Airport stories (4)

The movement around me was unusual. People running around, stopping next to me, probably to talk about the accident. People cried as well, for their loved ones. Tears were running down my face for someone I just saw once, and changed a few messages (and a photo) on Tinder. I would never see Tobias again. He will never know who I am. Ever.

With my vision blurred by the tears, I saw his picture one more time. Spent a long time staring at that, trying to create that story that would never be. A romance that would never happen. It should be easy for me to leave that behind if he had dumped me, if he had given up the idea of meeting me, if the sex wasn’t that good, if the date was a disaster. If one of those things had happened, I would have moved on almost immediately. But in those circumstances, I felt stuck in that café, in that minute. What if the love of my life had vanished for ever in that plane? I couldn’t stop thinking of that while staring at the picture. The only I had.

Some TV cameras were around, reporters telling news about the tragedy, interviewing people. I tried to hide behind any wall, walked in circles with my cell phone in hand, and this movemente, plus my crying face, called the attention of one of the reporters.

“Excuse me, ma’am. Are you related to one of the victims?”

I opened my mouth, but I couldn’t say a word. My heart was beating faster. He saw the picture on my phone.

“He’s the pilot, isn’t he?”

“Yeah…” And that was the only word I could utter. The lights were already on, the camera pointed at me. I couldn’t run anywhere.

“Would you mind saying a few words about him?”

What? That was too much for me. I wanted to yell at that stupid guy holding the mic, I wanted to break the camera, but all I really did was cry and run away. My shame was broadcasted nationally, it was on the Internet within fractions of seconds. If I had hit the camera, I would have my thirty seconds of fame as a mad woman, but I soon learned I had became a symbol of all the young widows who had lost their lovers and all their dreams and hopes for the future in a crash. That wasn’t what I expected.

Things would become worse.

After that confusion in the airport and still crying, I left the place when a red car stopped next to me, and three people — a woman in her fifties, a teenage girl and a man around my age — thirty years old — got off the vehicle. The lady called me.

“Hey, lady!”

I stopped and looked at her.

“Yes, I am talking to you.”

“Do we…”

“We lost a precious man, my dear. My son and your… Your… Were you engaged?”

“Not exactly, madam. We were… Starting something.”

I should have kept my mouth shut and run away without looking behind. But there I was, getting into the red car with three people I’ve never seen before. Tobias’s mom, brother and daughter.