Sandra Bunino and I have collaborated to bring you a FREE holiday blog serial that runs in 18 parts of usually less than 1000 words for each post—easy reading on your lunch break.
Prefer to read on a Kindle or Nook? No problem, just head over to Smashwords every Wednesday beginning December 4th for the weekly digest to catch up. Or catch up a little faster here:
And now, PART 3 of Second Chance Layover (Click title to read a quick summary of the story.):
With the press of a keystroke, I alerted the other bored and lonely travelers of O’Hare that BBJD was in the building. My location within the airport, I left blank. No point making myself a blue-light special before vetting out the clientele. Clingy, needy women were not my thing; neither was a quick, anonymous fuck in an airport. God knew I’d never been that desperate to get off.
Instantly, a list of screen names popped up—Anonymous, BabsAtLarge, Chartier, DaveS, FlyMeBaby, LonelyInIL, Sam, Sheila, WetNWild, and on and on. At least twenty screen names, ranging from the provocative to the mundane, filled my smart phone’s window. I scrolled through them and clicked on Chartier who had classified herself as a 25-35 female. Best to stick with my own age range, I supposed. She also claimed to be from the same part of the country as myself. We would have at least one thing to talk about…if I contacted her.
A familiar antsiness took over and propelled me to my feet.
I walked the full length of my terminal. Twice. The adjoining terminal received an equally thorough tour until bored, I returned to my assigned gate. The faces hadn’t changed much during my absence.
My smart phone alerted me to a message. Meet-And-Go.com filled the sender window, “Someone wants to meet you” occupied the subject line. I clicked open the notification expecting my someone to be WetNWild or LonelyInIL Instead Chartier pleasantly surprised me by making contact. The link provided took me back to the website and into my inbox.
“Hi. I’m here in O’Hare and my flight is delayed. Isn’t everyone’s? Never done this before so am not familiar with any Meet-And-Go.com etiquette. Saw your listing and noticed we’re both from the same part of NY. Message back if you want to chat over coffee.”
Hmm. Was it karma that the one other person whose link I clicked was the one who happened to contact me? I was due some good karma for a change.
I switched over to my tablet. If we corresponded more in writing, a larger keyboard would work much better.
“Hi Chartier. Spotted your listing and also noticed the NY connection. Coffee sounds fine. I’m in terminal D. I saw a shop nearby but can meet you wherever is convenient for you.”
I clicked send and kicked back in my seat. One coffee wouldn’t hurt. I could drink it quickly if I needed to make a quick escape. I hadn’t mentioned the length of my layover or my destination. Easy escape excuse fodder. She might not even contact me back, might have only been dipping a toe.
I shifted to lean on my left butt cheek while waiting for BroadwayBoundJD’s response. Great, pins and needles attacked my foot. I needed to get up soon before both feet fell asleep. A beep sounded from my laptop and message alert blinked on the screen. I smiled, excited my stranger had replied so fast. I scanned his message and tapped out a response to seal the deal. This was kind of fun in a weird way.
Stretching my legs I tapped my high-heeled boot on the floor to wake up my extremity. I considered changing into the shearling lined Uggs tucked away in my carryon, but remembered Tiffany’s last report on the shoes men love and hate. According to Tiff, Uggs made the hate list along with Crocks as the unsexiest shoes ever. What’d they like? Pointy-heeled stilettos, of course. I stood and re-tested my sleepy foot. I pulled my phone from the inside pocket of my purse and poked the redial button. Henry picked up after the first ring.
“Hey. I have a hookup on Meet-And-Go dot com. His profile name is BroadwayBoundJD, so, on the off chance I end up in an airport dumpster, he’s your prime suspect.”
A chuckle erupted in my ear. “BroadwayBound doesn’t sound too sinister to me. What’s he going to do? Dance and sing you to death?”
I rolled my eyes. “Do you hear me laughing?”
“Go enjoy yourself, but more important, get me a good story.”
I slid my phone back into the pocket and stored my laptop in the carryon. After shaking out the last of the pins and needles from my semi-asleep foot, I flipped up the handle of my carryon and headed toward Gate 10.
People do this all the time, I told myself as the flashing neon coffee sign came into view. I took a deep breath and scanned the small space. A guy sitting by himself should have been easy to spot, however with all the stranded travelers, what if the shop was full of them? Why didn’t I get a description of this dude? I blew a frustrated breath upward, sending a stray lock of hair fluttering off my forehead.
My mother’s disappointed expression entered my head. I guessed I considered her to be the voice of reason. Who else did I have? As crazy as it seemed, I was the sanest one of my friends. Hussies filled the entertainment news industry. Most of my social circle wouldn’t think twice about a random hook up. In fact, after my story ran, a few would probably hop a cab to JFK for a quickie.
I must’ve looked like a royal loser as I stood near the entrance while people whizzed past me, focused on their own agendas. Everyone was so time-driven at airports. This was a stupid idea. I turned and started back to my gate. I couldn’t pull off this kind of story. I should have left the fancy stuff to Tiffany and stuck with back office research and copyediting.
I swung around, and my long hair hit me in the cheek. A man waved as he headed toward me. I was a bit nearsighted but refused to wear my glasses for anything but driving. I cocked my head squinting. Something familiar about his voice and gait struck me as he strode my way. I knew him, but from where? I focused on his features and searched his eyes for clues.
“Charli Tierney, I thought that was you.”
As though my body recognized him before my brain registered his identity, heat crept up my neck and into my cheeks. “Cal?”
Want more? Be sure to come back tomorrow for Part 4!
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