My Name Was Different

I apologise to dad in the Arrivals Hall.

‘The flight was delayed. Hardly your fault, was it?’ He takes my backpack, saying, ‘That smell is familiar. How was Amsterdam?’

I describe cafés and riding bikes downhill without brakes. I don’t say that I arrived early at Schiphol, checked in, then fell asleep across metal chairs. Or that upon waking, my eyes opened directly into eyes the colour of Delft Blue, and we spoke fast, ignoring our lack of common language. Or that my name was different in Dutch, announced repeatedly by loudspeaker until I understood, rose and ran without turning.

This story was shortlisted for the September 2023 Monthly Micro Competition.

About the author: Kate Coghlan is a freelance writer/editor with an MA in Creative and Life Writing from Goldsmiths. Her work has been published by Mslexia, Loft Books, the Dulwich Festival, Spillwords, Visual Verse and the Personal Bests Journal. Twitter/X @Kate_Cogs