On The Plane (5)

Natalie:  Isn't that like the expression, being caught between a rock and a hard place? No matter what he does, he can't win.

Steve:  Exactly. So it is much worse than being fired.

Natalie:  (Looking out the window.) Look! We're starting to descend. What a huge city!

Steve:  I'm sure you and your sister will have a lot of fun exploring it. Be sure to go to the art museum. Maybe you can get tickets to a matinee. Just incase, you run into any difficulty, here's my cell number. (Hands her card.)

Natalie:  Thank you for everything, Steve. I really enjoyed meeting you.

Steve:  Me, too, Natalie. (The plane comes to a stop) I'll walk with you to baggage claim, and then I'll wait with you until your sister comes.

Natalie:  You've been very kind, but my sister is late for everything... I don't want to delay you, Steve. (She appears nervous.)

Steve:  It's no problem, Natalie. I'm just going to take a taxi to the hotel. The meeting isn't until tomorrow so I have plenty of time.

Natalie:  All right. (She is anxiously looking around.)

They exit the plane, collect their luggage and walk outside. Steve sees his name on a placard held by a chauffeur. He tells the driver they will wait until Natalie's sister arrives. He does not want her waiting alone. The driver takes his luggage and places it in the trunk. Just then, Natalie's cell phone rings.

Natalie:  Hello. Where are you? Yes, it was a good flight. I met a very charming man. (Looking at Steve and smiling.) Chicken pox? I can't come to your house! A hotel? I don't have much money... that was very nice of him.

Steve:  Natalie? Is there a problem?

Natalie:  Just a moment. (She covers the mouthpiece and answers Steve.) Yes, my sister's children have chicken pox and I've never had it. Her husband offered to pay for a reservation for me at the Fairmont for two nights, then I guess I'll fly back home. (Talks into the phone again.) All right, I'll go to the hotel now. I'll talk to you later. Goodbye.

Steve:  Chicken pox? I never had that as a kid either. I'm sure you're very disappointed. Let me give you a ride to your hotel.

Natalie:  I'm a little bit dazed, I mean I don't know what I will do by myself for the next two days.

Steve:  Let me soften the blow a little by taking you to dinner.

Natalie:  Oh, Steve, you've done so much already, I couldn't…

Steve:  Couldn't what? You would be doing me a big favor. I hate to eat alone so I usually just eat in my hotel room. My cold, impersonal, lonely room. Do you feel sorry for me yet? (Laughs.)

Natalie:  You are so much fun! OK, I agree to have dinner with you, but I would like to freshen up first.

Steve:  It's a deal! We'll drop you off at the Fairmont and I'll meet you in the lobby at 8.

The driver takes her to the hotel where she registers and goes to her room. As soon as she locks the door, Natalie removes the cell phone from her purse and dials.

Natalie:  Hello, Heather. No, no problem. Everything went as planned.
Author: Torsten Daerr