Rome, Italy, July 2003
Aeroporto di Roma Ciampino was exactly what you’d expect in the summer, crowded, very crowded. But for some reason, despite all I could hear is the ticking clock which is hanging on the wall above my seat. I sat there because it wouldn’t allow me to look at the slightly inaccurate clock. But the ticking was so loud, I could count the seconds. I looked in front of me, staring to all the people in front of me.
I had been awake for about 30 hours, the slowly ticking of the clock was working as a metronome and fatigue started kicking in. Slowly but surely, the people in front of me got blurry as I was fighting an impossible battle against sleep.
As I drank my 5th coffee, the ticking of the clock seemed to go slower, and slower, and slower. 2 hours passed and the atmosphere of the room changed, slowly tourists were swapped with journalists, as expected. The ticking of the clock accelerated, as the crowd got bigger I started pacing around the room, slowly getting more and more nervous.
As time passed on, my pacing got more nervous, the mix of English and Italian chatter got louder and with more excitement and the tension rose to an extreme. Suddenly the sliding door which was separating incoming passengers with us opened up. Two big guys came into our room first, followed by an older man in a suit and one more person, Reagan.
“He is actually here, pinch me, this can’t be real.” I told myself, but the pinching didn’t do its job, I didn’t wake up in an old flat in Parma, or an empty train which is going to Milan. I was awake, wide awake. As camera flashes and the journalists got louder and louder, all I tried to do is get a glimpse, a meeting of our eyes, but I had no luck.
Tears started to form in my eyes, the shattered hope I had, the tiredness it all became a bit much. I stormed out of the room, ordered another coffee and left the airport. The tears slowly started pouring from my eyes and I left the airport in the background.
The romantic in me hoped for a fairy-tale ending, with Reagan sprinting behind me and declaring his love for me, I stopped walking three times, turned around and looked, hoping to see him storming out of the airport and falling into his arms. Total radio-silence, that’s all I got, no Reagan, no fairytale ending, nothing.
TheLFCFan and Griffo:
It was a beautiful newspaper to be honest.
She does indeed.