Slice of Life Challenge Day 15 #sol18

A fleeting friendship . . .

“I wonder if we’ll actually get to take off at all today?” I mused aloud.  The woman next to me clutched her small, rolling suitcase handle and smiled.  “Hopefully!” she responded.  We now finally stood in the bridge ramp after several different delays had been posted, causing passengers on this flight to stand up, sit down, line up, re-line up… hopefully this time would prove to be the actual boarding.

In the moments that followed, I learned that the woman I was speaking with was a trainer of teachers.  “I am, too,” I told her.  She nodded.  We both had been forced to reschedule our flights.  Now, she was on her way to see a friend in Newark, New Jersey.  “Then I’m driving home to Massachusetts tomorrow,” she told me.  After boarding the airplane, we took our separate seats.

Following a successful flight from Portland, Oregon and a relatively gentle landing in Denver, Colorado I stepped off the plane, eventually finding my way to an airport Jamba Juice.  Studying the departure monitor, I learned my flight would be departing out of gate C12.  As I approached that gate, I saw the woman again.  “Hey, how was your flight?” I asked her.  In this second conversation, I learned that she worked with high school teachers, training them in a social studies program.  While in Oregon, where we had just been, she had stayed in the Columbia Gorge Hotel, but actually presented in the beautiful Skamania Lodge.  She was married. Her kids were grown.  After boarding the airplane, we took our separate seats.

After touching down in Newark and deplaning, I glanced around to find directions to baggage claim.  Making my way through crowds of phone-fixed travelers, I eventually found my way down an escalator to a large, metallic conveyor that would soon deliver my suitcase.  After waiting around five minutes, I saw the woman.  I approached her once again, “Everything go okay on that flight?” I asked.  She smiled, “Yes.”  I learned that the friend she was meeting was an old friend. One from college.  They hadn’t seen each other in a long time, and this friend only lived fifteen minutes from the airport.  Tonight they would go to dinner.  She looked forward to this rare visit.

And then her bag arrived.  She said good-bye.  I said good-bye.  It was nice chatting.

And she headed out the door to meet her friend outside.

I will never see her again.  This single-serving friend. I didn’t even get her name.




Author: Lanny Ball

For more than 29 years, Lanny has taught, coached, presented, staff developed, and consulted within the exciting and enigmatic world of literacy. With unyielding passion and belief in the possibility of workshop teaching, Lanny has worked to support students, teachers, and school administrators around the country in outgrowing themselves as both writers and readers. Working first as a classroom teacher, then as a coach and TCRWP Staff Developer, Lanny is now a literacy specialist, working and living in the great state of Connecticut. Outside of literacy, he enjoys raising his three ambitious young daughters with his wife, and playing the piano. Find him on this blog, as well as on Twitter @LannyBall. Lanny is also a former co-author of a blog dedicated to supporting writing teachers and coaches that maintain classroom writing workshops,

7 thoughts on “Slice of Life Challenge Day 15 #sol18”

  1. I always like to meet people at airports – it reminds me just how big the world is! Love how you invited us into the conversation — it is like I was there without the hours of delay!

    Liked by 1 person

  2. “Single-serving friend” is my favorite line, as well! How serendipitous to meet up with each landing. I could see this encounter as part of a fiction piece in the future…or perhaps another chance meeting?

    Liked by 1 person

  3. I think these chance, “single-serving” friendships are one of the things that make life so exciting. An impromptu conversation may make someone’s day. Who knows? Your brief friendship seemed meant to be as you had several encounters with her during your day.

    Your writing style is so interesting. You have a great balance between telling, action, and dialogue. I’m working on getting there. Thanks for the slice and the window into your new friendship.

    Liked by 1 person

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