I have never missed a flight before. To me, it was incomprehensible. Until the day I almost missed mine.
I had arrived in London the morning before, was brought around to different places within a few hours. Saw the London Eye? Check. Took pictures outside the Buckingham Palace? Check. Walked in the rain? Check. Went to Camden Town? Check. By the time evening rolled around, we were both tired and opt to order in Indian food. Besides, it was raining heavily and it was freezing.
My friend had set up a queen sized inflatable bed right behind her couch. On the couch, she and her boyfriend sat there and watched a scary movie. I huddled under my blankets. Just before I fell asleep, I remembered telling myself to set my alarm.
My friend’s apartment was along one of the stations where the Heathrow Connect stopped at. I had calculated my time to make sure I had just enough time to make it to the airport just before the bag drop/security deadline. It was an early morning flight and being a night owl, there was a slight chance that I might wake up late. So, of course, I had to set my alarm.
Then I fell asleep. Without setting my alarm. The next morning, I shot up from my bed. I gasped and picked up my phone. The train would be pulling out from the station at that very moment. It was okay, I consoled myself. I would just catch a cab to the airport. Rushing through my morning wash up, I grabbed my jacket, strapped on my bag and left the apartment. All was quiet.
I walked along the streets, looking for a cab. There was none. My heart started pounding faster and faster. I didn’t know what to do. I had no data connection to book a cab and the last thing I wanted was to walk all the way back to my friend’s apartment, knock on the door, wake her up and ask her for a solution.
I saw a MacDonald’s ahead – ah, perhaps they had wifi. It was one of the only shops open early that morning. I stepped into the McD and tried their wifi. Not working. At that point in time, I was resigned to the fact that I might just miss my flight to Iceland altogether and was already thinking of other places I could go to.
I went to the counter at the McD and asked them if the wifi was working. It should, they replied. It didn’t. I stood in McD…wondering what I could do. Then I saw a guy sitting at the corner eating his breakfast– a nice looking black guy in the suit and scarf with earphones plugged in. I approached him.
He removed his earphones, “Yes?”
“I was wondering if you could help me…my flight will be taking off in about one and a half hour’s time and I can’t find a cab. Do you know any way to book a cab? I don’t have any phone connection.” I tried using my most pathetic voice and added a tremor.
“Sure! I have this cab company I always use.” He immediately started dialing.
A few seconds later, he got the call through and told the operator that he needed a cab – location? The McD. Then he lowered his phone and asked me for my number so that the cab driver could call when he arrived. I didn’t have a number. He just gave a moment of hesitation before giving his own phone number.
“Alright, the cab will be here in about three minutes.”
I collapsed on a chair.
“Thank you so much!!! You’re my angel. Can I pay for your breakfast as a thank you?” Yes, I actually told that guy that he was my angel. He laughed and told me that it was not necessary to pay for his breakfast. He also told me that he had been in these type of situations before and he wished that there was someone to help him.
A few seconds later, he got a call from the cab driver. He ditched his breakfast and walked me out of the McD and found the cab, told me good luck and we said good bye.
I sent a message to my friend when I arrived at the airport and hooked on to the wifi. She later told me that she had also set her alarm so that she could wake up and tell me good bye – but her alarm died that morning. She also said that I should have woke her up so she could call a cab for me. But everything worked out well…thanks to…
My angel in a suit.