Tuesday, June 22, 2010

46. Technology Torture

I didn't panic. I didn't break down and cry. I took a deep breath and decided I'd just call him from the gate. Maybe I'd ask him to turn around, come back. Or maybe I'd just say everything right when he answered.

I ran-walked to my gate and flopped down in the first open seat I could find. I threw my busted tote down in front of me and shuffled through it in search of my phones. My Palm Pre didn't get international service in London for some unknown reason, but if there was Wi-Fi I could access the Internet. I brought my dad's old Blackberry so I could make calls. I finally found the Blackberry and turned it on and dug around for my Pre while it powered up. Finally I found it tucked between a pair of boots beneath my toiletry bag.
I held down the power button.
Nothing happened.
I held it down again.
A giant empty battery symbol filled the screen.

You've got to be kidding me.

The Blackberry was on and waiting for me to dial out, but Cayden's number was saved on my dead phone. I had my charger with me, but I didn't have the universal outlet adapter.
Holy shit.
I was out of options.
There was nothing I could do. I couldn't even borrow someone else's phone because I didn't know his number. The plane was boarding in two minutes, so I didn't even have time to find a store, buy an outlet converter, and juice up my phone. I threw both phones back into my bag and buried my face in my hands.
Don't cry. Don't cry.
Breath in. Breath out.
I didn't want to wait one more second to tell Cayden how I felt about him.
But I was going to have to wait until I landed in Denver for my layover in NINE AND A HALF HOURS.
I was positive I would lose my mind.
I couldn't sleep. Not a wink. I sat in my cramped seat and watched the tiny airplane move across the small TV screen in the seatback in front of me, millimeter by millimeter. The man in front of me got up to go to the bathroom and I noticed he was wearing a Transformers T-shirt. Really? Who wore Transformers paraphernalia after they turned 10? This guy must have been pushing 50. Then I remembered how Cayden called my dress a Transformer Dress. My heart sank when I thought about him. I knew he was probably sitting at work feeling awful, thinking I didn't want to be with him. That look of hurt and frustration a permanent fixture on his face. I wished he could just read my mind, figure out what I was trying to tell him.
I decided to watch a movie instead.
I pushed my earbuds in my ears and flipped through the channels using the built-in remote control on my arm rest. I stopped when I got to Monsters Inc. Cartoons always made me laugh, and Monsters Inc. was one of my favorite animated films. I was doing fine and enjoying the movie until Mike Wozowski turned to Sully and said, "So, hypothetically speaking, if we were hiding the kid..." All weekend Cayden and I said, "So, hypothetically speaking, if we decide to do this, when would I see you again?" or "Hypothetically speaking, if I came to Texas, what would your family think of me?" We talked in hypotheticals because he hadn't asked me out yet. Then I remembered Cayden said his friends used to call him Sully because he was so broad shouldered and muscular. So I called him "Kitty" a few times that weekend, because that's what Boo called Sully.
I changed the channel.
I stopped on How to Train Your Dragon. I hadn't seen it, and it was a cartoon, so I hoped it would get my mind of Cayden so I could doze off. But then I got sucked into the movie. The main character Hiccup fell for a girl named Astrid. She flirted with him by punching him in the arm. I can't tell you how many times I punched Cayden over the weekend. Nothing too rough, just playful jabs here and there. I don't know why, but when guys are big and muscular, I just want to punch them. I used to take kickboxing classes and I still had a mean right hook. Cayden would flinch every time I moved too suddenly.
I changed the channel.
Dear John.
Cayden always said that movie reminded him of us. Only minus the whole war thing.
I changed the channel.
Literally the day before this Cayden had asked me if I watched that show. He loved it.
Someone in front of me was eating something orange-chocolate flavored. Just like Cayden's cookie. The smell tickled my nostrils. I tried to breath out of my mouth, but then remembered how Cayden said I sounded like Darth Vader when I used my inhaler. In a deep voice he'd say, "Luke, I am your father," and make me laugh so I couldn't hold my breath for 10 seconds like I was supposed to.
