Gripping my young son’s hand, I hand the border guard the envelope, the colorful bills inside arranged like a rainbow of freedom. He peeks inside, then regards me for what seems like years. I start to sweat.
He leaves, with the precious envelope. That rainbow represents years of soul-numbing toil. I stare at the gate in front of us. I have dreamed about it so often.
Finally, he returns. “How many are with you?”
Slowly, he opens the envelope and removes half the money. He hands it back to me and winks.
And we are free.