The American Airlines supervisor led me to a more private ticket counter. She took me to a clerk and began to speak to her in some sort of ticket counter code. The instrucctions were short, mean and confusing. There was a short squabble in true New York style that also left the clerk in tears. She was tougher than me, though, since none of her tears rolled down her face.
As she typed away at her little screen I began to collect the clues of my destiny. The airline was going to send me home, but not immediately. She asked if I wanted to spend the night in New York or in Dallas, since I would not be able to fly in to Mcallen that same day.
I had always wanted to see New York, but not like this. It was scary to be stranded in one of the worlds most important cities without having a single clue as to where I was going, how I was going to get there and how to pay for whatever I needed.
Being much more familiar with Texas (location wise and culture wise) I decided to fly to Dallas spend the night, and fly out to Mcallen in the Morning. Besides, it wouldnt be the first time an airline has sent me to spend the night in a Dallas hotel due to a missed flight. It happened once before, when I missed my anniversary with Isaac, but that's another story entirely.
As she typed and typed, more clues to my future were revealed. I was to have courtesy meals and courtesy taxis.
Yes. I asked that too. My flight to Dallas left from New York, but not from the same airport. I was to catch a cab to an airport called "La Guardia" and zoom directly to my gate in a near miss schedule.
The clerk handed me about a million tickets and vouchers and pointed me in the direction of a cab. The redness in my face was already fading and my eyes were finally dry. I thanked the clerk wholeheartedly and she gave me a very short, but tearful smile. She knew I really meant it.
"You see," the supervisor shouted halfway across the room "I'm not really that mean!"
With my new tickets in hand I walked the streets of New York for a second time, only this time with more confidence. I stood and waited for the cab that had been ordered for me by the airline.
I began to wonder if I was standing in the right place. Not having one minute to waste, I decided to dash back in and ask if I was doing what I was supposed to be doing. As I walked through the sliding doors a man in front of me pointed down at the floor
"Look!" he said, as he and his suitcase rolled away
I looked down and saw a bunch of dollar bills rolled up. A closer look revealed a hundred dollar bill, neatly tucked inside.
"Hey!" I called out to the man, "that's a lot of money!"
He turned back with a look of "WHAT THE CRAP DID I LET GO" and continued to rush forward. I looked around to see if anyone was looking for missing money, but everyone was hustling about. I picked up the money and turned to the security guards. They too, were in their own world. I looked around for the candid camera crew. There was nobody. Nobody to claim the money. Nobody looking for money. Nothing.
I put it in my pant p0cket and hurried through to get the information I needed. It turned out that I was in the right place.
I hoped in a cab and headed off to La Guardia airport. With a moment to finally look, I took out the money from my pocket and counted it. I had $135 dollars in cash, a ticket to go home and meal vouchers for the time in between.
It was a joy to see the streets of New York from a cab. I felt like such a strong, independant woman- regarldess of the baby I had been thirty minutes ago. I was a New Yorker, if only for half an hour.
Yes. I believed it.
I arrived to the airport and headed straight for the security checkpoint. After the routine groping I darted off to my gate. I arrived with twenty minutes to spare. For the first time in a day and a half- I HAD A MOMENT TO SPARE!!!
I headed straight for the bathroom. A BATHROOM! HA! Next, I bought myself a sandwich. It was mozzeralla with basil and tomatoes. I even had a coke, something I have ditched since my weightloss plan.
Yes. It was glorious.
A boarding call was made and I was actually THERE to hear it. I picked up my beat up carry one and went straight to the line. I was getting closer to home.
Stick around for part 4, because YES- this story keeps getting weird.