The setting again is the airport. I was standing in line to get my bag checked in when a voice behind me said “your shoe laces are open. “The stranger had a warm smile, he seemed quite playful, somewhere in his mid 40s. I told him I knew they were but I was trying to avoid bending down to tie them. That was our first conversation. He smiled again and told me he knew about those little lazy bouts we keep for a minute later..
We never got into chatting but stood in the line until I realized I had already checked in and all I needed to do was drop the bag at the baggage drop. I moved to the shorter queue in front of that counter, bag in hand, a backpack on my shoulder glued to my round of 2048 on my phone! However, when I looked up from my game later, I found that this line hadn’t moved an inch, courtesy some squabble between a passenger and the airline folks. By the time I dropped my bag, a voice from behind me says, “almost the same time” with a ring of mirth in his voice. Yes, my queue friend, as I had started to refer to him by now. I was amused! It seemed like some mini competition on his side.
As there was some more time for the boarding call, I walked into a store and headed directly to the part where there were Snowys in the form of stuffed toys in different sizes. “That’s just made for you, go pick it up?” I couldn’t help but smile. I asked him what he planned to buy, and soon both of us were walking around the store looking for little trinkets for his folks. While he stood at the billing counter satisfied with his purchase, I went back to pick up my Snowy. He walks past me again, saying “I’m done.. I beat you to the billing counter too.” This time, I felt a little annoyed but I wished him well.
I thought I had seen the last of him. But no, we met again at the chairs near the departure gate. He bought me a cup of coffee. This time round he sat down beside me and said, “you remind me of my sister!” I thought “cliche!” there we go again!!!
“Mine too is lazy to tie her shoe laces, is always playing games on her tablet and a big Tintin fan like you are. I hope you love coffee and chocolates” he finished offering me a cup and two long bars of Toblerone. By the time I was about to sip my coffee, they called for boarding. I did not meet him again on the flight or later after I deplaned.
Nevertheless, this stranger remains an amusing mystery.. I’ll always remember his smile, a smile that reached his eyes!
Source: Strangers on the go! 3