Laila looked at her watch – already they were late. "Quick, Aziza, Zalmai, we're going to miss our flight!"
She picked up her skirts, and holding Zalmai's hand scurried towards the airport, Tariq behind with their single suitcase, followed by Aziza.
Laila and her family checked in at the airline desk and put their luggage through the customs. Again, she checked the time. 10 minutes until take off.
Pushing past people, running as fast as they dared, Laila, Zalmai, Tariq and Aziza managed to make it to the plane just in time.
The seats on the plane were grey coloured and plush. The air was slightly chilly from the air conditioning, and the sounds of people settling into their seats around them made it hard for Laila's to hear her children's excitement – they were travelling by plane for the first time. There was even a TV screen in the aisle, to help while away the long hours to be spend doing nothing.
"Good afternoon passengers, and welcome aboard Pakistani airline's P77 Travel Plane. I have to inform you of a few safety rules and regulations…" The co-pilot's cool voice rang over the noise, which died down to a low murmur.
Laila looked outside the plane's round window. A red sun was setting over the distant mountains, which appeared black against the bright inferno. Laila was leaving Pakistan. Although this was not her home land, it still held many memories. Afghanistan was her home.
Take off had commenced. The plane started to move, gathering speed by the second. They tilted back sickeningly, then – whoosh! They were up into the air.
Laila closed the window. She thought about her home in Kabul, when she was a little girl. Babi, reading her stories and helping her with her homework. Playing with Tariq, everyday gradually falling in love a little more than the last. The communists war that ravaged the city, spelling the deaths of her parents and her friends. Her marriage to Rasheed, Aziza's birth and then later Zalmai's. The Taliban taking over, their strict, insane ways constricting women and their rights. And most of all, Mariam, her mother, her sister, her best friend. Laila was leaving it all behind.
"No," she thought to her herself."Mariam is coming with us. She will always be in my heart."
They were going to start a new life, in a new land.