The Other C-Word(4)

By: MK Schiller

I needed to concentrate on my task. I looked down at the paper in front of me. I could make out some of, but not the whole name. There was definitely an R in his first name, a U in the next and the last name clearly spelt Randy. I sighed in frustration and flipped over the stiff, ripped email. I scrounged in my purse only to find I didn’t have a pen. How am I so unprepared that I don’t have a flipping pen in my purse? I have three kinds of lipstick, but no pen? I decided to MacGyver it. I chose the coral pink lipstick, the colour I wore the least, and wrote on the back of the paper R U RANDY in big block letters. I stood next to the limo drivers, who all had proper boards with their passenger’s names clearly written. A few looked at me perplexed, but I just smiled and held up my stupid makeshift sign.

It didn’t take long for an older gentleman with a sweet smile to approach me.

“Yes dear, I am,” he said, in a British accent, pointing to my sign. I tried to hide my surprise at his appearance. I’d thought this consultant was a whiz kid, not a gallant grandpa. The man in front of me had to be in his sixties. Then again, the man I was picking up had a strong reputation for business acumen, so it would make sense he’d be older. In addition, he was British and the Brits were very smart in my summation. James Bond was a Brit after all.

“Hi, you’re Mr Randy?” I asked brightly, taking his hand.

“Yes I am.”

“It’s nice to meet you. I’m sorry I’m late. I’m Marley Mason from Henley Inc.” I relieved him of his shoulder bag. Mr Randy appeared frail and I didn’t want him to strain carrying it. He had an amiable smile, which endeared him to me immediately. He wore a suit too, although it looked like it belonged in a previous decade, especially with the polka-dot bow tie. “Have you gotten your luggage, sir?”

“We don’t have to worry about that, dear. This won’t take me very long.”

I had no idea what he meant, but I assumed it was that Brit wit I always had trouble following. Besides, his shoulder bag was heavy, and it probably had clothes in it. The man was an efficiency expert after all.

“Follow me, sir. My car is in the parking garage, but I’ll pull it up for you.”

“Thank you, love. That’s very generous.”

He actually called me love! I put my hand over my heart. Maybe this wouldn’t be such a bad car ride. I found him adorable, in a grandfatherly way. Maybe he’d unleash some of that dry, Brit wit in the car. I doubted I would get it, since Monty Python confused me, but I’d pretend to find it humorous nonetheless, so I wouldn’t offend him.

He took my arm. It seemed like such an unexpected, courteous thing to do. We walked arm in arm towards the exit. We were about half way there when I heard the loudest, most cantankerous shriek echoing out behind me. “Dad, where are you?”

We kept walking, but some crazy, heavy-set woman was screaming out with headache-inducing wails. She was looking for someone, but I was in a hurry, and didn’t have time to be side-tracked again. As it was, Mr Randy was going to be late because of me. I almost dropped his bag when a plump hand reached for my elbow.

“What the hell are you doing?” It was definitely the owner of the screech, and she had a British accent too.

“Excuse me?” I replied in my offended tone. Unfortunately, my voice cracked at the last minute. I was a little freaked out by this woman manhandling me.

“Give me that bag!” she said hysterically, reaching for Mr Randy’s bag.

I held it tightly. “Look lady, I don’t know what your problem is, but you best get your hands off me!” My grammar really lacked when I tried to act tough.

I thought she was talking quite loudly, but when her voice raised a few octaves, it sounded like she was on a megaphone. “Help, kidnapper! She’s kidnapping my father and stealing his bag,” she said to no one in particular.

Before I knew it, four TSA agents were crowding us, beckoned by her panicked cries. I stood helplessly, silenced by her crazy accusations. The deranged woman explained to the TSA men that I had attempted to kidnap her senile father. I looked at Mr Randy, imploring him to help me, but he just smiled at both of us as if this was a normal occurrence.

I dropped Mr Randy’s bag like it was a bomb—probably not the best way to discard a suitcase in the airport. “But…but…this is Mr Randy,” I kept saying, to which crazy lady responded that I was insane. I’m the insane one?

I looked around and my face burned. I knew I was ten shades of red from the realisation of the horror surrounding me. Every hurried businessman had stopped their multi-tasking. Children had stopped their temper tantrums. Parents had stopped paying attention to their children. Even the boyfriends had stopped kissing their girlfriends. Everyone was gawking at us.

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