The plane had just taken off. His mother had just died. These are some of the things that had Adam depressed that day. He sat there, in the California airport lounge, watching the plane carrying his father disappear into the sky. A man that claimed he needed time alone to mourn the death of a woman he never really showed love to in the last five years of their marriage.
A lady dressed in a wonderful black dress came and sat next to Adam.
‘Why the long face?’ said the lady to Adam, ‘you are too handsome to frown.’
Adam blushed a little inside. Being a middle-aged man living with his parents didn’t really help his love life. Seeing as he may have a shot at the beautiful lady, he decided not to dump his depressed-self onto her.
‘My flight was delayed,’ replied Adam.
‘No kidding, mine too,’ said the lady, ‘i’m headed to New York. Where were you flying to?’
‘I’m heading to New York too,’ replied Adam.
Deliriously slightly hypnotized by the lady and the psychological push to seek attention and love, Adam decided to lie. He wanted a new feeling. A happy feeling.
‘Guess we have the same flight huh? My name’s Emily. What’s your name?’
‘My name’s Adam.’
‘Nice to meet you Adam. Guess i’ll see you in New York. Take care.’
And the lady, now known to Adam as Emily, got up and walked away. And suddenly the trance was gone. But he couldn’t accept it, he was a depressed man hungry for his depression medicine. Emily provided that. In that short conversation, he felt something he had never felt before, something fulfilling.
Adam got up and rushed to the flight booking section. He identified the delayed New York flight and headed to the booth.
In a stroke of luck, he found an empty seat in 1st class. It was a once in a lifetime opportunity, so he complained about the price a little bit to the attendant but paid anyway.
In the plane, as Adam walked in, he peaked around but saw no sign of Emily. Maybe she’s in the economy class he thought. As he started his way there, he was intercepted by a flight attendant.
‘Sir, I’m going to have to ask you to make your way to the 1st class as we are about to take off.’
‘But, I wanted to…’ complained Adam.
‘No sir, it’s for your own safety. Please sir.’
As he sat in his seat, Adam began thinking about his time on earth. The highest point in his life was when he was valedictorian in high-school. But that was quickly short lived. You are only as good as your recent successes. And he had none. Blow after blow he suffered. He had to dropout of college to take care of his mother. She was diagnosed with terminal cancer. She tried to give Adam hope, always said she felt ok, no pain, she said. And now she was gone, and he was broken.
Maybe his silver lining had come. ‘Emily is the key,’ he thought. He knew it sounded deranged. Almost mentally insane, but he didn’t care. He just wanted a ray of light, of hope.
The plane was about to land. Adam was excited. Slightly sad about how low his life was, enough to follow a stranger to a city he had never been too, but still excited.
At the luggage area, he saw no sign of her. Maybe she didn’t have any luggage, he thought. So he went to the taxi area and waited there. For one hour, he waited, still no sign of Emily.
At the reception area, he asked if he could know if a lady named Emily had made it to New York in the flight. He was told that they aren’t allowed to give out manifest information. He begged and begged and even cried a little, the reception lady gave up and checked. She told him no one named Emily was on the plane.
Devastated, Adam went and sat at the lounge. Trying to understand what had unfolded. Was it all a figment of his imagination? Was he so desperate enough he had to imagine a friend? Was he becoming insane? Mentally unbalanced?
‘No. It was real!’ he affirmed himself, ‘it was real!’
He got back up and started making his way back home, back to California.
Emily pulled up to her California house in a cab. She was hesitant to get out of the car. She paused for a minute and then paid the cab driver and got out. In her house, mourners were everywhere. From the kitchen to her bedroom. Her husband was lying in a coffin in the living room. She was too depressed to stay. She wanted a happy feeling too, so she wanted to leave, leave it all behind. Then she met Adam at the airport, she lied to him, only for a new feeling. She wanted a happy feeling. Then she realized, no person can give you joy apart from yourself. So she came back, she came home. Her children needed her. She needed them. There are no rainbows and rose gardens, only the absolute of life, and what it brings.
At the Walmart, two days later, Adam saw Emily shopping. He was angry she lied to him. But seeing her again made him forget about that. He went and talked to her.
‘Hey, thought you were in New York?’
‘I could ask you the same question,’ replied Emily.
They both smiled.
They knew each other in a transcendent state. All was forgotten, they felt safe together, they felt alive. Maybe there is happiness after all. Maybe that’s all it takes for life to be meaningful. A happy feeling.