That was never my suitcase, it was yours. But I loved it, I really loved it.
I used to pretend it was mine, so many times. I don’t even remember when it started, it feels like forever ago. I would picture myself at the luggage carrousel of exotic airports, waiting to see it come down the ramp. I would survey the imaginary scene there; lovers reunited, business men chatting seriously, taxi drivers soliciting passengers. It would all momentarily distract me until suddenly, I would see it. Cognac brown Italian leather amongst all the boring black samsonites.
But it was never mine, and that’s what made me want it more. The places it had seen, the ground it had touched, it all seemed intoxicatingly glamorous. I never really thought it was your style, not something you would have ever chosen.
I said to myself, if it were my suitcase, I would have engraved my initials into the golden buckle on the front pocket. I can’t believe you never did. You never let the world know it was yours. You didn’t even personalize it by attaching a silk scarf to the handle, the way you had done with so many of your bags in the past.
You thought it foolish when I shrieked at the idea of you sending the bag home in the crate of parcels for mother. I begged you to keep it with us, saying I needed it to hold my party dress and diaries (as my own bag was getting rather tight). You humored me, thankfully, and I got to carry it to the hotel in
. I was so proud that day, to lay it on the hotel bed, open it up and see my prettiest party dress and every secret thought I had ever recorded on paper inside there. Such a sight! Paris
You never packed your party dresses in this suitcase, or anything of value in fact. Only extra scarves, and newspapers.
Then that day. You had returned from another of your countless weekend trips. You were sitting in the lounge talking on the phone with a friend. As I passed you, and made my way into the hallway, I heard you casually say that you had lost your luggage on the train. I recall stopping dead in my tracks.
“Yes,” you said into the phone, “It’s a shame I lost it, everyone always made such a fuss about the brown one. Well, maybe it’ll turn up, only rubbish in there anyhow.”
My hands clasped my mouth. You had lost it! Just like that. I couldn’t believe it. Something so lovely and you let it slip away so carelessly. You should have kept it close to you. Always. You didn’t even sound upset. I never told you, but it really bothered me that you never found it, and that I never got to see it again.
It was never my suitcase, it was yours. But I loved it. I really loved it.