I remember crying asking the Uber driver at 5:40 pm, “My flight is at 6:40 pm, do you think I’ll make it ?”. “Mmmm, an hour? Let’s see!” he hesitantly answered. That’s when it was confirmed I’d missed that flight. A huge gulp of “I told you so” made its way through my throat as he slowly turned towards the main Mwiki road, of course, he kept on driving.
So, I had been waiting for the longest time to make this trip. I had promised nothing would get in between my plans, not even my strict parents. I had saved up money. I was entirely sure this was going to be the best thing about my summer break. And you know things they say we do for love? I couldn’t relate to that the same time last year haha. Here I was trying to do those things “they” say we do for love.
The Uber driver turned towards the main road, right on, Nairobi traffuck was already on our case. Friends, Patrick was not even trying to speed up, you know as in I am not asking for some speed racing type of fast but “look like you’re trying to use your car fuel type of fast”. I texted my elder sister (who is always in the know of all my mischievous endeavours), I might even miss this flight, this guy doesn’t look like he’s in a rush and amechelewa (late).” I hadn’t even checked in online. Suddenly, his tire had some sort of issue. He had to make a stop at the petrol station because he needed to get air pumped in it. Guys, you know that moment umeloose hope hadi huwezi jam (you’ve lost you are unable to get angry), well that was my moment.
On the whole, ride headed towards Mombasa road, I kept on swearing I’d take a boda (motorbike) the next minute. Finally, I swore to take a boda when it gets to 6 if we were not at the airport entrance yet. How I expected that to happen, I cannot explain. Mercy sends me her blessings, “Nice then, tell me when you’re almost taking off then, you got this.” At the moment, that didn’t make sense. Patrick knew my situation and didn’t seem to want to help cause he wasn’t even driving, you know. At that same time, I was trying to check-in online to give myself some sense of false hope but when I tried clicking on that window seat the “check-in closed” filled my screen.
“Bro, I’m sorry. How much time do you have left?” Mercy asked. “None, I think I’ll just miss it and ask if they can put me on a morning one,” I responded. Guys, this is the juicy part! My mum had zero ideas that I was not coming home that night yet, so going back home with a packed bag was not an option yet. In two minutes, it went from I think the physical check-in is closed to I give up to check-in closes in 30 minutes and I only have 6 minutes and I am nowhere close, I actually give up. As I panicked, Patrick was quite silent, he was probably trying to avoid triggering any emotion that would cause rage (well it could never get there but I love to think I can ever get that angry haha). I shuffled through my documents; they seemed to like my closest consolation at that point haha.
Traffuck was still laughing at my trial, I got ready to ask Patrick to just turn back. All of a sudden I remembered, I could just call the airline front desk. All of a sudden, Patrick seemed to be in agreement with this decision too. Of course, they did not pick up the first call. On the second trial, Mary picked up and asked how far I was and Patrick said 10 minutes away. Mary responded I’m sorry Grace you won’t make it. “What? I won’t?” I repeated after her because Patrick had to be in the know. He asked what about 5 minutes? I asked Mary what about 5? I can literally see the aeroplanes already. She seemed sympathetic and promised to give me a call back in a few minutes, it must have been the distraught in my voice. Wallahi, I had no difference with a kuku imenyeshewa. (washed up)
Two minutes later, I was at gate security and I almost seemed to have made it. In Nairobi, before driving in, all passengers have to get down and go through security search. Only the driver is left in the car. Somehow, I escaped this (no more details). We headed towards Terminal 1A, both of us had smiles on our faces. Thank God, Mary got back to me right as I got down and I assured her I was right outside. “Mbona sikuoni ukikimbia? (why don’t I see you running) she responded. At that point, Patrick had the most genuine smile as he wished me a safe journey. I ran into an agitated waiting flight attendant who hurriedly gave me my boarding pass. I rushed through the security checks with no shoes, until I got to the tarmacked part.
I was met by a whole aircraft of people who had waited for this one girl to get her sh*t together. They probably thought I was a grown adult who could not manage to miss her business meeting that night, shock. I did not even look at anyone, I did not need to to see how angry they felt. I thankfully put my luggage under the seat, took off my jacket and texted Mercy. Made it, Nahema kaa mbwa (panting like a dog), yaani I was running. “Yesssss got that cardio in Mami, text me when you land,” she responded. I was very excited I had made the flight and I deserved this excitement.
I landed and my first phone call was to my mum, letting her know that I was out of the city for a whole weekend (no, it was not as easy as I am writing it haha). How that ended could be a whole novel haha. All I could promise you though is that that weekend was very perfect.
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