There was a nasty little aftershock at 11.11 this morning. I laughed my head off.
Kim was packing, getting ready to head away for work. He’d been doing exactly the same thing on June 13 when the last big one happened. That changed his plans completely.
“It’s a sign,” I told him. “You’re not meant to go.”
“Nice try,” he replied.”I’ve got to.”
“I’ve got better,” I said.
I nearly pulled it off. He was hoping to grab a stand-by fare on Air New Zealand. He had one chance today, with only one flight in the discount time zone. An hour before takeoff there was nobody in attendance at the counter.
“Tick-tock,” I told him.”They won’t let you on. Let’s just go home now.”
“Thanks,” he replied.
“I’ve got better,” I said. “Just you wait.”
They opened the counter. She-from-Air-New-Zealand is very stressed. Sucks air between her teeth. “I’m not sure,” she says. “We’ve got only one seat left at this stage.”
“We’ll just flag it thanks,” I told her. “Don’t worry. Someone else should have it.”
“No we won’t,” he said.
“Nice try,” she said. “Have you got better?”
“I’m working on it,” I replied.
So we waited for a while, went back and checked for availability.
A different she-from-Air-New-Zealand frowns. Picks up Kim’s boarding pass. Something has clearly gone wrong. There is no room on the plane now. She makes a call, advocating vigorously on his behalf. “Just say ‘yes’,” she says.
“You’ve got the wrong script,” I hiss.
She ignores me, continues wheedling away. “Come on, I only need one – loosen up.”
Against all of my karmic instructions, the voice on the other end of the phone concedes. Kim gets his boarding pass. We head for our beautiful new departure hall. Only to hear “Air New Zealand wishes to advises that the flight you’re waiting for has been delayed due to the late arrival of the inbound aircraft …”
I smile at him ever so sweetly. “Hardly worth bothering now, is it? Let’s just slip out now while we’ve got the chance.”
He smiles back. “That’s all you’ve got, isn’t it?”
I sigh. “Afraid so.”
“It’s not going to work.”
So we sat and talked for a lovely extra stolen hour in the terminal. It’s so pretty there. The gantry roof showed off the pale blue sky and the wintry clouds. The sun was lovely. If you have to say good bye to someone you really don’t want to say goodbye to, it’s as nice a place as you’ll find anywhere.
And as planes do, his showed up, the crew boarded, the passengers followed suit, and with temporary goodbyes said I left to come home for an interview with 3 News, remembering to buy my son a birthday card for tomorrow’s 18th (gasp) on the way.
I had a text from Kim later in the afternoon. “We had another delay on the tarmac, looking for a non-existent passenger and their baggage. They discovered she had flown on the previous flight.”
I smiled. “You didn’t really think I’d give up on karma, did you?”
Kim will be back soon. We’ll cope. I was amused and delighted on arrival home to find the fire lit and the dog being well looked after by his son, who is shortly to head off to work – with my son.
And no doubt in the still of the night, I will see them both my son and his again, and most likely another dozen teenage boys as well. It could be a long night in the jiggly city. An 18th birthday is not something that comes around more than once a year. (I’ve figured out I’m going to have to start lying about my kids’ ages if I want to start lying about my own.)
One thing I know for sure is that in this little cracked house, there’s a whole lot of love to go around. I have pink roses on my kitchen table to prove it.
(EDITOR’S NOTE: PORTIONS OF THE DIALOGUE IN THIS BLOG MAY HAVE BEEN EDITED TO THE AUTHOR’S ADVANTAGE, KIM BEING MUCH FUNNIER THAN I. OR SO HE TELLS ME.)