All Nonfiction Bullying Books Academic Author Interviews Celebrity interviews College Articles College Essays Educator of the Year Heroes Interviews Memoir Personal Experience Sports Travel & CultureAll Opinions Bullying Current Events / Politics Discrimination Drugs / Alcohol / Smoking Entertainment / Celebrities Environment Love / Relationships Movies / Music / TV Pop Culture / Trends School / College Social Issues / Civics Spirituality / Religion Sports / Hobbies
- Summer Guide
- College Guide
- Author Interviews
- Celebrity interviews
- College Articles
- College Essays
- Educator of the Year
- Personal Experience
- Travel & Culture
- Current Events / Politics
- Drugs / Alcohol / Smoking
- Entertainment / Celebrities
- Love / Relationships
- Movies / Music / TV
- Pop Culture / Trends
- School / College
- Social Issues / Civics
- Spirituality / Religion
- Sports / Hobbies
- Community Service
- Letters to the Editor
- Pride & Prejudice
- What Matters
The noises of people running and talking at the airport were buzzing in Jacob’s ear like annoying little bees, but all he could focus on was..nothing. He heard a mumbling voice, but couldn’t recognize it..
‘Can I have your passport please?’ asks the displeased employer. No answer. ‘Hello, are you going to give me your passport or not?’
“What? Oh..yea. Here you go.’ Jacob slowly hands her the passport, still gazing blankly into the air. The employer looked at the passport, then back at Jacob. ‘Oh, the picture is a bit old, but that’s me.’ The employer didn’t say a word, making Jacob think maybe the picture wasn’t the problem.
‘Okay, carry on now.’ she said while giving Jacob a little sheet. He took it, and ran up to his mom and and his brother Nathan. Jacob looked at his sheet. There was only information about him, and his picture. There was nothing to worry about, until he saw a little X. A little red X.
‘No no no, please. Seriously? Not this again’ Jacob whispered to himself.
‘Will the Lindland family please report to the front desk.” Jacob immediately looked at his mom.
‘You have the X as well?!’ he asked.
‘What did you expect Jacob? Unicorns and fairies?’ said his mother in a tired yet angry tone.
Emily, Jacob’s mom, grabbed Jacob and Nathan’s hand and walked to the front desk.
‘What’s the problem? she asked.
‘Hello, you must be the Lindland family? Don’t you worry, the situation is completely under our control. But first I need to ask you some questions..’ said the passport control officer.
‘This is unnecessary.’ said Emily.
‘I understand your concern Mrs. Lindland, but you need to listen to me. Where were you before you came here to Atlanta International Airport?’ he asked.
‘Paris.’ she said
‘Before that.’ said the officer in an irritated tone.
Jacob’s mom let out a slight sigh, before saying, ‘We were in Guinea, West Africa.’
‘Well, okay, listen. It’s 2014. Ebola is a big threat to us, especially where you’re coming from.’ Emily nodded slowly. ‘Guinea, is the most dangerous, so for now I’m just going to give you a mask.’ said the officer while giving Emily the mask. He took the family behind his office to some portable room dividers.
‘What’s this for?’ asked Jacob.
‘Well your mother has a mask on her face, and you’re being taken away from an officer, don’t you think people are gonna panic a bit? That’s exactly why we put these screens, so people don’t see you and get scared.’ said the officer.
‘Maybe I should be the one to get scared..’ mumbled Jacob. He looked at his brother. He was playing with his Batman toy, not understanding what was happening. He was 6 after all.
‘A doctor will now come and see you, but don’t panic, alright?’ the officer said while writing some paperwork for the family. Blue paperwork. Blue packets scattered all around the desk. They seemed to have tips on how to survive Ebola.
Minutes, maybe hours passed, and the so called doctor finally appeared. His face was full of wrinkles and disappointment. He was wearing a white shirt with jeans and a tie. Didn’t look much professional, but he seemed like he knew what he was doing. After taking a good look at Jacob and Nathan, he told the officer, ‘Look at this. Take a good hard look at this. You gave a mask to the mother but not the kids? Oh yea, let’s allow them to run around freely next time. It’s like I’m looking at a walking fungus!’
‘Excuse me?’ Emily said irritated.
‘I don’t get paid enough for this crap. Follow me!’ the doctor shouted.
The family was dragged in some kind of cell, and the only thing that the cell had was a toilet and a bench. It was disgusting. The smell of bleach and hand sanitizer made Jacob sick to his stomach. The cold room had walls made of metal, and he could see his own reflection. Jacob looked up, and saw his mother talking to some doctors, or whatever they were. They seemed like mad scientists, with their hazmat suits and face masks.
‘Do you feel sick?’ the doctor asked.
‘Yea, I do, right now, I am actually vomiting all around the place.’ Jacob mumbled sarcastically.
His mother looked at him angrily and then said, ‘No, we don’t feel sick. We’re fine.’
There was silence for a while, all that could be heard was the doctors writing on their sheets of paper. Their hands shaking, their forehead shining from the sweat, Jacob observed every detail. They were afraid.
‘Have you been vomiting lately? the doctor broke the ice.
‘No.’ Jacob finally said, ‘We are fine, we’re good. Can we please go now?’
‘Alright then, you can go.’ the officer finally said.
Nathan ran out first. Jacob and Emily slowly left the cell while looking at all the doctors. This was the least thing they could worry about now, because it was time. The plane was leaving. They were gonna miss their flight to back to Florida, to Jacob’s dad. Without even thinking about it, they started running, very fast. If they didn’t catch that plane, this airport was to blame.