It started with a kiss, a not so innocent kiss. I was searching for one night of comfort; she was searching for a lifetime of not remembering anymore. And we both found it that night... just not the way we had imagined.
I had met her in that classic meeting place for nameless couriers on their way to places they had never been before, the half-lit airport lounge. I had been lucky for this three-hour layover, a near empty bar and a bartender who knew how to make truly sour whiskey sour, without all the garbage, just a slice of orange set neatly the side. No peanuts, no Muzak, no mindless barkeep banter. Just me and my whiskey sour soaking in the sadness of too many past regrets. Just stacking British Airways coasters and flipping my 1942 Canadian silver dollar among my fingers back and forth - a skill I had picked up in a bar in Singapore.
Other then the soft light coming from the translucent blue plastic sconces along the walls and the amber glow of the back-lit bar, the only light was from the rather impressive glass wall that gave us half-drunk travelers a scenic look at the jumbo jets coming in and going out and the little luggage trains snaking all around them and among them. The simulated leather chairs, the brass plated fixtures were surely meant to give this very temporary place in life a much more substantial air. It failed to do so. It still felt half-price and over-worn. But I suppose that is the feel of international airports ... that very temporary place in life where people keep passing through.
I was on my third whiskey sour, considering whether I should order the fourth, when she walked in. I tried not to look but I did. She was wearing a confident grace in her step and a don't mess-with-me caution in her smile.