Last Call | Teen Ink

Last Call MAG

By Anonymous

     I stood alone, clutching my boarding pass and passport. My back ached with the weight of my bag; as usual, I had over-packed. Like a nagging mother, a voice echoed through the terminal looking for the owner of a particular car. I tried not to let the chaotic surroundings distract me.

After a few minutes of aimless wandering, I watched couples, families and businessmen casually stroll past. People who knew where to go. How I envied them.

My palms were sweating as I checked and then double-checked my ticket. I began to worry. My gate was nowhere in sight, and I had to board in ten minutes. Panic struck. I cannot get stuck in London! Frantically, I searched for attendants, pilots, newspaper vendors, anyone who could tell me what to do.

I felt vulnerable, like a lost child. I checked my watch. Only seven minutes. My pace quickened to a jog. My backpack bounced but I did not care. Getting on my plane was my only desire.

The conversations around me transformed into an irritating murmur. On the verge of tears, I nearly screamed in the middle of the relentless purgatory. Then I heard it, a voice that sounded like a symphony whose sole purpose was to soothe. In reality, it was an Englishman. He said to himself, "Oh, there it is, gate C21!" A jolt of relief surged through my body. I would make it.

To walk next to him, I slowed under the pretense of checking my watch. I mustered my sweetest, most helpless face, then turned to him, smiled and asked, "You wouldn't happen to be going to New York, would you?" He looked me over, smiled as a sympathetic grandfather would, and nodded.

We walked the rest of the way to the gate together. He told me that his daughter lives in New York, and he was going to visit her. While he spoke of his family, my thoughts wandered to my own. Although I did not want to admit it, I'd missed them. I love the thought of growing up, but maybe I have been rushing it too much, instead of enjoying the experience.

Although our meeting was by chance, it felt important to my growth as a young adult. Now I understand why I felt like a child - in many respects, I still am one. I love to play, trust and wonder as a child, but know that I must act and think as an adult. To balance these two might cause some confusion, but I learned that it is always helpful to ask questions, learn from your mistakes, and, of course, smile.

Needless to say, I made it home just fine.

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