Kevin Spiron waited anxiously for the door to open so that he could exit the plane. The 1st leg of his flight home was delayed for one reason or another and he knew that he was in danger of missing his connection. Being stuck in Shreveport would not have been an issue but having to stay at the DFW airport was not on his to do list. Not today. Not ever!
Kevin exited the plane with the quickness that comes from experienced travelers. Instinctively, he turned left and started running down the concourse. Luck was not on his side. The incoming flight unloaded at gate A-6 and his next flight was leaving from gate A-39. Basically, that is entire distance of concourse A.
Fortunately the foot traffic was not as heavy as usual but on a couple of occasions he had to make quick hurdles over the carry-on luggage of others. The process sort of matched the Hertz Rental Car commercials that featured OJ Simpson. Kevin wanted to laugh at the imagery but the seriousness of catching that flight blocked all other thoughts.
He made a quick glance at his watch and realized there was less than a minute before his scheduled departure. Adrenaline flooded his system and his legs seemed to change gears. It was clear that he was a man on a mission. The race was on. Kevin was running at top speed despite the fact that some of the travelers were glaring at what they considered to be an out of control sprinter.
A voice on a distant PA system indicated that Nancy Marshall, Steve McCourt, Randall Alexander, and Kevin Spiron were to report to Gate A-39 for immediate departure. Kevin thought he heard “last call” but he was more focused on stutter stepping just before completing another carry on hurdle.
While in the air – front leg extended yet slightly bent and the trail leg tucked in horizontally flat – his eyes were drawn to the jetway at Gate A-22. From somewhere deep with-in, James Blunt’s “You’re Beautiful” starting playing in his head. Kevin landed with cat like precision and came to a complete stop. There was just something about her that made time stand still.
For a split second that seemed to last an eternity, Kevin thought that their eyes locked onto each other. But it became obvious that she was looking right through him as she glanced left and started a mad dash down the concourse. As if paralyzed he simply watched her trot away.
Suddenly, the panic of missing his flight overcame the thoughts that were flooding his mind. Missing that flight would lead to missing his 7:30AM meeting and Kevin knew he needed to be there. He had never been late for a meeting with Tony and didn’t want to miss one altogether.
He tried to block the mental photograph of her and started running again. His mind continued to circle with uncontrollable thoughts but he was able to progress down the concourse. He also lost sight of her while running which was probably a good thing.
Kevin arrived at the gate just in time to see agent slamming the door that lead to the plane that he needed to be on. He knew that he was now stuck at this terminal for the night. He allowed himself a little release and pretended that he was yelling at the top of his lungs. A smile crossed his face.
He took a seat in an overused and dirty concourse chair and tried to gather his thoughts. The first flight out tomorrow was scheduled for 4:45AM and that gave him plenty of time to make it to their meeting. The Krispy Kreme at 245 Ponce de Leon in Atlanta had become their favorite location.
Just as relaxation started to set in he heard “I hate being stuck in this city” from an angelic voice. He looked up and noticed that it was her! She had made that comment to no one in particular but it caught his attention.
Kevin watched her face as it went blank and then seemed to become burdened with some very deep thoughts. The thoughts seemed to cause an emotional break down and her body seemed to crack with the pressure of the burden she was carrying. The emotional build up was more than she could handle and her eyes allowed them to escape in the tears that were free flowing down her cheeks.
Frantically he searched for the just right thing to say that might cheer her up or distract her but nothing came to mind. Kevin knew that he did not have standing to approach or even speak to her and he became tormented by his thoughts. There had to be something that he could do.
He glanced up to where she had been standing and she was gone. She had already started walking in the direction of the customer service desk located back down the concourse. She left her carryon bag where she had been standing and he recognized that as an entry into a conversation.
Grabbing the bag and hurrying down the concourse he caught up to her quickly. “Excuse me; it appears that you left your bag back at the other counter”.
She stopped, turned, took the bag from his out stretched hands and continued on without a single word. It appeared as if her eyes were empty and that she was in shock. Kevin had seen that look before.