I walk into the airport at 1:15pm for an international flight I was supposed to board by 12:30pm. The flight leaves in 15 minutes.
At the counter, the attendant says, “Sorry, the system won’t let us check you in.”
On her screen, I can see the boarding and current time both displayed in red with a line striking through them. My heart drops straight into my stomach.
How had I forgotten airport protocol? I’m supposed to go to Switzerland. Justin wasn’t around to hustle me out the door. This will probably cost too much to rebook.
My eyes meet my shoes, grey Chucks, well worn.
Another attendant pipes up. “But you’re here.”
I look up. The two confirm with their eyes what she’s about to do. In seconds, she hands me my boarding pass.
“Do you need my ID?,” I ask, eyes back down, hand rifling through my favorite tote.
“No. Have a good flight.” Her face is gentle, her tone is confident. She intentionally locks her eyes with mine as if to say, “Believe me.”
I look at her in awe, take the pass, and turn to go.
“Miss,” she calls out, and directing each of the following words with her right hand she says, eyes now intense, “Take the stairs all the way down. Then run like hell.”