A plane landed and a man in a scruffy coat leaned forward and wondered if this was the one. People got off and walked into the large, gleaming white terminal, where they were either met by others (some in tears but everyone smiling) or if no one was there to greet them, they looked around, shrugged, sat down in one of the long rows of aluminum chairs and either listened to music or read a book or just stared off into the distance in the kind of shell shock that normally comes from long distance travel. Several made phone calls. One, for whatever strange reason, tried to go back through the gate, to get back on the plane. Security, gently, held him at bay.
The old man had seen it all before but he didn't mind waiting. He'd gotten quite good at it. There were exactly 128 chairs in terminal D. The roof had exactly 864 crisscrossing tiles. The planes landed every 11 hours, 59 minutes and 59 seconds. He knew. He'd had enough time to count. He read the paper. It was always the same paper, but each day, there was always a different story about someone he knew on the front page.
Exactly 11 hours, 59 minutes and 59 seconds later, he was too absorbed in the paper and the lullaby of the announcer coming over the terminal speakers to notice the small, diminutive female form standing next to him.
"Hello." She said.
He looked up from his paper.
"I think I know you."
"Yes, I think you do." He replied.
"You once swapped your last packet of cigarettes for a bicycle, in the middle of the war, then rode it for five hours to see me."
"I think that was me. I can't remember. I think we ran a grocery store together. I remember cobblestone streets and a newsagent next door. The children would buy comic books. There was a harbour."
"I think that happened."
There was a silence.
"How was your flight?" he finally asked.
"Good. There was some turbulence towards the end but other than that it was fine."
She rubbed her arms.
"Did you get everything done that you needed to do?"
"Quite a bit. Most of it I think."
"Well, that's all you can really ask for."
"I suppose so. The tea was nice."
"That's good then." He said with a smile.
"Are we supposed to get a taxi now?"
"No, not yet I don't think."
"Then what do we do?"
He cleared some space next to him on the aluminum chair then took his coat off and scrunched it up to make a pillow.
"I think we're meeting someone."
"Oh. Will we have to wait long?"
"No. Not in the greater scheme of things. They serve tea, just ask for one when the woman comes round with the tray."
"Is it good?"
"The best you've ever tasted."
By the time the next plane landed, she'd fallen asleep on his shoulder.