In the split-seconds it took me to rush towards the counter, half-dozen scenarios already raced through my mind. Like what?? Like these:
1. Like how certain I was that my flight is yet at 10 PM. I can still vividly recall that day when I was deciding for the time of my flight home, bending over Rose’s table (our secretary or more commonly called admin) and choosing among the list of flights posted in her table. I chose the last one for the day since I can’t take the earliest flight due to waking up early problems. Really, I’m too young even for an early onset of Alzheimer’s right??
2. The phone call from Dien this morning. Like how we were so sure last night that our flight is of the same time and agreed that we’ll go to the airport together but he called up this morning and apologized for not going with us (Esther, Samuel and I) since he just checked that his flight is at 8 PM. It could’ve been a sign – a divine intervention even- for me to go and check mine, but I simply ignored it!! How careless could I be??
3. The smash-up of the bus a while ago and how it really was foreboding of a disaster.
4. Mental note to self: 1st thing to do when you reach the airport is to check the status of your flight on those huge boards that display the schedule. I don’t know what it was called but you all know that, they’re the first thing you see when you watch Final Destination. Well, not that it would matter even if I did that.
5. WHAT ABOUT MY SHOPPING??????????????????????????????????????
6. The rule of thumb – check in 2 hours before the flight. 2 NAFFING HOURS before the flight. Aaarrrrrrrrrrrggggghhhhhhhhh!!!!!
And now it’s about 13 mins left before my flight, I was at the counter trying my best to give an imploring, beseeching look in the lady infront of me. She became jittery also as soon as I handed her my e-ticket, frantically jabbing away in her keyboards in the same pace that her head moves left and right, probably in disbelief on how I could have been so late for my flight.
Times like this, I have to hand it to her. I’m thankful that she’s not the reprimanding type or the blaming type who bombards you with questions like what did you do, why were you late for the trip blah blah blah. Perhaps she do acknowledges that situations like this DO happen and I can feel that she’s trying her best to help me. Until she looked up from her PC and dropped the gauntlet,
“I’m sorry, I can’t let you in.”
And the weird thing was, I didn’t become afraid. It was only the time when my stiffened back had the chance to relax. I was able to breathe properly for the first time ever since the inspector asked me to hurry up. Instead of being caught in the throes of “Oh no, this is not happening to me. Surely, I will wake up in my bed hugging my Tweety bolster pillow right?”, I was already thinking about going back to the hotel. Already, I can see myself sharing tonight with Esther’s bedroom coz I’m sure she wouldn’t mind. Really, I’ve made peace with this situation and I was already excited about spending tomorrow with Samuel on whatever cultural places it is that he hasn’t visited yet. Weird, weird, weird. It almost seemed surreal that I didn’t care about the folks at home. No guy has ever had this effect on me. No one!!
But when I was back on materializing the plan of going back to the hotel, sanity has got the better of me. The very thought of going back alone, I mean, how would I do that?? I don’t know how to. My phone’s off, how would I tell everyone that they can’t expect me tonight?? I went back to the counter and talked to the lady.
“Miss, can you try again?”
Again, I’m thankful that she didn’t react as though I just asked to donate one of her limbs to science. Instead, she obediently made a quick phone call and after more jabbing in her keyboards.
“Okay, but you must promise me that you’ll hurry alright?” She went back to the phone and probably gave instruction that a “very important stupid person” (haha!) came very late and you all must wait for her. Geese, I can already picture the scenario – all the irritated passengers looking at me as I enter the cabin. Yay!!
“Yes, yes!” I replied, nodding just like a child that will be finally given a marshmallow after numerous stated conditions.
“Are your liquids all in here?” She asked as she takes my suitcase.
“Ah, yes, yes.” Whew!!
After instructing me on the gate and my seat, I turned to my heel running as fast as I can towards the hand carry inspection area. I quickly placed all my items and boots in the tray and lined up for security check. I didn’t know that even trench coats would have to be removed and I cringed as I remember that I’m wearing a black short-sleeved top. My white thermal wear will be exposed!!! But clearly this is no time to be minding petty situations like this; I took off my coat and steeled myself for the shocked reactions of those behind the queue. Oh the dread. The horrible, awful, dready dread!!
I already broke a sweat by the time I stepped off from the inspection platform and the first thing I grabbed from the tray was of course my trench coat. Enough humiliation!! Without even buttoning it, I replaced my boots on and clutched the rest of my items. Back to Forrest Gump mode. I wasn’t far from the counter when somebody called after me. I turned around to see one lady guard gasping for breath as she hand me one of the shopping bags that I left in the tray. Oh my goodness. I thanked her and scurried away.
