Saturday, June 24, 2006

Romantic Memories, Episode One

The following is a true story from the Adventures of Allen and Angel.

Late May 1993. Angel and I were engaged at the time. She had passed basic training (U.S. Army) with flying colors and phoned me early in the morning to let me know she would be flying to Advanced Individual Training (AIT) in Arizona that day. She told me she'd be transferring through the Atlanta airport on Delta airlines and then the Dallas airport before going to Arizona. She also gave me the approximate flight times.

After I got off the phone, I was a bit sad because it would be some time before I'd see her (I'd wanted to go to her Basic graduation but it hadn't been possible). We had sent each other snail mail and had a few phone calls since March.

Then the craziest idea in the world entered my brain: somehow, I would meet her at the airport in Dallas!

I didn't have much time to plan. I called Delta airlines to find out her flight number based on the airport locations (including gates) and times. Then I had to determine when the flight would arrive in Dallas. I got that info, wrote it down and got in my car and started driving to the Austin airport.

As I drove, I thought "God, if you don't want this to happen, stop me now."

I got to the airport and purchased the first one-way flight to Dallas I could get. I would arrive at the Dallas airport with not too much time to spare. I literally had to run from one end of the airport to the other to find the right gate in time. I arrived shortly before that flight arrived.

Keep in mind, I had no idea whether this was the right flight or not. Even though the info seemed to match, it could have been another plane with different passengers!

I waited, nervous with anticipation yet also fearing a letdown if I'd miscalculated. Let's face it, this was a lot of money to spend if I was totally wrong.

The minutes passed. The plane arrived and passengers started exiting the plane. It seemed like an eternity, even though it was probably only 5 to 10 minutes.

And I finally saw her. My Angel. In military uniform.

She was the most beautiful sight in the world to me at that time (still is!).

In retrospect, it must have been quite a sight to others to see us together, though. Not merely an interracial couple but, at the time, I was wearing casual summer clothes (jeans and t-shirt) and had my hair past shoulder length. She was in standard military attire. And yet, there we were, a happy couple in love, delighted to see each other.

Actually, Angel looked like she'd seen a ghost when she saw me! It made it worth every penny I'd spent on my credit card. I had totally, utterly surprised her -- just as I'd hoped.

In the end, we got to spend a whopping 36 minutes together before she had to catch her connecting flight. Still, it was a total recharge to me. I hadn't seen her in nearly three months.

It was hard to leave her but I had my satisfaction. I'd accomplished my goal for the day. A total spur-of-the-moment act of utter lunacy -- and it'd paid off!

I purchased another one-way ticket back to Austin and had to zoom across Austin to make it to my (then) part-time job. I worked in happy exhaustion for the next 6 hours.

It was totally worth it.

This is the same woman I ended up marrying 11 years ago. The same woman whom I've had 2 sons with.

So, believe it or not, World -- LOVE lives!

13 years ago and it's still fresh in my memory.

I just thought I'd share it with you all.

Best Wishes,

1 comment:

Paula Manning-Lewis said...

How sweet and romantic! :)