Getting It Done
by gm stevenson
It is called Glasgow Airport, but it is not in that city. It is in Paisley, a 20-minute drive from the centre of Glasgow. You would have taken the bus, but it is Christmas Day, so services are limited, and it is 2020, and you do not want to be on a crowded bus in a pandemic. You called Maryhill Cabs yesterday and arranged for a taxi to pick you up.
A few hours ago, you got a text: "i'm about to board. won't be able to text during the flight and i won't have phone service when i get there obviously. see you in glasgow!"
You replied: "i'll be there when you get off the plane. i love you."
The waiting area is not busy – just you and two young women. Like you, they are wearing masks. You are sitting on one of the many chairs, but the women are standing as close to the aisle for arrivals as is allowed. Even though the plane you are all waiting for has not yet landed, they are holding a home-made sign, on which is written: "THIS GIRL GOT BREXIT DONE!!!"
The plane arrives. The first passenger to clear security is a man wearing what looks like a hazmat suit. His suitcase has wheels and a handle, and he drags it behind him as he walks up the aisle, passes the two women, looks around, then heads for the exit.
The next is a woman of the same age as the two who are waiting. She is wearing a mask, has a pack on her back, and is carrying a holdall. She stops walking when she sees the sign the other women are holding up. She stares at them, and her eyes fill with tears. She drops her bag and pulls down her mask, and you see she is laughing as well as crying. She puts her hands to her face and does a kind of dance, then picks up her bag, walks, drops the bag again, and the three women are in one another's arms, one of them sobbing, their masks pulled down too, and a few other arrivals look at them and smile as they walk past.
One of the women picks up the arrival's holdall, the other carries the sign, and the three of them leave together.
You stand up, and walk over to where they were waiting. You wish you had thought of making a sign. You stand there and wait. You stand there so long, your back begins to ache. You go back to the seating area and sit down, on the same seat you sat on before, even though there are dozens of empty seats and you are the only one there.
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