Window Seat – short story

Depth – the Daily Prompt

After a few days away in San Francisco (Half Moon Bay Ritz-Carlton for work, to be exact), I’m back and ready to do some blogging!

Allie opened her travel journal to check a few things.  She’d been carefully curating destination brochures, receipts and other memorabilia.  After 10 years at her job, this was going to be the trip of a lifetime.

“Excuse me,” she said, “I booked a window seat.”

“I’m sorry miss, all we have available is aisle seats.”

She frowned.  “Can you please check again?  I should be getting a window seat.”  She stared impatiently at the gate agent.  Even after double checking, there were still no window seats.

This was her 10 year trip and the flight was going to take a whole day.  Allie briefly contemplated cancelling her trip over the mix up, but that seemed pretty extreme.

But for just a second, she considered it.  “That’s too bad.  If a window seat opens up, can you please make sure you move me into it?”  The gate attendant agreed, knowing the seat assignment mistake had been their fault.

The flight from New York to Hawaii was a long one.  And with the time change, Allie knew she’d be exhausted when she arrived.  She put on her headphones and closed her eyes, hoping to get a few hours of sleep.

Allie’s blond hair was frizzy from the humidity, which also made her clothes feel heavy against her tired skin.  She dragged her feet towards the stairs leading to baggage claim E at Honolulu International Airport.  She stumbled on the first stair, just catching herself before toppling head first.  She lugged her grey suitcase off the carousel, stepped out of the airport and crossed the street to the Taxi area.

“Take me to Ala Moana Beach Park, please.”  The cab driver loaded her suitcase into the trunk of the car, and in his kind Hawaiian voice said “Of course, pretty lady.”

The park was about 15 minutes east of the airport. She knew it well, and had been many times.  As he pulled up, she instructed him where to stop.  “Do you mind waiting for just a couple minutes?”  He agreed, and she grabbed her purse and bolted towards the water.

It was more like a swimming pool than the ocean.  She knew that coming in, which is why she chose this beach.  It was late, and she was tired.  At least here she knew there probably wouldn’t be any sharks or jellyfish.  She dipped her toe into the water.  It was warm, like slightly cooled bath water.  Refreshing.

She set her bag down on the sand, and stepped out further into the water.  The bottom of her jeans were splashed by the gentle waves.  She rolled them up higher, and took a few more steps.  She looked around, chuckled to herself, and ran full steam ahead, into the depths of the swimming area.  Fully clothed, she jumped out into the water and held her breath for a few moments.  Her stress faded away.  Her tiredness melted.  She was instantly re-energized.

She returned to the cab; the only thing about her that was dry was her bag.  The cab driver looked at her, confused.  “It had to be done,” she said lightheartedly.

“You haole girls are strange,” he mused.


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