He felt bad doing it, he really didn’t want to pressure his benefactor, but Grant kept looking at his watch as they made their way to the airport. The traffic seemed to become more congested as they got closer. Somehow Grant just knew it would. At long last they arrived and it was close. Grant had only minutes to check in. He thanked the guy and offered him money, but all he got was a smile and an assurance that it was no problem. He said a quick thank you, grabbed his bag and ran inside.
As he raced to the counter he could see there was only one attendant on duty and a customer being waited on. He got there, breathless, and tried to calm his nerves as he waited. Finally the man picked up his carry on luggage and moved away. Just as Grant got to the counter the attendant put his hand up and answered the phone. He didn’t say anything, just listened and then put the phone down.
“Good morning, how may I help you?”
Grant handed over his ticket and the attendant looked at it and then frowned.
“I’m sorry sir, the gate is closed, this flight is about to taxi to the runway. You’re too late.”
Grant looked at his watch. “That’s impossible, it’s not leaving for two more minutes, I have to get on this flight!”
The attendant shook his head. “I’m very sorry sir, but the gate is close. I can try to get you on the next flight out.”
Grant could feel his face getting red. He wanted to scream, but he knew it was hopeless. He muttered something and grabbed his ticket off the counter and walked away. He slumped down in a seat and tried to make sense of it all. All he could think was that she had made this happen. She told him she couldn’t let him get on the flight and that was that.
Who was she? How had she done all of this to him? He couldn’t help thinking that if he only knew the answers he could accept that it had all happened. If only there was a reason he could understand. He got up and walked outside to get some air. He felt like the world was closing in on him.
After awhile he felt better and realized he was hungry. He needed to call his boss anyway and tell him he’d be delayed, so he went in search an open restaurant in the airport and got out his phone when he was finally seated. He called the office and was surprised that no one was answering. It didn’t seem right; there was always someone on the front desk. He dialled his bosses’ mobile number and got an answer after several rings.
“Hi, it’s me, Grant. Look, I’m sorry but I missed my flight and now…”
“Yeah, and now who knows when you’ll be able to get out of Boston. Hell of a thing, isn’t it? We’re all gathered around the television in the break room. Everybody is just stunned. How you holding up Grant?”
Grant felt confusion creeping in. “What…What do you mean, how am I holding up?”
Just then he looked up at the television set over the bar. His jaw dropped at what he was seeing. Everyone in the restaurant had stopped eating and was simply staring in horror. The news program just kept playing the video clip over and over. A plane flying into one of the Twin Towers in New York, followed by a second plane hitting the other one, smoke billowing from both buildings.
“Grant? You there?”
“Yeah…oh my god…is this for real?”
“That’s what everyone here keeps asking. By the way, what was the number of the flight you were supposed to be on?”
Grant couldn’t answer; the shock had taken him over completely. He hung up the phone and put it down, but it rang again immediately. He picked it up numbly and answered, not saying a word. He knew who it was.
“It wasn’t your time, Grant. There is something you have to do.”