Spring was in the air and, with a light-hearted swish, Brad closed the car door, thanked the friendly Uber driver and headed towards the International Departure doors. He had done a good job of packing and he found it a breeze to wheel his small carry case towards the check-in department. His only other luggage was a neat black shoulder bag containing all he would need on the first leg of the flight. The overwhelming happiness, thinking of what was in store for him, made him want to whistle a tune, but he curbed his enthusiasm to fit in with the other bored and anxious passengers. After accomplishing the final on-line procedure and printing out his boarding pass Brad joined the long snaking queue leading to the check-in counter. As the line gradually shortened Brad started fishing for the security pouch around his neck that contained his passport and a few Singapore dollars.
His shoulder bag strap made the tape of the money pouch hard to wrangle and he paused a short while, untangling it to carefully remove the small cloth bag. It seemed light as he quickly unzipped the main compartment.
“What?” Brad’s exclamation was loud. He clutched the bag and it crumpled in his hands. It was empty; apart from the Singapore money, there was nothing!
“What?” This time Brad’s confusion was evident to all other passengers as he squeezed himself from his place in the queue to find somewhere by himself to rummage around his person and check his shoulder bag. No passport! Singapore dollars alright, but where was the passport?
Feeling a little unhinged, Brad looked wildly around the airport as if his passport might be flying by, waiting for him to grab it. “Where the hell is it?” he muttered somewhat too loudly, making travellers looks at him. Continually glancing at the Departure Board times, he strode out of the airport wondering whatever he could do. Go back home? Get another Uber? A taxi? Then, back inside, re-checking the boarding time, looking towards the queue he’d left before.
“I have to think this through, I have to think this through,” he repeated to himself as he tried to calmly assess the situation. Shaking, Brad sat on the only vacant seat he could find and put his head in his hands. His thoughts raced to the Singapore airport stopover and then to what (who, rather) would be at the next stop. Greece, Athens and the islands beckoned, along with images of who was waiting.
Panicking then, Brad raced out to look for a cab or Uber in an attempt to race home and find the passport that he’d obviously left behind.
“Oh, Sam. I’m sorry, but I’m coming!” Tears of frustration stung his eyes and he reached into his pocket for the white hanky his mum had insisted he carry. The white hanky wasn’t there, but the smooth blue cover of his passport slipped nicely into his right hand.