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Sounds like you’re in Dallas. Are you coming or going? my husband texted.
I had to smile at that. Coming, I wrote back. They’re waiting for a place to park the plane. I snapped a photo from the window to send to him.
Hurry? I glanced at my phone. I thought I had an hour to kill. Right. De-icing. Parking the plane….Thank you sweetheart. If he were with me he’d say, Put your phone away! I packed up my carryon and hustled off the plane with everyone else.
There was no flight monitor to be found. Excuse me? I asked the official in uniform. I waited. Where’s the gate for the flight to Tucson? Now I was getting a little tense.
C4, she read from the paper.
Good. Not too far. I arrived within minutes at boarding time but except for a bewildered looking elderly lady and a woman with two children, C4 was empty. There was commotion as a group gathered a few yards away.
C21! They changed the gate! We’ll need a train or we’ll miss it, the gentleman in glasses said to his wife.
I was suddenly aware of my heartbeat. I can’t miss this flight. My sister is waiting. That’s when a cart on wheels appeared like the plain yellow pumpkin. I’ll take you, said the mouse turned coachman.
The women and children took seats as my eyes scanned C4. Wait! One more! We waved to a woman with an extraordinary amount of baggage.

I’ll run behind, said the man in glasses.
Me too, I said. When have I ever turned down a chance to jog? Woman with bags took the last seat.

Nice boots, man in glasses commented as I clipped along in heels, huffing and thinking the next flight would definitely be wine-time.
Slave to fashion, I said acknowledging his comment.
I like it, I think I heard him say and on the jaunt to C21 learned that he and his wife were visiting their daughter in Tucson for their grandchild’s first birthday.
Want me to hold your bag? Lady with bags asked as I began to run and my bag flung its weight from my should like a gong.
No thanks, it strengthens my back. (My fitness teacher would be proud.)

With my new group of friends I wasn’t worried about missing the plane and together we all made the flight.
Excuse me, I asked the coachman. What’s your name?
Farah, he smiled.
Thank you, Farah. I shook his hand. For getting us to our gate.
Their faces are imprinted in my mind—elderly lady, woman with children, man with glasses, lady with bags—I feel as if I have always known them.
So, sweetheart, thanks for always keeping an eye on me. I made my connection!

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