Long Goodbyes: Jaina's Story pt 1

By Mandi Hall

"Hey Jox, I have to run an errand. It won't take me a
minute." Jaina looked comfortable in her flight suit
as she walked up to the young pilot.
"Need to tell your dad that you're not taking the
Millenium Falcon?" Jox was tall, and he towered over
Jaina, leaning against the hanger bay wall with his
arms crossed.
Jaina grinned sheepishly and held up a holodisk. "No
time for long goodbyes. Keep the boys in line while
I'm gone? I'll be right back." Jox nodded and Jaina
took off at a quick trot.
Jaina stopped abruptly at the entrance of the
Millenium Falcon's hanger bay. For a moment it seemed
like Holy Ground, and she considered taking off her
shoes. Then she laughed quietly to herself; It was a
silly thought, but she knew at least one man who
agreed with her.
She stepped into the room and crossed quietly to the
ship. Kneeling infront of the door, she set the
holodisk on the ground. As she raised her head, she
saw a faint mark on the door. It was a small black
handprint, rubbed away after many years. A soft sigh
escaped Jaina's lips and she leaned her forehead
against the door, closing her eyes.
A little girl about six years old crouched infront of
a greasy tool box. Chestnut brown hair fell into her
eyes as she selected the tool her father had
requested. Her job could've easily been preformed by a
droid, but today Jaina wanted to help.
She stood up and hurried over to her father. Han
grinned wryly as he watched his daughter's odd
clip-clop step--an effort to be quick without running
that she was developing to avoid her mother's
scolding. Han stretched out his arm, hand spread to
recieve the tool Jaina carried. He didn't see the
puddle of oil until the girl's step changed slightly.
He glanced down and saw her toe in the puddle, sliding
out from underneath her. He dived forward to catch
her, eyes wide and pulse fast. His arms wrapped around
her before she made full contact with the ground, but
one of her hands had already landed in another puddle
of oil. He sat her down slowly on her bottom and
smiled a little nervously.
"Hey, little helper," he patted her cheek softly. "You
She nodded slowly and gave him a small smile. She held
up the palm of her oily hand. "I made a mess," she
Han tried not to grin as he faked a solemn nod.
"C'mere." He stood up and she followed. He stooped
over a little and wrapped his big hand gently around
her wrist. He lead her to the Falcon and sat down next
to her. Still holding her wrist, he pressed her oily
palm against the door firmly to make a print.
"This way, I can always remember how big you were the
first time you helped me out here."
Jaina looked down at her hand, then up at the door and
giggled. Han, not entirely familiar with six year old
humor, tilted his head to the side. "What?"
Jaina grinned, showing a missing front tooth. Then she
leaned forward and wiped the left-over oil from her
hand onto Han's face.
Han shook his head and grinned. "You're a Solo,
Jaina opened her eyes and looked down at the ground.
She leaned forward and dipped her hand in a puddle of
fresh oil. She stood up and pressed her palm against
the door, making another mark.
"Goodbye, Daddy."

To Be Continued

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