I arrived at the airport late and literally broke into a run after the final check at JKIA for domestic flights. We were to leave for Lodwar for a CSR by the company I work for. I was panting and breathing heavily. My spectacles were misty from my intense breathing through my nose and mouth the last couple of minutes. Earlier on, I had come, but a complication arose where one group was to leave with one media personnel to cover the event. I volunteered my seat and decided to exchange flights. That was 7am. Lord did you see the selfless sacrifice I just made earlier? It better be worth it.
So this was second time in the airport, on the same day. After exchanging flights, I went to a friend’s house in Emba and slept, since the second flight was to leave at 12. I was now here, late and running myself silly in the airport. Passengers were already boarding. Hakuna kitu mbaya kama ndege ikuache. It’s better your lover leaves you, but a flight? That thing hurts bana. I was explaining frantically to the hostess checking the boarding pass. “I exchanged with a colleague on the morning flight. I am to use his seat.” I know I speak rapidly in a speed of 1000 words per minute and I could tell she and I were not understanding each other. Reluctantly, she let me proceed. A gentleman passed me and took his seat. I was holding the ticket and reading the seat numbers on the plane, my handbag hanging loosely. I was about to take seat 4A when the same man who passed me earlier called me, “Sit here, next to me. That seat has the emergency exit and those guys (he was gesturing at the hostesses) will soon be here bugging you.” He said with no greetings, but with a warm and inviting smile. I was still sweating. I dropped heavily on the seat next to him and removed my spectacles.
“You’ve had a rough day already.” He sighed. “God! And you speak so fast but your voice is soothing.”
Flirt alert. I wiped my specs and put them on, as if I use them to hear.
“Oh, you were saying?” I ask blindly, but I had heard all the words. I. Speak. Fast. But. My. Voice. Is. Soothing.
He smiled, “I am John. You are Patricia,” he said and stretched his hand. I obliged. Reading my face, he adds, “Oh, you told the hostess you are Patricia, but you’ll be using Nelson’s seat.” I give up and smile.
“You are keen, John.”
“Well, nobody can fail to listen to that voice.”
By now, ‘ladies and gentlemen, in case of… we will show you how to… unbuckle the seat, don’t panic and wareva’ were being said nonchalantly.
“You nervous?” He asked as we took off and held my hand. These things you never get used to. He could tell as I closed my eyes when it was taking off. After a while, he asked if it was my first time in Lodwar. I said it was. “Is that why you dressed so heavily?” He laughed. I had a trench coat on and suddenly felt dumb.
He wore spectacles too and was not blessed with thick hair. His forehead creased when he raised his brows.
“Promise me you won’t put on head phones, Patricia.” He says.
“Why would I?” I ask. He was intelligent and as we talked through the whole journey, he shade light on what exactly chicken gate scandal entailed. And at some point when he learnt I worked for a telecom company, he pretended to ask a genuine question, “Now, if I was your client, of which I am, and I know you’ll give me your number (Who doesn’t love confident men?), can I be calling to ask for clarity? Like if I have issues with my billing?”
I burst out laughing. “Who said I’ll give you my number?”
That is how I met Dr. John, who works in Kakuma Refugee camp. Well, dear God, true to your word, when you do generous acts, like sacrificing your seat, you looked from the throne with your love and gave me the love of my life”
Thank you *Patricia for the story