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"RED EYED FLIGHTS" (standard:romance, 2812 words)
Author: denis holzhauserAdded: Jul 28 2001Views/Reads: 2760/1917Story vote: 0.00 (0 votes)


Supper was almost over,they had eaten and were drinking their coffee and
brandy.He checked his watch.It was ten minutes to eleven.He calculated 
that it would take no more then forty minutes to finish.For them to pay 
the bill and leave the restaurant,stand on the sidewalk and say their 
good-byes.Wait while he hailed a cab and loaded his one suitcase and 
his briefcase into the taxi,then shook hands.Altogether forty minutes 
seemed right,about eleven thirty.The drive to the airport would be at 
least fifty minutes,even at this time of night,check his bags,confirm 
the flight,about another fifteen or twenty minutes,have another cup of 
coffee,whie reading the early edition,about twenty minutes,all done,it 
should be close to one a.m.,he would have two hours and forty five 
minutes to wait. 

"Paul,Paul wake up,are you ready to leave?" He realized one of his
dinner companions was speaking to him."yes,sorry,was working out the 
logistics for the trip home." 

"Have you everything ready,do you have to stop for anything?"It was Art 
Marcol,the Senior Partner of the organization that had invited Paul to 
New York.While it had been  informal,Paul knew and they knew he knew, 
it was the primary step for a job offer.What he did not know was 
whether he was going to accept the offer he felt sure would come with 
an invitaton for a return visit,that he estimated would come in about 
thirty to forty five days from now,after the investigations that they 
would run were completed. 

He shook his head and said "no,I've everything right here,I think I
should get the show on the road.If we're finished,then let's get me a 
cab and we'll say our goodbyes." 


Marcol smiled,"Not goodby..just so long,we've enjoyed having you here
and hope we can get to see you again soon.As we told you,perhaps we can 
work together on some projects in the future. 

The waiter had returned with the credit card receipt and the card,one of
the junior guys signed and the group rose and began their way to the 
front of the restaurant and exited,congregating in a small circle as 
the same junior attempted to wave down a cab.After short handshakes and 
goodbyes,he found hisself relaxing in the cab as the driver headed 
towards the airport.He checked his watch and sighed,his timing was 
right on schedule,"how much time to get to the airport,driver?" 

"About thirty minutes should do it,will that get you there in time?" 


Less than a hour later he was he was paying his coffee bill,by his watch
it was twelve fifty five.He was five minutes to the good.When the 
cashier gave him his change,he asked her,"could you tell me if there is 
any out of the way spot in the airport that I might be able sit down 
and relax with a little privacy? I have about three hours before I take 
off and it would be nice to be able to close my eyes for a while." 

The cashier smiled,"I know a spot,I use it on my breaks,go to the
rotunda,you'll see the big four way clock hanging down from the ceiling 
and on each side a circular stairway,go up there,you'll find a bacony 
which has easy chairs and a large sofa,its usually deserted.You can 
kick your shoes off and close your eyes,I think you'll like it." 

He walked as she had directed,surprised that it was as far as it was,but
spotted the large clock easily.It had four large faces,each with Roman 
numeral dials.He smiled,he had long ago recognized his obsession with 
counting each minute of his day,running some private competition with 
himself,always striving to finish on schedule,even though he rarely had 
time constraints to deal with.He seemed to have to finish everything 
not early,but earlier than the times he had estimated as being 
necessary to finish the projects.The only result of this most times is 
he would find hisself as he did now,with time he didn't need and that 
he had not planned to use. 

He climbed the stairway on the right and found the little alcove with

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