i left in a daze, tired and unphased about the lack of sleep i’d just had, whether i packed enough, whether i packed too much. i found myself on a plane, delayed by a busy tarmac at eight in the morning, how does that happen so early?
we landed and i disembarked and ran to my gate for my plane to the states, through customs and immigration and border control. i was flustered and red, i broke into a sweat, arriving at a gate that wasn’t even ready yet. [i thought i’d be so late they’d be calling my name.] so i sat and i killed time for ten minutes or so, and when called, walked down the escalators with the other keen passengers to waiting air hosts below. i sat next to georgia, a twenty-one year old from melbourne travelling to jamaica to watch the cricket and meet other cricket fans before jetting back to the usa to explore for two months more, alone and excited and anxious for what lay ahead.
she asked me questions, over the spare seat between us, while sitting against the window in striped socks and vans, cropped yoga pants and a leopard print sweater, hair tied with a scrunchie in a lopsided bun, “i hate flying” she said “it takes so long, it’s boring and painful. and i still have so many hours left!” we laughed it off, it wouldn’t be as bad as it seemed i promised.
we spoke in the darkness over the hum of the plane about adventures and my favourite spots in the usa, where she just has to visit and what she just can’t miss, while others slept or buried their attention in the tiny screen on the seat in front. we giggled quietly at people speaking too loudly with their headphones on and the kids throwing tantrums two rows away.
for fourteen hours we sat nearly side-by-side until we arrived to clear immigration and went our separate ways – caught in the chaos, forgetting to say goodbye. a fleeting meeting filled with curiosity and hope for good, wholesome adventures. so maybe i’ll never see her again. but maybe i will, this world is so small and things come back around in ways we never expect.