As I entered the airport's departure area, a big gust of wind slapped me across my face. I stood there frozen and speechless. I couldn't believe hours earlier I was wearing daisy dukes in Houston's tropical sun on my patio and now I could hardly stand outside fully dressed, insulated in a thick coat.
I was anxious and cold; it was my first time using a taxi, and I had never been to Chicago. The taxi driver arrived and noticed my dismay with the weather. As I got in and sat down I muttered, "Shit, It's freezing!" The taxi driver laughed it off and told me 37 degrees in the middle of December is considered a heat wave for this time of year. We engaged in small talk as he made the 30-minute drive to my hotel.
The week's weather forecast that made me appreciate Texas a little more.
When I arrived at the hotel, I wasn't impressed. Not sure if it was due to the hours of traveling or the horrible oceanic decor. I'm certain the designer had a futuristic blue abstract design in mind, but this was ridiculous.
I checked in with the front desk and collected the room key. As I was walking down the hall, I felt my phone vibrate. It was Donald, the guy I met on the shuttle bus with the gorgeous eyes and the great accent. I rolled my eyes as I looked at his text.
"How are you?"
I was feeling salty about the way we had departed each other at the airport. Hours earlier, I waited patiently for my new friend to exit so we could talk some more. However, he dismissed me by immediately B lining to greet a man in a black suit as I stood there waving like a dork trying to get his attention.
"Forget him," is what I thought as I lowered my hand and head. I ignored Donald's text for an hour. It was my payback to the airport departure and besides I planned to visit with an out of state coworker staying in the same hotel. We chatted about our new roles with the company and what we expected to happen for us in the future. I probably opened up to her too much since I was the only one drinking wine due to her being in AA. I told her about my life, meeting Donald, and how he ditched me at the airport for the man in black while she told me about her life growing up hitchhiking across the US.
I replied to Donald's text as I left the room. He quickly responded and told me he wasn't going to be in Chicago long and would return to Houston in two days. We text each other several times during our short Chicago trip and decided to meet for a date when I return to Houston.
When I arrived in Houston, I asked my mother if she could stay an extra night so I could have a date with the stranger I met at the airport. Mom always took a week of holiday when I traveled, and I knew that I didn't want to miss my free sitter opportunity. She was skeptical at first with a ton of questions. I explained to her that Donald would only be in town for a couple days because he previously made plans to return to Scotland for Christmas and New Year. Thankfully, she agreed to stay another night so I could have a date with Donald.
Enjoying the evening with mom and the kids after returning from Chicago.