Two years ago today, on the worst day of my life, I had my first encounter with an angel, at the baggage claim of the RDU airport.
I stood alone, completely wiped out and broken, waiting for my bag to come around on the conveyor belt. There were a few other people waiting for their bags there as well, not many but a few. After about two minutes, my feet could no longer support the dead weight of my body and I sat down on a nearby bench. A young man, I’d guess my age or younger, came and sat down next to me.
“Excuse me,” he interrupted my empty, swollen stare, “Are you okay?” Hardly able to even turn to face him, I nod my head and mutter back, “Yea I’m fine.” My body language was screaming, “LEAVE ME ALONE!!!!” but he persisted. “It isn’t a death, is it?”
“No,” I snap back, justifying my lie with his increasingly annoying invasiveness.
“Okay, well I just wanted to say, I was in love with this girl for many years and we were happily together. I wanted to be engaged and when I asked her to marry me, she said ‘no’ and we broke up. I know it’s not the same…” he continued, despite my lack of response cues, “…but it hurt like hell.”
I managed to look him dead in the eyes this time, “It’s not the same,” I growled, my eyes piercing into him.
Looking forward, I spotted my large, brown, leather suitcase coming around the belt. One of the only ones left. I began to stand up and head towards my bag when the guy said, “Well, here,” as he handed me a 2-dollar bill, “just know that you are loved.”
I hadn’t intended to take the 2-dollar bill but there it was in my hand as I grabbed my bag from the conveyor belt. Dropping the heavy piece of luggage to the ground, I looked up to see my mom running towards me. I gave her a huge hug, momentarily allowing myself to collapse in her arms.
But wait, I wondered aloud, “Where did that guy go?”
“What guy?” my mom replied.
“The guy who just handed me this,” I waved the 2-dollar bill for her to see.
“I didn’t see any guys around, Sweetie. I saw you standing here by yourself. That’s why I came running over.”
In bewilderment, mixed with the still heavy shock of the day’s event, I stumbled towards my mom’s car, “Hmm…” I thought to myself, “Well, that was strange.”
Two years ago today, I lost my best friend in a tragic accident. He wasn’t far from me that day and he’s still as close as ever now.
My angel, I miss you.