Friday, October 24, 2014

I Will—the Encounter

JFK airport“First call for TWA flight number 163 for Heathrow Airport now boarding at Gate number 67.” Twenty-six year old Melody McDonald picked up her pace. She’d been lucky; there weren’t many passengers on the flight and so her standby ticket had gotten her on the first flight out. The song playing over the intercom was mournful, with an Irish lilt to it. She wished that they’d put up the volume so she wouldn’t have to strain so much to hear the haunting tune; she was dividing her energy between that and running to get to the departure gate before the flight took off. She knew that if she didn’t figure out what it was, it would probably drive her nuts during the entire eight-hour flight. Such was her concentration that she didn’t notice the tall, thin young man with the walrus mustache until she plowed into him, knocking both of them onto the hard floor.

Jack shook his shoulder-length, shaggy light brown hair out of his eyes as he tried to regain his composure. The impact with the cute blonde had surprised him; he’d been listening to the song on the intercom, trying to place it. It had sounded vaguely familiar, slightly airy with a more serious cello undertone threading through it, although he couldn’t remember who had composed it,Jacksonville Sun hat or even the name of the piece itself. Of course it was a canned, instrumental version, but so intent had he been that he hadn’t seen the girl until they had literally fallen at one another’s feet. Had he seen her coming he would have moved out of her way; but then again, he thought, focusing his sapphire-blue eyes more closely on her, maybe not. She looked kind of cute with his baseball hat – which had ended up on her head during the collision – as though wearing baseball hats was a normal habit of hers.

Sitting there on the floor of the airport, in the middle of the gangway, her luggage strewn all around her, Melody could finally hear the music, perhaps a little too loudly, now. Had she possibly knocked something loose in the collision? She’d heard about people being able to receive radio stations straight to their brains after knocking a tooth loose. Of course, she could never tell anyone about this – they’d think she was nuttier than she really was. The song… She thought maybe it sounded a little like the Moody Blues – that slightly bittersweet song they had done in ‘72 – but there was that cheery Irish lilt running through it. Suddenly, the intercom broke into her reveries. “Last call for TWA flight number 163 for Heathrow Airport now boarding at Gate 67.” Oh dear! how long had she been sitting there? And she hadn’t even apologized to the young man yet! Che scema! Flustered, she jumped to her feet, gathering her belongings. Running to the boarding gate, she shouted behind her, without turning around, “I’m sorry, I have to run – that’s my flight. It was really nice meeting you. See you around!”

Jack sat there for a few moments, stunned by the preceding events. So astonished was he that he even forgot everything but the unknown girl running off with his baseball hat. He hoped she would take good care of it – it was the last one left from his days on the diamond. A grin spread across his face as he stood up and dusted himself off; he recognized the music now – Handel’s Water Music, with a little Bach thrown in for good measure. It seemed to fit.


For those who may be interested, this is a prelude to I is for I Will a Long story shortened.


© October 24 2014 by Mary Purpari all rights reserved.