The Other C-Word(5)

By: MK Schiller

“Uh, excuse me, but I think I may be able to shed some light on this…ah…situation.”

I didn’t see him approach, but heard the deep cadence of his voice. It was Mr Lip-Biting-Perfect Hair-Charcoal Suit himself. He appeared amused by my distress. I gave him a ‘get out of my business’ look and narrowed my eyes, but it only made him laugh. He asked the TSA agents to step away with him, while I was left with Mr Randy, the crazy lady and the one remaining agent.

“Mr Randy, I’m sorry about this,” I apologised, placing my hand on the old man’s shoulder.

Crazy lady batted my resting hand right off him. “What the hell is wrong with you? You should be ashamed of yourself for trying to kidnap a senile old man.”

My mouth gaped open as I stared at the older gentleman in front of me, whose smile didn’t falter. “He…uh…he…told me he’s Mr Randy,” I stammered.

“I am dear. I always thought you Americans were very friendly, but this is quite marvellous.”

My brain felt like it was going to crack. I stared at all the TSA agents talking to Charcoal Suit. A tiny trickle of sweat rolled down my brow. Am I going to jail? Kidnapping was illegal, but was it more criminal if you did it at an airport, like how stealing mail from the post office was a federal offence?

Finally, Charcoal Suit and the rest of the TSA agents joined us. Everyone in the airport was still staring in our direction. It didn’t help matters that Charcoal Suit and the TSA agents were laughing boisterously as if they were in a high school locker-room, sharing a private joke. Some of my fear dissipated, replaced with sudden irritation.

“This has been a misunderstanding,” the oldest, balding TSA agent explained. “Everything’s fine so we’ll all go our separate ways.”

“She kidnapped my father!” Crazy Lady barked at him. TSA man number one, who appeared to be in command, gave her an admonishing look.

“She didn’t leave with him, ma’am, so all’s well. And as for you, young lady”—TSA man couldn’t even say it with a straight face. He started laughing, causing a rippling effect among all the men, including my fake Mr Randy—“don’t let me see you in here again trying to abduct someone.”

“But…but…he said he’s Randy,” I stuttered, resulting in a new chorus of rambunctious laughter. I glanced at Crazy Lady, wondering if we had some kinship since we were the only ones not laughing. These men were laughing at us…no, technically their laughter was aimed at me. Crazy lady was just too indignant to join them.

“I had thought Americans were more prudish than us, but you’ve proven that wrong, dear,” the fake Mr Randy said, which ignited yet another round of rowdy laughter.

“I’m Randy…or Mr Randy…Mr Richard Randy,” Charcoal Suit said, smiling widely. I wanted to wipe the smirk right off his face.

Everyone eventually dispersed after a few more crafty jokes that I didn’t get, despite being the butt of them. Even the fellow airport travellers returned to their affairs, and I found myself left alone with the real Richard Randy. For some reason, The Real Slim Shady by Eminem popped into my head.

He tried to feign a serious expression, but was unable to freeze the curling at the corners of his sexy mouth.

“It’s nice to meet you…Ms Carver?” He held out his large hand. I was embarrassed, confused, but most of all completely pissed off. I limply clasped his hand. He tightened the grip and pulled me a little. It felt like a challenge of sorts, so I tightened my grip in response. I narrowed my eyes at him and pasted a tight smile across my face.

“She couldn’t come. I’m Marley Mason. Follow me. My car’s in the parking structure.” I walked with a hurried clip. I didn’t offer to help him with his luggage or pull my car around for him. He was young, capable and most of all, pompous. He could deal with it.

“Hey, wait up. Come on, you have to admit that was funny. Surely, you’re not mad at me, Marley Mason,” he said, jogging slightly to catch up with me. A slight shiver had coursed through my body when he’d said my name with that masculine voice of his. I ignored it and let my Louboutins do the talking. Their clipped sounds conveyed my nonverbal message perfectly.

As we neared the car, it occurred to me how stupid I was being. Honestly, I had no business being hostile. Whatever happened wasn’t his fault, it was mine. In reality, he probably helped me avoid arrest or at the very least, airport detention.

“I’m sorry. I’m not really sure what happened in there.”

He smirked again, keeping stride with me. “You don’t know? Really?”

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