Episode 22: Cupcakes and Love Hugs

bakedwiredMonday, December 22nd at 7:23am:
Location: Diane and Chris at Reagan National Airport
Scene: Lots of people everywhere and moving in different directions.  Bags and luggage are strewn all over the floor.

“Oh my, are you ok!?” Chris was carrying my bag into National Airport and trying to hold my hands at the same time.  Go figure, it was kind of awkward and boyfriend/girlfriend-ish but I went along.  His masculine hands on mine provided the comfort and warmth of a pair of cashmere gloves. You could say I was literally warming up to him. My thoughts of other guys slowly drifted away on the wings of the cold wind as we walked through the doorway of the airport.  Upon entering we both stopped abruptly as if crazy glued to the floor. There were people everywhere like sheep in a pasture without a shepherd. As we looked on at the crowd, we heard a loud thud and sound of metal gliding across the floor. It seems like our unexpected stop literally threw a woman running from one end of the airport to the next for a loop. After her fall I helped her stand up while Chris searched for her glasses orienteering based on the direction of the earlier sound it made.

“This is not going to be a good day.” She started crying and slouched over like a teddy bear unable to sit up straight.  “My flight leaves in half an hour and I still have to wait in line to check my bag. My flight yesterday was cancelled. And now I am bruised all over.” At that moment Chris handed her glasses to her unscratched and with another apology. I was able to gather from her morning tribulation recounting how not to maneuver the checking-in process amid the gathering hoard.  Fortunately, Chris using his charisma to the utmost was able to get her to the front of the line. Thank goodness I had no bags to check or this was would have indeed turned into the longest day.

“Diane, here I got this for you.” As I completed checking-in at the kiosk, Chris handed me a white paper bag containing cupcakes from Baked and Wired in Georgetown and a venti Chai latte from the nearby Starbucks.

“So, that’s what was in the bag you took from the car. When did you have time to grab these cupcakes? They are my favorites.”

“I know. Grabbed them yesterday while you were packing and I had that quick ‘errand’ to take care of for the restaurant.” He said with a knowing grin.

“Well thank you. These will be much appreciated by me and the family.”

We walked together towards the security check point and as I entered the line we hugged and kissed goodbye.  Maybe I should go out of town more often.

Monday, December 22nd at 8:55am:
Location: Diane at her dad’s house in Boston, Massachusetts
Scene: Diane arriving home to her stepbrothers, father and stepmother. Ice and snow blanket the ground.

“Hey Dad, I am finally here!” I called from the driveway after my over priced cab ride home from the airport an unwelcome side effect of the ice storm.

“How did you get here so quickly? We were just about to leave for the airport”.

“The plane landed 30 minutes ahead of schedule and so I decided that I would save you a trip. Plus the charge on my phone is low. I’m outside so can you or one of the boys help with my bag?”

“No prob. Do you have enough money for the fare”?

“Yes, I do.” I looked up to see him coming down the driveway with Sam one of my stepbrothers. Both bundled up in their goose down jackets, sweats and boots. It was clear as they moved in robotic fashion down the stairs and towards the driveway, that they had recently gotten out of bed.  They each grabbed one end of my bag trudging through the snow as I made a beeline to the house and a speedy trail to the fireplace enjoying the warm embrace of the emanating heat. I was surprised the room was so fully decorated with both a Christmas/holiday tree and a Jewish Menorah.  I then said hello to Carmela, my stepmother.  As usual she was bent over the stove. I noticed the flavorful smell of her ropa vieja bubbling through the room. We hugged and although she was all of 5 feet and I had to stoop a little to fully get my arms around her torso she gave the feeling of home that had been missing from our lives since the death of my mom.

“It smells good in here! I like the tree.”

“Yeah. Your dad and I decided to be more traditional this year even though we won’t actually go into the religious celebrations.” I opened wide as she placed a spoonful of sauce and meat in my mouth.

“That’s really yummy.”

“Buzz, Buzz.” That must be my phone, probably Cindi or Jaz.  We were all heading to our respective family homes for the holidays.  Whoa! It was actually Chris.

“Hey! How’s it going? I just arrived home.”

“Glad to hear that. Gee Diane thanks for calling and letting me know.”

“Darling, I’m so sorry. I was so focused on making it home safe and fast since there was ice everywhere that I did not even tell my dad until I pulled into the driveway.” I was not used to hearing him so concerned.

“Well I am happy you are ok. I just wanted to make sure that you arrived safely. The meteorologist mentioned that that ice storm should be getting a little worse.  Well, take care. Let’s talk later.”  As we hung up I turned to see Carmela staring at me.

“So, who was that?  Sounds like he is really worried about you, missy.”

“Ummm, maybe.”

“Well, go change into something more comfortable and come back down so we can talk.”

“By the way, here are some cupcakes my friend gave me this morning. You will really like them.”  I left the bag on the counter top and ran upstairs thankful to have some time away to clear my mind of all that happened this morning.  I was still afraid to let my guard down with Chris. Getting hurt was never fun.