Say Goodbye - A Willa and Chris story
inspired by the song “Say Goodbye” by Dave Matthews Band
Chris walked through the concourse, weaving around the long lines at the gate check-in counters that stretched all the way back into the wide corridor. Snow was already piling up on the runways and when the pilot had welcomed them to JFK he had also congratulated them on being the last plane given clearance to land; all others had been rerouted because of the blizzard coming in. Thankful that his hotel had been booked in advance and a driver was waiting for him, he carefully stepped around an escaping toddler and tried to block out the noise of people trying to reschedule flights or find hotel rooms.
“What do you mean you can’t get me on another flight for four days?”
The familiar voice cut through the chaos like a sunbeam through a cloud and he stopped and turned in a circle until he spotted the head of carrot colored hair that belonged to it. It was cropped short but her fingers ran through it in frustration just like when it had stretched down her back past the hooks of her bra.
“What am I supposed to do for the next four days then?”
He walked up to the woman and leaned against the counter. “Well, we probably can’t manage a road trip because of the weather, but I’m sure we can think of something.”
Her head snapped around towards him. It took her a second to recognize his face; she wasn’t used to him with glasses and a week’s worth of facial hair probably didn’t help either. “Oh my god! Chris!” She hugged him tightly for a moment and then stepped back to look at his face again. She reached to touch him but yanked her hand back before she made contact.
“I’ll take care of her,” he said with a smile to the gate agent and then took the woman’s elbow. “Come with me. I’ll help you get this all sorted out.”
She grabbed her luggage and trailed after him, the sound of the wheels on her suitcase clicking along the floor completely disappearing into the angry buzz of filling the concourse. “How are you going to fix this? Do you have your own plane?”
“Part of one, but that wouldn’t do it. No one’s going to be able to take off or land for a few days with the storm that’s coming in. But, lucky for you, I’m better than a gate agent.” He led them into a dimly lit bar away from the grey speckled walls and constant warnings not to leave your luggage unattended and sat down at one of the tables. She followed him, looking around for a waiter or someone to scold them for not waiting to be seated, but no one seemed concerned by his behavior so she took the seat across from him and tucked her suitcase under the small table.