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The morning had been unrushed, allowing me to catch up again with a friend before packing up and lobbing myself across the Bay for brunch. I'd timed it out rather aggressively, though, so as we finished eating I exchanged hugs (and one kiss) amongst the group before dropping my rental car and making my way back for my plane.

I'd spent most of the week working. There'd been opportunities to reconnect with old colleagues, both inside the conference and out. The conference, though, was not the sole reason for my visit.

But all of those moments had passed, and I finally found myself taxiing toward the runway for departure. The next stop would be rather shorter: 32 hours in the city which had so long been home.

As we arrived at the start of runway 1R, another plane lined up and stopped parallel on the adjacent runway. They throttled up as we did, the svelte fuselage of the other craft peeling away from the ground first. As we jetted forward, they banked left and away. I was left to ponder the other path.

New England hadn't been the only option. While I felt reasonably secure in the decision as the summer dawned, the previous trip to the very airport I was now leaving had given occasion to view the city by the bay through someone else's eyes.

The city she held in her gaze was softer than the one I'd scoped in my own. Just as I'd been sure that moving to my now-current home would afford me the opportunity to be more consistently respected as the person I am, so she'd conveyed of her journey to the place I was watching drop away beneath me.

The mental calculus I'd performed led to the solid conclusion I'd acted upon, and I had no doubt that rerunning the computation would yield the same result. But as I watched the other plane slowly become a speck in the sky, I couldn't help but wonder what might have been if the answer had been different.

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