Wednesday, October 22, 2008

A Second Chance: The Arrival

After weeks of anticipation the time has finally come for me to go see Texas. I arrive at the airport and board the plane without much thought. As soon as I sit in my seat I am overcome with emotions. First, I hate flying, so I spend time praying that God watches over me and this plane. Second I think to myself, ‘WOW,’ I’m really headed to Dallas for 5 days and 4 nights. I feel so invigorated and liberated at the thought of getting away for an escapade. I feel like a character right out of a young romance novel. Finally the time had come for my questions about Texas to be answered.

As the plane prepares for takes off, I try to doze close my eyes and rest. And for one minute I am relaxed and peaceful but then the next, I frantically think to myself, what the heck am I doing? I hysterically play this question in my mind for a while and try to rationalize an answer. I calm myself down by remembering that I am a smart young woman and although part of this decision was made in haste, I spent plenty of time thinking this decision through. I reiterate to myself that this is a chance to answer, ‘What if.’ Finally, I settle down and rest for the remainder of the flight. The pilot comes over the speaker and announces that we will soon be landing in Dallas, Texas. Excitement and nerves engulf my entire being.

My first priority was to let all my girls know that I nervously arrived safely in Dallas and to wish me luck. I immediately received numerous reply messages.

Izzie: Good luck mamas wooo wooo

NeNe (my little sister): Good luck sis. Enjoy every second

Juju: I’m happy you made it there safely girl. Don’t be nervous, you are gonna have fun out there.

With all the well wishes and support I received I started to feel a little better. I was still nervous but a little more confident. I slip into the women’s restroom to freshen up before calling Texas. Although the flight was only 2 and ½ hours it I had to make sure my brand new press was still in tact before I saw him. I leave the restroom and head towards the baggage claim. I start to wonder why my phone had not rung since my arrival here. Fifteen minutes had passed and I hadn’t received one call from Texas. My rationale goes out the window and I start to think maybe he wasn’t coming. What was I gonna do if he didn’t come pick me up? I would be stuck in Dallas with nowhere to stay for 4 whole nights.

I pick my phone up out of my pocket and I have two missed calls from him. I had forgotten to turn my volume up after I got off the plane. I call Texas and let him know that I was picking up my luggage now and that I had arrived safely. He stays on the phone with me while I get my luggage and head outside. I ask him where he was and he lets me know that he is stuck in traffic and won’t be at the terminal for at least fifteen minutes.

Fifteen minutes!!! I yell curse words in my head. I politely ask him why was he late and he explained that there was unexpected traffic on the freeway. What the heck, fifteen minutes? Unexpected traffic? At 10 PM? I can already see how this trip is gonna be. I have always had issues with other people and their time management issues. I’ve always lived by the same rule of thumb and don’t understand why other people don’t do the same. 'If you arrive ten minutes early you are on time, if you arrive at the specified time then you are late and if you arrive anytime after that you might as well turn around and go home.' I go outside and he continues to apologize for being late. I try to stay calm but I am pissed. How can he be late? Wasn’t he excited to see me? Why wasn’t he here on early?

In the mean time, as I normally do, I begin checking out my surroundings. I listen to people's conversations notice a light country accent. I am quickly remindeded that I am in the south because these people definitely speak differently than anyone in LA. I then turn my attention the pick up lanes and head that way to wait. It’s filled with mostly Caucasian travelers being greeted by family members. I tell Texas that he sounds like his accent is getting thicker and that he is starting to sound like all the people around me and he laughs.

A gorgeous white Charger with 23-inch black rims and dark black tent quickly catches my eye as it passes me up. The first thing that comes to mind is that this car must be owned by some cute black southern gentlemen. Back in LA, Chargers are almost always driven by a young black men. In LA, drivers of these cars can range from your neighborHOOD rich gangster to your young business exec trying to make his way pass the glass ceiling. I realize, years of music videos and other strategic advertising had effectively reached other parts of the world as well. I turn away before the driver can see me looking and continue to talk to Texas.

Texas: Hey ma, where are you sitting?
(I immediately get an attitude, in my head. Why the heck do you want to know, you aint even here, but I say nothing).

Texas: I was just kidding about being late I think I just passed you. (I get somewhat relieved that he was really there and that he also has a sense of humor.)

Texas: I am making my way back around now.

Me: What color car do you drive?

Texas: It’s a large black SUV

Me: Okay

A sea of cars continues to circle the terminal as I try to find his black SUV. I spot the smooth white Charger again. I realize that I must have been affected by marketing as well because this car is stunning and I can’t take my eyes off of it. The Charger stops right in front of me. I turn away from the car and continue talking to Texas and look for his SUV. The driver gets out and I notice out of the corner of my eye that he is a tall black man. I'm sure that the driver is probably fine as hell to match his car, but I still don't look his way. I know that Texas will be arriving any minute and I want to be ready. The driver stands there for a second and then he comes around from the driver side. I finally turn to face him. “Hey ma,” Texas says.

I put my phone away and go over and give Texas a tight gripping hug. We stand there for a while in each others arms with cars passing us by. I gently nudge him for lying about his car and we both laugh it off. We continue to stand by his car embracing each other. I try to savor the moment and begin to fantasize about the memories we will soon make. Damn he smells so good and it feels so safe to be in his arms. I am really here.

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