Transit

One day, you are – by some fluke – early for your flight. You have checked in online, packed your signature leather weekender [properly this time], and still have 3 hours to kill at the airport.

Being a creature of habit, you return to old haunts; you grab a chai latte and head for the bookshop.

This stranger… you want to know everything about him.

People say it all the time: one day you will meet a stranger.

He spots you first, as you are leafing through a paperback reprint of Shantaram, the book that spurred your decision to go to India this time.

“Nice boots.” he says. They are an old, worn out pair that all of your friends hate.

You barely look up, because you are re-reading your favourite chapter. The one where Gregory sees Karla for the very first time.

“Thank you,” you finally answer after seconds of silence, ” I wear them wherever and whenever I travel.”

“So you travel a lot?” he asks.

“As much as I can…” you say distractedly, before finally regaining your social gravitas and lifting your eyes from the page.

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You see his face for the first time, and smile, taking in all the details: blue-grey eyes, broad shoulders, freckled skin, 5 o’clock shadow, strong jawline, and light brown hair.

You end up spending the next three hours together. You like how he is atypical. Your conversation with him spans everything from travel, literature, art, film, politics, religion, oil, humanity, and cats.

This stranger… you want to know everything about him.

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But then you hear it – the final boarding call for your gate blasting through the PA system. He walks with you, almost solemnly, to gate 58. People trickle through and you realise that – for all that being early for your flight this time around – you are, as usual, the last person to board the plane.

You stand there mildly confused, your heart filling up with an aching that you have never really felt before. But you know the facts: his connecting flight is heading in a completely opposite direction, and he is about to live in a very different part of the world.

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He walks with you, almost solemnly, to gate 58. People trickle through and you realise that – for all that being early for your flight this time around – you are, as usual, the last person to board the plane.

“I am about to miss my flight.” you stammer, stating the obvious. Seven simple words, veiled and heavy, carrying within them the weight everything else that you are about to miss.

“I know,” he says, planting a chaste kiss on your forehead, “keep wearing those boots.”


V
VANESSA | Founder & Publishing Editor

Vanessa is an artist, writer, and digital nomad. She writes about life and the spaces in between things at Absolutely Yar, grapples with her search for the geographic cure at  Say Yes to New Adventures, and curates a collection of beautiful things at Of Something Beautiful.

Say hello at vanessa@borderjumping.org

 

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