The Suitcase Series: Coming to America

Chapter One
Coming to America
My parents found us at a luggage store in the mall. I am one of four siblings who, luckily, were all bought together. We are a set of four, in different sizes: a full size suitcase, a mid size, a carry on and a make up/computer bag. Hi, my name is Zo. I am the third, the carry on. The luggage company named Ezpull produced us in a town in China. After leaving the manufacturing plant, we were loaded on a train to a port city. I cannot tell you how excited we were for our first trip. I have to admit, it was a little tight and I was suffering from a slight case of nausea due to the coal fumes from the train. But, the sound of the train whistle to cross a street or to summon our arrival in different stations was like music to my ears and made me feel much better.

When we arrived at the port, we were loaded onto a container ship. Unfortunately, we could not see the gigantic ships or see the vastness of the world around us but our other senses heightened and we were filled with excitement. Inside our cardboard box, we could hear the ship’s horn as it left the port, we could hear the sound of the water lapping up against the prow, we could smell the salty sea, we could hear the rush of the wind and the seagull’s screams circling overhead. I was so thrilled for our future but the motion sickness was almost more than I could bear. A fever started to warm every thread of my body, my zipper burned my spine, and I worried and wondered: How can a suitcase designed to travel the world suffer such debilitating motion sickness? How will I be able to perform my duties to carry my owners precious belongings to their travel destinations? Oh no, I am a flawed suitcase! I am a “lemon” as they say. I was so sad! I decided then I would keep it my little secret.

In spite of my misery, I managed to go in and out of short sleeping periods, and lost all track of time. I’m not sure how many days passed before I felt the relentless motion cease and heard the ship drop its’ anchor. Next thing I knew we were in a warehouse where, thankfully, I was able to recoup and feel like myself again. We were ecstatic to extend our zippers and smooth and stretch out our frames and fabrics. We talked eagerly about what the future might hold for us: What places in the world would we experience? Would our owners be nice people? Would be we be well taken care of? Would they buy us together? Would we all get along?

The day finally came when my family and a few others were transferred to a big 18 wheeler truck. The anticipation of arriving at our destination and getting out of the dark cardboard box was almost too much for me to bear! I kept my ears close to the box wall to detect any movement, voice or sound of a forklift. I was driving everyone crazy with my impatience and my siblings kept telling me to breathe deeply, zip tight and we would be there soon. I drifted off to sleep and in my dream a loud ruckus and bright light confused me until I realized I wasn’t dreaming anymore! Fresh air filled my lungs, the light blinded my eyes, the fluffy miniature pillows that protected us throughout our journey we’re being removed and we were finally being lifted out of the box. My youngest sister and my older brothers and me were placed in a little wagon and driven to the front of the store. Once there, we were examined and dusted to make sure we were in perfect condition for their display. They twisted and changed our places a couple of times to make sure we looked good from the outside window and make sure the light above us was at the right angle. Then they placed a couple of items such as sunglasses, a beach umbrella and a book on each one of us. Things just couldn’t get any better, we were the model family! We were so proud to be chosen and knew it must be our deep red color that made us the most beautiful and worthy of being in the front window.

You can imagine my delight as I looked out the window and learned we were in San Jose, California, USA. We had arrived in the land of opportunity, the place where dreams come true. I felt so fortunate, for America, is any suitcases top pick. In that display window, I gleefully put on the sunglasses and as I felt the umbrella protecting me from the sun, I imagined sand soft and supportive under my body, a mimosa in my hand and me and my brothers and sisters gently swaying to samba music. All memories of motion sickness were forgotten and I felt ready for the great adventures that lay ahead of me. Life was good.