Blew It Again


by: Steven Keiths © September 2009



            He stood and grabbed the handle to the rolling suitcase. He was the cutest freckled-face redhead I had ever seen. Sighing, a wave of sadness; a moment of regret; a feeling of misfortune for an opportunity lost, churned my stomach.


            For two hours we sat in the busy San Francisco air terminal, furtively stealing glances at one another. Just as he would start to look my way, I averted my eyes as if something had caught my attention. He did much the same. Bending, feigning to tie my shoelaces so that I could steal a longer look, I noticed the pretty girl sitting next to him grab his hand and squeeze it. She looked related, a younger sister perhaps—at least I hoped so. He would pat her hand, turn to her, and smile. Oh, what beautiful smile it was—dimples and pearly white teeth.


            Occasionally they chatted and giggled. She’d slap his shoulder. He’d look my way again.


            Watching as he strolled down the terminal concourse, I had wished I had been brave enough to go over and say ‘hi’. Slumping into my seat, I realized it was too late, he was catching a flight to England; I was headed to Cancun.


            Just before they went around the corner, he turned, waved and smiled. The smile didn’t do much to relieve my sadness. It only fortified that I missed my chance. But, with an ironic smile I waved back. Hanging my head, rueful for the missed connection. I swore the next time someone caught my eye, no matter what, I was going to make myself at least say something.


            “Dammit, dammit, dammit, you’re such a wuss.”


            “Flight 723 for Cancun will….,” The flight announcer stated, interrupting my self-abasing.


            “Good, I caught you,” said a breathless voice. “So, where do you live?”


            “Huh?” I asked, as I looked up into the beautiful blue eyes of my heart’s desire.


            “Where do you live?” he repeated.


            Sitting up and squaring my shoulders, “Uh, Daly City.”


            “Good,” he responded. He handed me a slip of paper. “Had to see my sister to her gate.” Pointing toward the terminal pick up area, “But gotta’ run, my parents are waiting.”


            Still breathing heavily, he gently touched my shoulder, then he dashed out to a waiting car. As he opened the car door, he turned, waved and smiled; he placed his thumb and pinky finger to the side of his face.


            The ironic smile I had was replaced with a beaming one as I folded the slip of paper and put it into my shirt pocket. I nodded my head, yes.