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The Lay of the Land

March 3rd, 2010 by the_lifer

Winona trembles with recognition as they are driven away from the airport.  (Her father’s news, that the construction under way at the airport is to construct new terminals shaped like gigantic copper rocks, was so surreal that her jet-lagged mind has gently suppressed it.)

It’s all so small after London, so clean yet shabby after the rest of the world. Driving through Victoria Tunnel, her father shows that he’s still her Dad by tooting the horn while they’re underground. There’s the turn-off to Newtown, the scruffy suburb where she and Will had their first flat. Now, they’re going past Cuba Street, where she spent most of her time as a teen in the grungy late 90s. And, most of all, the rippled hills, under their heavy verdure, first cradling downtown, then framing the street she grew up on in the suburb of Kelburn, five minutes away from the city’s heart but hours away in serenity.

It’s all settling around her now, firm and comforting, like the Doc Martens she used to lace herself into in her girlhood.

Even as she’s starting to relax, her partner, Will, tenses beside her. He has yet to release his iPhone. “Bloody oath, what’s wrong with the local network?”

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