We'll Always Have Providence
Finn Davison disembarked from the plane, used the airport men's room, and then went in search of his gate for his connecting flight home. Once located, Finn took a seat in his gate waiting area and checked his phone for messages, killing time during the layover.
Airports are a great place for people watching and Finn periodically scoped out the people passing by – business people heading for their next flight, families coming or going, young couples walking hand in hand, airport cleaning folks and other workers going about their duties, airline pilots and crew making their way to their next assignment. He liked considering where people were heading to and what their story of the day might be.
Finn glanced across the terminal to the gate waiting area on the other side of the wide aisle and he noticed a woman sitting in a chair facing him. She was staring at him and that caught him by surprise. Feeling self-conscious and uncomfortable, Finn looked back at his phone but every time he glanced her way again he saw that she was still looking at him. Finally, she lifted up her arm and gave him a timid wave of recognition and all of a sudden it hit him like a ton of bricks. He was looking at Lindsay LaLonde.
Talk about accidentally finding a needle in a haystack. What were the chances!? Finn couldn't help but grin as he grabbed his satchel and left his gate area, taking a seat next to the smirking Lindsay who watched him approach. She was wearing a professional blue pantsuit and attractive jewelry. Her hair was still brown but the style was much different – curled and shorter instead of long and straight like the old days. There was a large leather pouch by her feet and she had a phone in her hand. Finn noticed the wedding ring on her left hand.
"Of all the gin joints in all the towns in the world, she walks into mine," Finn quipped, quoting Bogie as Rick Blaine in Casablanca.
Lindsay laughed. "Small world, huh?"
He glanced at the flight info on the board behind them. "Atlanta?"
"Heading home from a meeting in Milwaukee," she said. She gestured with her chin to the flight board info on the wall at his gate. "Hartford?"
"Coming back from a conference in Dallas," he explained. "I'm a manager for a national candle company in Blue County, Massachusetts."
Lindsay nodded with understanding. "I'm a consultant for a PR firm," she said.
"You re-married, I see," Finn observed, gesturing toward her hand.
"Yes, a nice guy about ten years ago," she said. "I've got two-step daughters."
"And how's your daughter doing?" Finn asked. "Alison."
Lindsay smiled with appreciation. "Thanks for remembering," she said warmly. "She's married. Lives in South Carolina. Has a daughter."
"Wow, Grandma!" Finn laughed with delight. "Congratulations."
"Thanks," she grinned. "Everything's going well. And you?" She asked, pointing to the ring on his hand.
"I married a local girl," he said. "We've been together for about eight years, married for five."
"Good for you," she said. "I'm glad you found someone."
"She's a nurse."
"My hubby runs a trucking operation."
"When does your flight board?" Finn asked.
"About a half hour, I think," she answered.
"I've got about forty minutes," Finn noted.
"I never thought we'd meet in Baltimore!" Lindsay laughed.
"It's a long way from Providence," Finn agreed.
"What's it been, twenty years?"
"Almost," Finn remarked.
"A lifetime ago," Lindsay sighed.
"This is definitely unexpected," Finn admitted.
Lindsay laughed in agreement. "We could have pretended we never saw each other, I suppose," she said.
"That would have felt worse," Finn said.
Neither said anything for a long moment.
"We found something together we didn't even know we were looking for," Lindsay said.
"It surprised both of us," Finn said.
"I was a mess," Lindsay volunteered. "You don't have to sugar coat it, Finn. I was ready to jump out the window and you gave me a reason to live."
"You look very nice," he told her.
"You mean I look well," she said strongly.
"That too," he said quietly.
"And look at you all dressed up," she said, glancing at his shirt, tie and suit coat (although he was wearing jeans too).
"I had a breakfast meeting in Dallas before I left," he explained.
"Why did you come sit with me?" Lindsay asked.
"But why did you?"
"It would have been rude not to."
"But did you want to?" She tested.
"Yes," he said. "I wanted to."
"You were always swooping in to rescue me," she said.
"Not this time," Finn noted.
"No, not this time," Lindsay agreed. "I suppose I finally saved myself."
"You would think after all this time I'd have something important to say," she sighed.
"I'm glad things turned out well for you," Finn said earnestly.
"I didn't think I'd ever see you again," she admitted.
"It's not wrong that we have," he said.
"I know," Lindsay said. "But when married people run into their former lovers, it can be awkward."
"This is the first time for me," Finn quipped.
Lindsay laughed. "Me too," she said with affection.
"Wouldn't it be nice if we could go somewhere else?" He said. "We're in the Baltimore Airport, you heading for Atlanta, me to Hartford, but in theory we could board any flight to any city we wanted."
"No we couldn't," she said realistically.
"It's fun to fantasize though."
"Yes," she agreed. "But why?"
"To be romantic," He decided. "To make for a happy ending."
"We already got our happy endings," Lindsay said.
"Maybe this is an epilogue," Finn offered.
"We're not supposed to be tempted when we're married people," Lindsay warned.
"It's the past that's tempting us," Finn told her.
"Maybe you should go sit where you were," Lindsay suggested. "Maybe this wasn't supposed to happen."
"You waved," he reminded her. "It was supposed to happen."
"Why?" She asked. "What's the point?"
"Closure," Finn said. "In Baltimore. During a half hour layover."