I slid down in my seat in the waiting area. I could see her slowly moving down the main aisle between the rows of seats, head swiveling from side to side as she searched with a look of questioning intensity. I had never seen her, but I knew “the look” – cargo pants, dessert shirt, wide brimmed cloth hat. I was the goal.
We had met via Internet, and after one phone conversation, I had known to back off quickly. The needy, haughty voice had not ceased it's endless chatter. I think I managed one word in between two thirty minute blocks of mind numbing rambling. This would be hell on the trail – so I ran – fast. No more calls or emails. I just disappeared. Unfortunately, I had offered my flight details via the first email.
I was spotted! I glued my eyes to my phone, but felt more than saw the shadow, and flinched at the small white hand stuck in my face , as she twisted and slid into the chair beside me at the same time.
I said “Hi” and offered a slight smile. That was the only word I uttered until boarding.
Somehow, she managed to get a seat next to me. My freakin ears were numb by layover.
She plopped down next to me. “I'm next to you again!” How was this even possible?! The flight was full.
Five minutes before boarding I ran to the counter.
“Please tell me you can switch my seat. I'll sit in a closet!”
He frowned at me, stabbing at his keyboard. Tears dripped from my eyes – blood tears. He frowned, tapped some more, and silently handed me a boarding pass. I was in the tail, the blessed tail!
I watched as she boarded ahead of me, shock on her face. I looked at her small pinched face and shrugged in bewilderment, mouthing “damn airlines.” I kissed his hand as he took my boarding pass. I was headed to Santa Fe in peace.