The Girl You Meet on Flight 1218

My flight from Charlotte to Atlanta, the first leg of my journey home to Arkansas for Thanksgiving, went by fast.

The flight itself lasted no more than an hour, but felt like 30 minutes.

This was thanks to Brittany from Akron.

Dark hair, purple dress. Born and raised in the city that begat LeBron.

We touched on a lot of topics. Her work as a mental health counselor for addicts, a job that had her up since 4 am that morning.

I told her about Arkansas, (“Wal-Marts at every exit”), she told me about the small-town private school in Ohio she got her undergraduate degree at before moving to Charlotte to follow an ex-boyfriend.

We compared our favorite locations in Charlotte.

We both shared our career aspirations, her hoping to open her own practice and myself aiming for a NASCAR beat.

We joke and we laughed.

It was pleasant.

She was married.

This was confirmed to me late in our back and forth, as flight 1218 approached Hartsfield–Jackson Atlanta International Airport.

I don’t remember any of the other words in her statement or why she mentioned it, but she eventually said the two words every single guy like myself dreads in this scenario:

“. . .my husband . . .”

It’s the answer to the question that’s always nagging at your mind but have no polite, non-obvious way to put forth.

It’s the verbal acknowledgment of “someone realized I was awesome first,” and a small item thrown on the growing pile of weight that comes with close high school friends getting engaged and having babies.

Give me a cheer for getting older!

The plane landed. Brittany and I disembarked and boarded the “Plane Train” toward our respective connecting flights. As the doors parted for her stop I offered up my business card.

What can I say? I’m not going to pass up the chance at a new friend.

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About Daniel McFadin

NASCAR writer for NBCSports.com. Former Sporting News intern. Graduated from IUPUI in Indianapolis with a master in sports journalism in 2014 and from Arkansas State University in 2013 with a degree in Journalism. Originally from Lewisville, Texas, now in Fort Worth. Ask me if I like Star Wars. I dare you.
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