I sat at the Airport waiting for my flight to be called, it was delayed of course. No matter how many times I flew, I hated it. Yes it scares me. I put on a brave face, but honestly, I feel like kissing the ground everytime we land. If something goes wrong at 30,000 feet, there are no survivors. I had an hour to kill, so I took a stroll, sitting still made me anxious. I headed to the quieter terminals and found myself a nice peaceful spot. I made myself as comfortable as airport chairs allowed and took out my iPad. ‘Ash’ by James Herbert was my reading choice for the day. I was gripped by the plot which involved a small aircraft plummeting towards the ground in the Scottish Highlands, when the airport shook with a huge crack of thunder.
The lights went out! I was blinded by thick forks of lightening which seemed to surround the airport. I hoped no planes were damaged. This storm was brutal and made me even more nervous about the flight ahead of me.
The fury of the storm was directly above us now, nothing would be taking off or landing for a while. The power was off for only a few seconds, DIA was very efficient, but when it came back on again I had company.
A young lady sat next to me. Where had she come from? I looked around me, there was no sign of anyone else. No arrivals were announced. Distracted from my book now, I spoke to her. “Hi, are you trying to find a peaceful place to read too?” I asked.
“No, I am waiting for my husband Jim, he said he would meet me here, he’s late.” she said without turning to look at me.
“Are you sure you are in the right terminal, nothing has landed here for hours.” I said to her as I looked around.
“Yes, this is the right place. I told him terminal thirteen, he laughed and said ‘unlucky for some’. I know this is the right place.” she told me in a quiet tired voice.I felt sorry for her, she looked very pale and fragile. How could he leave her waiting for so long? “Why don’t you get a cab, maybe something happened. Can’t you call him?”
“My battery is dead” she said simply.
“Here use my phone” I told her “Whats the number, I’ll dial it for you” She gave me the number and I dialed. After three rings a voice told me the number was no longer in service. I must have dialed incorrectly. “Can you give me your number again?” I asked. I dialed again, but with the same results.
“There is something wrong with the number, I’m sorry. I really think you should go and find another way to get home. Use the shuttle or a cab. How long have you been waiting here?” I asked.
“Since 1998” she told me.
I turned around to look at her “1998?” I said to and empty chair. She was gone.
I rubbed my eyes. Had I fallen asleep? Was my fear of flying making me hallucinate?
I heard my flight called, passengers started to board. I slowly walked towards gate B52, wondering if I should go home instead. I boarded the plane and fastened my seatbelt, still thinking about my encounter and praying I would land safely in New York. I didn’t want to be a ‘Ghost in the Airport’.