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  • Writer's pictureelise

Chapter - 17 - He took care of everything...

It didn’t take much after the call from C for me to agree to go to Chicago. I was still nervous, but I had a plan in place. Two of my friends had access to track the location on my phone at all times (they still do, btw), plus I carried a back-up phone in case of emergency (Yeah, I know…I’m extreme, but no guy would suspect a second phone - take note, ladies). I had alerted the few friends I had within a state or two radius of Illinois that if they received any communication from me over the next week to get in the car and come get me… and with that, I decided I would go to Chicago.

We looked at the calendar and found a four day stretch that was perfect. He took care of everything. Tickets, hotel and a FULL TRIP ITINERARY including times, and locations plus an alternate list in case something wasn't to my liking.

I had to work really late the night before the trip which was a blessing and a curse. It was good because I couldn’t keep running every scenario through my head, but it was tough because he bought the first flight out which meant I wouldn't get much, if any sleep that night.

In the 3 weeks prior that we had been talking and getting to know each other, I realized that we would sometimes say goodnight around 12midnight or 1am and at 5am or 6am at the latest he would be saying good morning to me via text. Around 8 or 9am I would receive the message and that’s when I realized I was dealing with Superman aka a human who only requires 4-5 hours of sleep and can still function at an optimal level.

He knew that I did not function well on 4 hours of sleep and that was the maximum I was going to get due to work and the flight he booked so he decided to book me first class. I played it cool and didn’t say anything at first, except, thank you. Then he chimed in and said, “I figured you would need to sleep on the plane and the only way to do that is in first class.” (Clears throat) “Yes, I concur, thank you.” I tried to play it off as if I was used to this treatment and of course first-class was the only viable solution for lack of sleep.

My alarm goes off, it's morning already. I don’t think I slept at all. Maybe a few minutes, an hour tops. I put on my very cute yet causal, pre-chosen outfit of a classic white T, jeans that are suitable for flying and don’t look stretched out after sitting for a few hours, a couple of layered necklaces, some fresh new kicks and a trendy backpack, b/c well…I’m just that naturally stylish or at least wanted to seem that way.

According to his first date itinerary and time table, he was to arrive at the airport about 20 minutes before my flight. He planned it this way so that he could be waiting for me at my gate when my plane landed.

I get to the Philadelphia airport with plenty of time. I go to grab a little breakfast pre-flight when I realize that oh crap, my foundation splattered little specks onto my cool/casual (I didn’t try so hard) white T-shirt and I just now notice it. I decide to nix breakfast and head out on a search for a shout wipe.

Two gift shops later, I find the wipes and myself in the women’s bathroom blotting away. The makeup is gone, but the ring of the shout wipe, tbd. I wonder if he’ll care considering the night he met me an entire glass of wine followed by seltzer water was spilled then dabbed on my shirt?

I get on the plane. I feel spoiled. I’m in row 2. I’m glad I’m not in row 1, I’m not a fan of having to put my things in the overhead compartment, I prefer them at my feet. Am I really thinking these thoughts while sitting in first class right now? I have enough room in my seat for two of me. I have a complimentary champagne on my tray table and more leg room than I’ll ever need. Row 1 or 2 would have been just fine. Pull it together, Elise. But row 2 really is the best and I'm so happy to be sitting there.

I decide that I should try to get a little sleep. After all, I’m about to embark on a 4 day, 3 night first date, and I may not sleep at all. Then he'll see sleep deprived Elise and that could be the end of our love story.

I close my eyes and drift off. About an hour or so passes, I wake up. I’m a bit disoriented and I open my window shade assuming we are about 1/3 of the way there…I look out the window and I see…The Philadelphia Airport! OMG - we haven’t left yet. Dang! I was really hoping I would have time to get to the airport, run to the ladies room and freshen up prior to meeting him, but now…nope. Not a chance. Now I'm just running on a prayer that my long-wear makeup is going to do what it advertises.

I texted him that I was running late, the plane hadn't even taken off yet, and that I would just meet him at the hotel. This way I could freshen up and take my time. He said, ‘no way. I’ll be waiting for you at your gate.’ Dammit. Ok. He’s so nice.

Finally we take off. I think to myself, there’s no turning back now. I honestly can’t believe I’m doing this. I’m going through my checklist in my head. Friends tracking my location, check, hotel name and number given to friends, check, personal will in place and directions for what to do with milo in case of a bad situation, check. Ok - here goes.

I wonder if I’ll still like him when I see him? I’m very sensitive to energy, I hope his is positive. I wonder if he’ll still like me? I wonder if I’ll go home early, I’ve definitely gone home early from a date. You know early from normal dates, like dates where you grab a drink at your neighborhood bar. Not dates where you fly several states over. I wonder if we’ll click in person the way we do over FaceTime? I wonder about everything…

We land. I check my makeup in my tiny compact mirror. I look at my shout wipe stain - I’m good to go. I pop in a piece of gum. I straighten my perfectly layered necklaces and I head off the plane pretending I'm confident and 100% ready for this date.

I exit the plane. I put one foot in front of the other until I've made it through the jetway and into the airport. I expect to see him right away. Where is he? I thought the plan was for him to be waiting? Why would he follow a plan with extreme precision up until this very point and then drop the ball? He’s had plenty of time to get to my gate. Did he not come? Did he send me here as a joke? Was this some sort of really mean prank...

Bam - he spots me...he swiftly walks towards me from my left...a smile, a hug and a passionate Hollywood style kiss. Oh, there he is…and he smells gooooooood.

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