.Please Wait.

People file past me like drones, it’s almost one in the morning. Everyone seems put out, but no one reacts like me. With just a few families remaining at the gate, I crumble. Tears cascade down my cheeks and my heart sinks. My best friends wedding… I’m going to miss my best friends wedding. Trying to wipe away each tear that falls, I begin to look, and feel hysterical. After some soothing words from Sam, and many failed calls to my daddy, I pick myself up off the floor, that’s right, the floor, and decide to handle it like a big kid. I get my bag and insist they fly me through New Zealand to Brisbane. I will stop at nothing. I curl up in a ball on the floor, all hotels booked to capacity, and turn on “Hush”, the best Buffy episode of all time. I finally fall asleep and wake up to airport staff filing past me, politely ignoring my pitiful state. I get on the phone and call every hotel until I get a room. Lights out, movie on, and crash into bed.
I wake up six beautiful hours later and head back to the airport where I run into people from my flight, who are practically family. Two men, an Australian and a Canadian (who sounded Irish) are chain smoking outside and talking about the cloud of volcanic ash hovering over Australia. I join in and we trade stories about our night. Soon after a kind kid from Iraq asks if I’m alright. I’m basically the only one traveling alone and he had seen me break down the night before and “hates to see people cry.” This sweet teenager kept me posted for the duration on flight changes, open restaurants and closest bathrooms.
Finally it happens. I’m in line with the Canadian (who sounds Irish) and I book my seat. It’s not to Brisbane, but New Zealand is a hell of a lot closer than the states.
I board with ease and take my seat. As the flight fills up it becomes clear that the seat next to me is empty, score! Ten mintues later a flight attendant asks if I could move, they’re redistributing the weight on the plane. Fearing for my safety, I move, right next to newlyweds, who littered the flight with love and snuggles and I missed Sam so much I wanted to hit them.
It was dark for 15 hours. We chased the moon around the world and never once saw the sunrise. As we begin landing I realize, genuinely for the first time, I’m somewhere foreign. Even though it’s English, I don’t know what they are saying and just strain to catch the basics. In the airport, I want a latte, but do I need New Zealand currency? Ashley told me what a flat white is, but I don’t remember. What is duty free?!
So here I sit, watching the sun make an appearance, while my flight status says, “please wait”.


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