Boarding Pass (Finalist 2013)
Robin Densmore Fuson
Crystal couldn’t find it. Panic seized her as she dumped out her bag on the seat next to her. Rummaging through everything for the third time, she finally admitted the boarding pass was not there. What am I going to do? Where did I lose it? Did someone steal it?
Okay, calm down. Involuntarily, she heard her mother’s voice, “Retrace your steps.” Tears stung her eyes. Quit thinking about mother! She blinked rapidly and squared her shoulders. Where did I last see it? I had it when I went through security. I remember putting it back in my bag. The train was crowded. I wonder if someone slipped it out of my bag. In the restroom I hung my bag on the back of the door. I don’t remember seeing it when I paid for my coffee. Somewhere between security and here…
Crystal discovered it was missing a few minutes ago, when she heard the flight attendant over the loud speaker say they were starting to board. That is when her frantic search began. She was willing herself not to cry. Little things like this had been getting to her ever since her last visit with her mother. She was handling the big things alright, but the smaller ones would tip the scales. Still rummaging through her bag, she slowly walked toward the counter.
A deep voice at her elbow said, “Are you looking for this?”
Crystal jumped and looked up into an amused expression on an otherwise kind face. Then, her eyes slid down to his hand which held a boarding pass. Frowning, she looked closer and saw it had her name on it.
“How? Why do you have my boarding pass?” Her mind reeled. Did he steal it? Was this a ploy? Is she in danger?
“Don’t worry, I didn’t steal it. When you were darting into the overcrowded train, right before the doors shut, your pass slipped out of your bag on your shoulder. The train took off and the back draft lifted your pass. I was able to retrieve it, but had to wait until the next train. I was relieved you remembered your gate number so I could find you.”
Crystal tentatively reached for the pass. He relinquished it easily. She didn’t know what to say. It was plausible and yet…”Thank you.”
He bowed slightly, “You are welcome. You look a little alarmed. I can assure you, I am perfectly harmless. Crystal, I prayed I would find you before you were in a panic. I see I arrived just in time. Here is my card. God will go with you as you visit your ailing mother.”
Crystal was too stunned to do anything but watch him as he turned around. How did he know about mother? Her eyes went down to the card in her hand.
On the Lookout for Those in Need
Crystal’s eyes flew to where his retreating form should have been, but he was gone. She felt strangely comforted as she boarded her flight to see her mother one last time.