The Choice . . . (from Life IS a Fairytale)
Eddie helped Cerise carry her stuff toward the baggage claim office as their fellow passengers beelined past them for the rotating belts. He held the door open and followed Cerise in.
It was no wonder the place was closed off from the main corridor by wooden walls and a heavy glass door. Popping of gum and pecking of computer keys stood out amidst the silence. Two agents, a man and a woman with intense staring at their computer screens provided the cold and distant welcome. A few passengers lined up against the desk: a distraught elderly couple dressed in straw hats and bright colored Hawaiian outfits mismatched with distraught expressions; an unshaven business man in a suit, his arms folded, and feet laden with red and white striped bedroom slippers. Cerise and Eddie took their place behind the source of the gum, a young woman with a toddler clinging to one of her bony legs.
The airline graciously offered Cerise and Eddie money for a meal, and $150 cash each to buy clothes and toiletries since their bags would not arrive until late the next day. Back out in the main corridor, the two weren’t too surprised to discover that they were both set to meet the same driver who would take them to the resort. A fellow by the name of Ramon Valdez.
Mr. Valdez was not due to arrive until 3:00. It was only 12:45. They stood looking blasé out at the people moving around them back at each other.
“You want to wait three hours?”
Cherise shrugged her shoulders. “It sure would be nice not to.” She was really just glad she wasn’t having to endure this alone.
Eddie pulled out his cellphone. “I’m calling the resort to see if he could come sooner.”
Cerise watched as Eddie made disappointed gestures while he talked on the phone. It didn’t seem like that was going to happen.
“Okay, sure. We can do that. Wait, let me ask,” he turned to Cerise. “We could rent a car and they reimburse us.”
Cerise hesitated, looking into his eyes. The last three hours had been so out of her control, she could only think off the top of her head. She nodded with uncertainty, as she kept staring mindlessly at him.
“Yeah, we’ll do that. . . okay, thanks.”
He picked up his bag and her B&N bag and jacket and they walked toward the rental car area. Yeah, sitting for three hours in the airport when there was a beautiful resort to enjoy through a full afternoon would not be pleasant.
Eddie made all the arrangements while Cerise stood by. They both stood in awe as the teller clicked the remote that lit up a bright blinding yellow blaze Ford Focus.
“Let’s get going!” Eddie said excitedly and tossed their things in the trunk.
With a fleeting thought that she was getting into a car with a man who would qualify as a perfect stranger, Cerise hopped in and closed the door.