It was like the universe was screaming, "You stupid bitch! I lined up my stars just right for you. What are you doing?!"
Ten and a half hours later we landed in Denver. (We sat on the runway in London for a good hour). My eyes were bloodshot and I knew I looked like a crackhead. My flight to Texas was leaving in one hour. I still had to go through immigration, answer a million questions, go through customs, then go back through security, run to my gate, and charge my phone before I could call Cayden.
I prayed the lines moved fast.
They didn't. (Maybe because I'd pissed off the Universe)
It was 5:44 and my plane was leaving at 5:48. I was sprinting through the airport with my 30- and 40-pound bags. I was wheezing. I wasn't going to have time to plug in my phone. By the time I'd get to Texas it would be too late. Cayden would be asleep and he might not answer. Damn the 6-hour time difference.
I finally got to the gate and saw that no one was waiting.
"Am I too late?!" I asked the employee behind the desk between gasps and wheezes. I gripped the edge of the desk to keep from passing out.
"For which flight?"
"The one to Texas."
"Oh you're at the wrong gate. Let me look it up."
Seriously? Awesome.
Click. Click. Pause. Click.
"Let's see here. Oh, it's the gate right next door. Run."
I booked it.
The flight was delayed 15 minutes. They were boarding and my seating group had already been called.
I didn't care. I had to call Cayden.
I ran to the first outlet I could find and plugged my phone in.
Hurry up. Hurry up! Damn you, Palm Pre!
The phone literally takes five minutes to juice up when it's that dead.
After what seemed like 20 minutes, it finally turned on. Then it got inundated with 20 text messages, 10 voicemails, and at least 50 emails. My phone couldn't handle it. It froze.
I shut it off.
Turned it back on.
I pulled up Cayden's name, but it wouldn't show me his number.
I turned it off.
Turned it back on.
It showed his number for three seconds and I tried to type it into the Blackberry before the number disappeared, but only got the first 4 numbers. I did this over and over again until I finally had all 15 numbers typed into the Blackberry. The last people were boarding the plane.
I hit "Call."
It rang.
And rang.
And rang.
Please pick up, please pick up.
"Hello?" His voice sounded distant.
I took a deep breath and started talking.
"Cayden! Ohmygod. I don't have time to talk to you because I have to get on the plane to Texas, but I just had to call you. I'm so sorry if I woke you up. But pleasepleaseplease forget my early-morning freakout. I don't know what I was thinking. I don't want to meet anyone else. You're exactly what I want. I don't want to wait. I don't want to think about it. I'm so sorry if I hurt you this morning and all day today. I tried to tell you, I swear I tried. Please, please. Please let me be yours."

I waited.

My stomach lurched and I almost puked on the mouthpiece.
What if he decided he didn't want to put up with me?

He said something but I couldn't understand it.


"I'm sorry. You woke me up and you're talking too fast. Trying to gather all of this."
I could tell I'd pulled him out of a deep sleep and he probably didn't even realize it was me on the phone.

"This is Whitney. I want to be with you. Say you'll be with me and you'll come to Texas as soon as you can."

"I'll be with you and I'll come to Texas as soon as I can."


  1. oh my goddddd!! sooooo perfect

  2. AW! I really should not read this so late at night. It makes me more emotional. My heart started flipping out and throat all constricted too. You deserve all happiness.

  3. You are entirely too good of a writer! I seriously felt my palms get clammy as I scrolled through your post dying to know what was going to happen (and I am an insider and know what happened!)

    The real questions is, who's going to play you in the movie version?

  4. Thanks Audrey and Heather! Every girl deserves happiness. Even if it means they have to have a massive breakdown first. Haha.

    AC-Hmm, I'd have to say Selma Blair. The question is... who's going to play YOU?

  5. Blake Lively is playing me. Obvious resemblance.

  6. wow. this is incredible. happy for you!!!