and the inevitable.

No longer under any illusion, I hold out my hand for the palm-sized box he found. ‘If you will, open the box and take out its contents’.

And as I slowly pull it out, his eyes gleam and his face breaks into a wide grin.

***************************

This is my response to Ronovan’s Friday Fiction prompt. Comments welcomed. 🙂

© 2016 FlorenceT Copyright reserved. The author asserts her moral and legal rights over this work.

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