Excerpt 2

I love walking around the airport and imagining where everyone is going and for what reasons. My imagination is at its best when people watching, so I spent the next hour and a half waiting

I love walking around the airport and imagining where everyone is going and for what reasons. My imagination is at its best when people watching, so I spent the next hour and a half waiting to board doing just that.

I couldn’t help but shake the feeling that I was going to indeed be pretty lucky on this trip. I was so excited to be travelling alone, to spend some time with my sister and to party like I was in my twenties again. I imagined all of the clubs that my sister and I could visit and was so excited just to lay by a pool and read a book without any interruptions. Bliss!!

Coming from Montreal, I had a connecting flight in Philadelphia, with a 3 hour stop over. Once we landed in Philly,  I grabbed my carry-on and passport and headed to a service counter to see if I could, by chance, catch an earlier flight. I’ve never done this before and wasn’t even sure how it would work, but was willing to try given my 3 hour wait with nothing to do in an airport.  The idea of being locked up in a fish tank with uncomfortable chairs was very unappealing considering I had been up since 3 am and I just wanted to get to my destination.

As I was walking up to the counter the customer service representative was on the phone, obviously on a personal call. She gave me a slight glance and nodded, which I took as an acknowledgement of my existence, and she continued her conversation for another 3 or 4 minutes. I politely waited, thinking it wouldn’t help to get on her bad side. Once she decided it was, after all, her job to help me, she looked at me with a slightly annoyed expression. “yes ma’am, can I help you?” she asked.

“yes,” I smiled as sweetly as I could without looking impatient. Since when did I become a ma’am? “I was wondering if there is an earlier flight to Vegas, mine is in three hours, so I was hoping to catch one now instead, if there was one, maybe?”

She didn’t say anything but started typing furiously, and finally answered “yes, there’s a flight leaving right now, but it’s fully booked”

“oh” I answered back. Feeling slightly defeated, I asked her what I could possibly do for the next three hours.

She said “well, there’s a mall just down the way”. Not sure where she meant but with a bit of hope in my immediate future plans, I asked her where and how did I get there.

“you have to leave the airport and take a cab, but with the security and all, I wouldn’t take that chance if I were you”

Why would she tell me about a mall I cannot obviously visit? I took a deep breath and started to walk away, but thought that I would give her one last try, so I asked her again “ are you sure that flight is full and there is nothing you can do?”

She started typing furiously again and told me that she could put me on standby, but they were boarding now and that she highly doubted I would get on.

I smiled through gritted teeth, thanked her (although I’m still wondering what for) and made a run for it to the total opposite side of the airport to reach the boarding gate.

Walking as quickly as I could without looking ridiculous, or dropping my belongings, I thought back to the book “ the secret” I had read a few years back about the power of positive thinking. I blocked out the nasty thoughts about the counter lady and focused on positive ones about the availability of seats on this flight. It took me about 7 minutes to get to the boarding gate and I must have repeated about a gazillion times in my head, and maybe even aloud a few times “there will be a seat on this flight for me”. I was walking so fast that I figured if anyone even heard me, embarrassment wouldn’t be a factor. I zipped by all of the tourist shops, jewellery booths, restaurants and clothing stores, without so much as a glance, determined as ever to make it to the other side on time. So with a small catch in my breath I finally reached the counter and felt hopeful as I noticed they were indeed still boarding. I flashed a breathless smile to the man behind the ticket counter, but he didn’t even look up. With sweat dripping down my back, and I am sure some shine on my forehead, I handed him my ticket and he, without missing a beat in between calling out the next boarding line up, told me to sit down and wait for my name to get called. I looked around and found a seat next to an elderly couple, obviously waiting for the same flight. A couple of names were getting called, and just when I had accepted my fate of waiting another 3 hours in this airport the monotone voice behind the microphone called my name. 

Giddy with my bout of good luck I jumped up and nearly called out “BINGO!” as I made my way over to the counter. I was smiling uncontrollably (you have to understand that I don’t win things very often and had at one point accepted that I didn’t have a horseshoe up my ass) so when he called my name I was stunned and excited all at once. I managed to get on the flight! My mind quickly wandered to the CSR at the other end of the airport and I sent her a mental message of “take that Lady!” as I grabbed my carry-on and made my way down the aisle to my seat.

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