[My same friend asked me “how is this Rosa thing going to end? You have to finish it up.” Soooooooo . . . .]
Rosa’s ticket was swiped at the gate. She walked down the jet bridge and onto the plane. Pulling her small suitcase – to seat 25-A. She pressed her carry on into the overhead compartment, adjusted her skirt – slid in and sat down. Closed her eyes. And breathed in. Out. In the four years they had been together, Alonzo had been demeaning, hurtful and at times physical. And often absent. There were sadly no children and – in the last three and a half years – no love between them. And now. San Francisco in some eighty dollar a night dive so Alonzo could leave her to smoke weed, gamble and heaven knows what. She shook her head ever so slightly, fastened her seat belt and glanced out the window. Seeing nothing. Rosa looked down at her left hand. She pulled off her wedding ring and dropped it in her purse. And closed her eyes again.
Ted Wingate was thirty years old. Almost. He was a graduate of a small Midwestern school. With a JD from a fancy law school out East. He was fluent in Spanish and French, blabbered in Mandarin and was a hotshot moving up the ladder of one of the “Big Law” firms. Heading to San Francisco for a meeting with senior partners and some of the orchids of Silicon Valley. 25-B he thought as he pulled his bag through the plane – his ticket clasped in his hand crinkled against the handle of his carry on. And he saw his seat. . . . next to a young woman. Whose eyes were closed. Her arm resting on his seat.
“Would you excuse me please?” he asked. Rosa jumped. “Sorry” she said and pulled her arm up. “Thank you” he said. He smiled at her. And she at him. “I’m sorry.” She waved her hand. “I was resting,” she offered. No – no worries,” he said.
The flight took off. And they began to talk. Conversation flowed. Like a gentle stream. As they approached San Francisco, Ted pulled out his business card. “I’m at the Hotel Nikko. Where are you staying?” Rosa thought of Alonzo’s credit card in her bag – “what a coincidence! I am too.” He leaned back and smiled – “I’ve got a ride waiting. We can share. Maybe dinner tonight?”
“That would be nice,” said Rosa.