I ran and ran until there was no more breath left of me. Huff, huff, huff. My gosh, a very wide airport can also have its advantages too right?? The only time I slowed down was when I saw the boarding gate and the people are still lining up to be admitted. Whew!! Thank heavens!! No irate passenger will welcome me. Phew!!
I briefly composed myself as I enter the plane. When I showed the boarding pass to the cabin crew, she motioned me to go upstairs.
Huh? May second floor ang eroplano?? (There’s a second floor to an airplane?) I asked myself. When I saw the stairs, I was like “WOW, COOL!!”
When I was looking for my couch, I almost want to hug the lady in the check-in section when I learned that she granted me the window side seat!! Due to the urgency and craziness of the situation earlier (of course it’s so thick of me to even choose my seat) but I just remembered that I was not even able to say thanks to her. My bad!! But really, she’s a star!! If only there’s a paper here in the plane for commending employees, I would definitely vote for her. :)
I saw an old man seated comfortably in my couch. NO, he can’t steal it away from me. Had I only known that time that it’s a different class I was at, I could’ve just willingly given him mine. I mean, really, he looks rich enough to afford such class. But since I’m a moron during that time (haha!), I talked to the cabin crew to verify my seat. The old man transferred downstairs. :P
I slumped myself on the couch, so relieved from getting away with all this. I was back reflecting what has just transpired and that’s the only time it all sunk in. Muntik na ako!! I almost missed my flight, my goodness!! ALMOST!! I couldn’t help a quick conceptualization of what if I really missed it. Number 1, my phone is simply, totally and utterly drained - how do I contact my family, my boss and more importantly, the travel agency!! Number 2, how do I exactly travel back to Shilla Hotel?? For the life of me, I don’t think I can do it alone in a foreign land!! Number 3 and the most unbearable of all – if I missed my flight, must I spend for the replacement ticket that will take me home?? *Gasp* I’m not going to waste my money on that!!
And yet, and yet, I reacted as though everything was just fine and dandy - that the solution will just be a piece of cake. Goodness, whatever happened to me??? It’s as if my brain had lost its capacity for a coherent thought. I’ve just gone bonkers because of a guy - one special guy. My heart sank as the plane took off signaling my final goodbye to him. :( Truly, I left my heart in Seoul. :(
My thoughts were distracted by the airline crew, a friendly old man offering me up a wine. A wine?? Wait a sec, I took the same airline for my departing flight five days ago but there weren’t any wine offered to me then. Clearly, I was still out of clue during this time. Gosh, my brain isn’t still functioning.
Even though he was a bit insistent on me trying it, of course I had to beg off since I’m no wine person. Instead I just took the mini snacks and delved in my bag for that book I purchased solely for this trip. The entire marathon I did for today took its toll on my legs so I studied the buttons in my right armrest to give me a comfortable position while reading. To my astonishment, the number of buttons here is quite many for the standard ones I use to know. So for full 5 minutes I was there studying the buttons and experimenting on the couch like it was a mini robot. Haha!! AMAZING!! I loved the fact that each part of the couch can be bent, retracted, extended, elongated, forwarded to your heart’s desires…EVERYTHING. Haha!! Even the couch – it’s quite bigger from the one used to seat on. Hmm. That’s the only time it dawned on me that this is not soo econo class, not econo class. Moron, moron. I’m such a moron. :P Why didn’t I realize it early on??
I can’t help but sing along Fergie’s line, “Flying first class, up in the sky. Poppin’ champagne, livin’ the life. In the fast lane, I won’t change by the G-L-A-M-O-R-O-U-S!!, oh the flossy, flossy” Haha. Joie de vivre. Despite the debacle that happened a while ago, who would’ve thought something good will still come out of it?? For four hours, I just enjoyed the benefits of the upgrade – delicious meal, yummy desserts and picture-taking (surreptitiously, ssshhh!!! Haha!).
Surely you don’t wanna hear stories from NAIA coz it will just get on your nerves as much as it did to me. Such a shame that I had to borrow the taxi driver’s phone just to insert my SIM and make a phone call to Mam around 1 AM.
It broke my heart for not being able to produce something for Pap and Mam from my suitcase when I reached home so I just promised them I’ll take the family out for a dinner on Sunday. There’s still work the next day so after the quick night routine, I was beside Mam (y’all know how my room was a mess even before the trip right??) holding my camera and already reminiscing on memories with Samuel. Cripes!! Haha!! I was just staring into that oh-so-handsome hombre that I’ll probably never ever meet again. :( I was startled with a voice from behind,
“Sino yan?” My mother asked. Geese, how long has she been staring at me???
“Ha? Si Samuel. Ang gwapo noh?” Oh boy, I’ve never talked about a guy that way to my Mam.
She hasn’t met him and I think she already likes him. Yay!!