Page 40 in the series Before the Pirates Came*
Miranda stayed awake all night, too excited to sleep. She didn’t want to be late for the first leg of her journey, a 39 minute flight from Traverse City to Detroit.
She left the Charlevoix Boat Basin at dawn, eager to be out of the cold for a while. It was a beautiful day, the roads were dry, and freshly plowed snow bordered the highway. She followed the arrow to long-term parking at the Cherry Capital Airport, checked her bag, tipped the porter, and passed through security. Miranda quickly arrived at Detroit Metro where she would board a non-stop flight to Palm Beach International Airport.
She stepped out of the jetway and walked until she found a set of monitors. Her flight was on time. There was a bar up ahead. A cheesy neon martini glass indicated the pub was already open for business. She had plenty of time but couldn’t chance it. Lately it felt like something wasn’t quite right. She was restless and agitated, like a top that wouldn’t stop spinning. Miranda was craving relief.
She glanced again at the bar, men in suits heading in for a quick one. She was probably just tense from life on the dock– the blizzard, late nights, the mysterious chain smoker whose identity was still unknown. Miranda decided that all she needed was some rest, and that’s exactly what she would do once she got settled. The airport bar was calling. She would have a drink on the plane, then figure out the rest when she got there. At least that was the plan.
“Like a thornbush in a drunkard’s hand is a proverb in the mouth of a fool.” Proverbs 26:9 (NIV)
Almost to her gate, she spotted a wall of beautiful glossy magazines, the ones she stopped reading when she moved aboard her boat. While there wasn’t much need for couture on the dock, she would definitely be doing some shopping in Palm Beach. Miranda looked at her watch, ducked into the crowded newstand, and grabbed a copy of Vogue and Marie Claire. She held them close and smiled–they had that new magazine smell.
She paid the man at the counter, careful to hold onto her wallet. Harry always warned her that airports are a prime place to be robbed, and most important– never to carry too much cash.
Miranda carefully put away her wallet. She spun around to leave and walked right into the person in line behind her. When she saw his face she couldn’t believe it: It was the man in the navy blue blazer! He was even more handsome than the night she saw him across the bar at Tommy’s Gotcha, the night before she left Traverse City for good. But now, instead of a nice Merlot, he was holding a thick stack of newspapers, the Wall Street Journal on top.
He was soft-spoken and polite, said “excuse me” as if it was his fault. Pressed up against him, she was at loss for words. Her cheeks turned red and she could feel herself beginning to sweat under the weight of her faded Michigan State sweatshirt. It was a bad time to be dressed like a guy!
Fortunately Miranda was having a good hair day, and her carefully applied Nars Jungle Red lipstick looked pretty good, too. She met his glance, tried to smile. The man in the navy blue blazer touched her arm and said, “Hello, Miranda.” She blinked hard, looked at her watch, and hurried through the crowd and out of his sight. One mysterious stranger in her life was enough.
Her old cowboy boots went click-click-clicking past the shoe shine man, the Martini bar, and a frozen yogurt kiosk. She arrived at her gate with just minutes to spare. Miranda resisted the urge to look back. Don’t do it, don’t do it! Then she looked back anyway. The man in the navy blue blazer was standing in the middle of the concourse watching her.
“Teach us to number our days, that we may gain a heart of wisdom.” Psalm 90:12 (NIV)
*This story is based on some true events, however, has been fictionalized and all persons appearing in this work are fictitious. Any resemblance to real people, living or dead, is entirely coincidental.
© 2012, Shoes for an Imaginary Life. All rights reserved.