Tommy and Elsie met at university. Tommy is from a rich family although he is the black sheep. Elsie is from a lower middle-class family where getting money is a struggle. Tommy finally convinced Elsie to say yes to going on vacation with his family. Elsie has reservations because his mother ‘hates her’ but she allows Tommy’s enthusiasm to rub off on her and she says yes. Read part one here – Not Even Cab0 – Will This Vacation Be What Ends It? – Part 1
One month later
It was the ass crack of dawn and they were seated in the waiting area outside their gate. EAs it turned out, Tommy had gotten his stickler-for-time tendencies from his parents. They were three hours early for their five-a.m. flight. In spite of herself, Elsie was excited about the trip. The last time she’d been excited about anything at 2 a.m., it had involved fewer people and even fewer clothes.
She had never left the country and had flown domestically exactly one time. Dating Tommy was quite the eye-opener. His parents were flying them to Cabo on vacation. She couldn’t wrap her head around going to a whole different country just to chill. Also, the entire concept of vacation was foreign to her. Her parents had worked all through until they retired, which mirrored her present, and she was certain of her future too. She couldn’t afford to take extended periods of time off work and still afford to keep herself alive.
She considered herself a realist, so she never entertained ideas of travelling merely for leisure. Yet here she was, off to spend two weeks lazing her days away on Cabo’s heavenly beaches and not spending a single cent on it. She could almost feel the sun-warmed yet chill water pushing against her as she waded in it. Water that had been there from the beginning of time. Water that would be there after she was long, long gone. She longed to see the startling sunrise and sunsets she’d read about and seen online, and could almost feel the wind on her skin as they took a boat ride, which was a must-do for tourists. She could hardly wait to experience it with her friend, lover, and partner.
Elsie turned to Tommy, a smile on her face only to find his eyes on her. Tommy winked at her, a new thing he was trying that she refused to tell him really did it for her. He’d been doing it all morning, occasionally gesturing toward his bag. He’d told her he’d parked a bag full of fun things for them to do in Cabo. He’d been so pleased with himself as he made the announcement that she couldn’t help being pleased with him too.
Tommy was seated between her and his younger brother Marcus, a doctor in training. It struck her again how much they looked alike. They were both dark in complexion, with thick beards, and of average height, the only difference being Tommy was slightly bigger than Marcus who had the leanness of youth not to mention the stress of medical school to help keep everything tight.
Marcus was showing them hilarious memes from his numerous social media groups. They were laughing so hard that Tommy’s Mom Linette kept giving them the occasional side-eye. Still, she couldn’t help herself. Marcus was hilarious. He made her feel so old she needed the laughter to distract her from thinking about all the things she wasn’t accomplishing with her life.
Marcus was the obedient one, the one who did what his parents wanted and was as a result well on his way to a successful future. At least financially, if nothing else. Tommy was the one who’d dropped out of med school because he just couldn’t handle it. He’d tried to appease his parents by doing the next best thing in his opinion, economics, but it hadn’t worked. He’d hated studying economics. He hated his current low-paying economics job that he’d never dream of quitting. And he remained the family failure, perpetually disappointing his parents regardless of his efforts.
She’d heard rich people say things like “I’m not rich, my parents are,” and in his case, it was God’s honest truth. His parents were rich, he on the other hand was like her, perpetually worrying about money month to month. She didn’t fully understand how that could even happen, but his parents were strange, and she left it at that. As open as he was about other things, he was always so reticent about the subject of his parents, so she let it be, reluctant to upset him.
She reached for his hand, suddenly desperate for contact. He gave her a questioning look and she smiled and shook her head in response. She attempted her own wink, and he smiled back and even though he wasn’t big on physical displays of affection around his family, he squeezed her hand and kept holding it on his lap.
Before long, the announcer was calling First-Class passengers to pre-board, and Elsie was preparing to get a taste of how the moneyed few live. They walked to the queue that comprised their little group and a white couple right in front of them. Tommy’s parents were at the front followed by Marcus, with Tommy and Elsie bringing up the rear.
Linette, Tommy’s mother, handed Marcus their tickets. Marcus picked his then his face creased with concern, handed Tommy the remaining two. Tommy narrowed his eyes in question as he took the two tickets but all Marcus did was shake his head like he was bereft of words.
The problem was immediately apparent. Before he could do anything, Elsie had snatched the tickets from his hand and was staring at them, trying to figure out why they were different if they were headed to the same place. Then she saw it and he could tell the exact moment she connected the dots. His was first class, hers was economy. She was booked in coach.
She looked up at Tommy who shook his head and whispered, “Must be some kind of mistake.”
He was still standing there when she turned to him, her voice harsher than she’d intended, and asked, “You really think that?”
Like her words had jolted him from some stupor, he moved, every step slow and measured, to where his mother was at the front of their little queue.
She saw him bend to her and whisper. He was consistent if nothing else. The last thing he wanted to do was attract any kind of attention to them.
The two white people moved ahead, and Tommy’s parents walked up to the counter where Linette promptly handed in their tickets. Tommy was still standing there, looking confused, his fingers twitching and tapping on his leg.
When the attendant gave them a nod, Linette said something to Tommy and then went the way the white tourists had gone, leaving Tommy standing there helplessly looking at their receding backs.
Marcus stepped up to the counter when the attendant indicated he do so, and Tommy turned to face Elsie. Their eyes met and he couldn’t think of a time when he’d had a lower opinion of himself than he did then.
He took a deep, shaky breath and walked up to her. He bent close to her and whispered, “She says there was a mistake, but we can fix it for the return flight.”
She snorted. “You don’t really believe that do you?”
The attendant was done with Marcus who moved to the side and waited for them. Tommy reached for Elsie’s hand and dragged her suitcase and his bag with the other hand. She shrugged off his hand, the action automatic.
Elsie has just been humiliated by Tommy’s mum who has given her an economy ticket while everyone else is in first class. What will Elsie do? Not Even Cabo – Airport Drama Part 3
Look out for the next part of this story.
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