After missing my flight back home, being left by my sister, and letting the fact that we almost died soak in, I began to cry. A very nice security worker helped me cart my four bags from the curb without a charge. I stood blubbering my story at the counter of Delta Airlines. I wanted to get out of this mess as soon as possible, but they had no other flights going out that night. The earliest flights the next day were departing at 6am and 8am. Though the rest of my time in New York was absolutely incredible, this final experience made me want to flee as fast as I could. I opted for the 6am flight and the attendant booked my tickets free of charge. Now that’s a company that knows how to treat their customers!
I was given the “distressed passenger discount” at the Marriott that was .1 miles away from the airport. I was the definition of a distressed passenger. My makeup was all over my face from crying, and I’m sure my hair was starting to turn a shade of grey. All I wanted to do was get some grub and sit in my room alone. I felt embarrassed ordering to go at the Marriott bar, but I didn’t want to sit and eat with the old men that had scooted to closer stools since my time of arrival. I sat between these two cocktail-drinking men and pretended to play on my dead phone. I was in no mood to talk to anyone, let alone these geezers.
Peacefully, I ate atop my King bed. I instantly felt better than I had when I walked into the hotel. The bed was so comfortable, I felt as if I were lying on a cloud. Their pillows were just so fluffy that I couldn’t help but fall asleep within five minutes of tucking myself in. I woke up at midnight panicked that I had missed my flight. This dream could easily have been reality because I had forgotten to ask for a wake-up-call in the morning. I had my wake-up-call set for 3:30am because there was no way that I was going to miss my flight the next day. I planned on getting to the airport at least two hours ahead of time because I couldn’t have dealt with the stress of yesterday over again.
In the morning, I called the bellboy to help me take my belongings to the lobby. The day before, I thought I was going to be able to jump out of the cab, check my bags, and make my flight. My sister’s flight was scheduled 45 minutes after my flight, so I gave her all my cash in order to have her pay the taxi driver. She ended up being the one sprinting to her flight however, since I had already missed mine. I had forgotten to snag my money back from her in all the commotion, so I was stranded in Newark New Jersey with not a dollar to my name. I had no way of paying the man.
I felt guilty as I talked to the poor guy on the way down the elevator. I told him about my cab ride from hell, and I think he began to feel sorry for me. When we got to the doors of the lobby, I asked him meekly whether the hotel had an ATM so that I could give him some money for his troubles. He looked at me kindly and told me not to worry about it. He then pulled two crisp dollar bills out of his pocket and said, “Here’s this to pay the shuttle driver.” $2 seems so simple, but I was incredibly grateful and took the money in disbelief. Though I had let the horrible driver ruin my day yesterday, it was a new day. The faith I had lost, for a split second, in the people of New York City was restored. It was a great last moment to remember.
Alena Netia Horowitz