Terminal Relationship


Indianapolis IAHer perfume had strong fruity notes, yet it wasn’t overpoweringly sweet. The soft thud of high heels echoed in the concourse as she took a seat a few rows away. She tossed her bag into a chair and began to search through its contents. She gave up after a few rounds of rummaging and sent a cascade of pens, change, and keys plummeting into the chair. She continued to jostle with the pile of items until she found her prize.

I heard the click of a lock screen and a blitzkrieg of messages flew from her fingers. While the pads of her fingers thumped the screen, her nails produced a horrendous clacking. After a bombardment of sent message whooshes, she returned to her dispelled belongings and whisked them into the bag.

Soon, she received a phone call. She released an exasperated sigh and stormed past me to answer it. She swiftly paced about the rows of chairs while the ringtone continued to blare. With another nail clack, she began her dreaded conversation. The phone call promptly evolved into a screaming match. The caller was an irate mom: there is no other human noise that is more distinguished than that of a seething mother.

“I don’t care Mom,” a youthful voice hissed.

“Shana! You’ve been gone for a week!” The mother ranted.

The woman walked further away and her voice faded to whispers of rage.

“No. I’m not coming home and that’s final!” Shana vented before releasing a squeal and ending the call.

Her high heeled trot was accompanied by sniffling. Shana’s approaching footsteps revealed that she was too close to my line of chairs. I had left my bag slightly jutted out so that it would be easier to grab. But it was evident that the enraged woman was not attempting to avoid the obstruction. I quickly leaned over and reached for my duffel. I was able to catch the shoulder strap, but I was too late to prevent her from stumbling.

She tripped on the bag and tumbled into my lap. I grabbed her arm and began to help her up. She violently shook me off and pushed me down into the chair. The force was enough to send her to the ground.

“Geez man,” she scoffed. “If you wanted a dance that much, you should have just gone to the bar.”

She slowly got up and started tapping a foot. I bet her nostrils were flaring while she heavily puffed.

“Well?” She demanded.

I began to formulate a defense when my thoughts were interrupted.

“Flight 1901, we are now boarding. All passengers with disabilities and families with young children may come up to the kiosk to board the plane. Thank you,” a flight attendant’s muffled voice informed the passengers.

“Excuse me,” I politely answered. I pulled my cane out from my jacket sleeve, adjusted my sunglasses, and began to feel around for the duffel bag.


Indianapolis International Airport Photograph


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