Meeting in A Snowstorm

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The snowstorm took us by surprise, resulting in the cancellation of all flights. I regretted not taking an earlier one, as I usually prided myself on being prepared for such situations. However, this time, I found myself trapped in the office, unable to escape. Crisis after crisis kept piling up, demanding my attention. It was part of the job. I was the boss, but it also meant that I was now stranded at the airport until the storm subsided. As the announcement echoed through the terminal, I couldn't help but overhear the collective sighs and complaints. Yet, I knew it wasn't anyone's fault. The weather had a mind of its own, and it seemed we would all experience a slight delay in reuniting with our families for Christmas. It was disheartening, but there was little we could do.

Instead of wallowing in frustration over an uncontrollable situation, I made my way to the bar, secured a comfortable seat, and ordered a drink. However, I found myself lost in my thoughts and barely touched the beverage. I turned my gaze towards the expansive floor-to-ceiling windows, observing the falling snowflakes and the twinkling lights emanating from the various towers and grounded planes in the darkness. I took a small sip of the Scotch I had ordered, reminiscing about my father. This was his favorite drink, and I recalled the first time I had requested a taste, brimming with excitement, only to discover my disdain for its flavor. Yet, after a few years, for some inexplicable reason, I had grown to love it. Perhaps it was a longing for him or an attempt to bridge the gap between us. We hadn't always been close, as he was consumed by work, leaving me with same the drive to succeed. However, after my mother's passing, we had forged a stronger bond, which was why I couldn't bear to miss Christmas. Our small but close-knit family always celebrated together, my father, my brother, his wife, and their children. The intimate nature of our gatherings only made them more cherished.

"Is this seat taken?"

I turned my attention to my left, encountering a remarkably handsome man with a charming, slightly crooked smile, gesturing towards the empty seat beside me. For a moment, my voice failed me, but I managed to shake my head, avoiding complete embarrassment.

"No, please, go ahead," I finally replied, extending my hand in a welcoming gesture.

He smiled gratefully, taking the offered seat and ordering the same drink as me. Suddenly, I felt a slight sense of confinement. Despite not being very broad, his presence filled the space.

"Is your flight delayed as well?" he asked.

I nodded.

"Heading home?" he continued, his curiosity evident.

Again, I nodded, acknowledging his question.

"Where are you going?" he probed, amusement dancing in his eyes as he noticed my sudden speechlessness.

I took a long sip of my drink before placing it back on the table. Pull yourself together, Mary, I scolded myself, offering a smile to the stranger as I finally spoke, "Kansas."

"Visiting family, or is it a boyfriend?" he teased, a playful smile on his lips.

Boyfriend? As if, I chuckled inwardly. When was the last time I even had time to date? I didn't care to dwell on the answer, realizing it had been far too long. Perhaps that explained my nervousness, or maybe it was the unbelievably adorable smile that unveiled two dimples, accompanied by his piercing blue eyes. Then there was his dark, slightly curly hair framing his forehead. Snap out of it, Mary, I chastised myself, and tried my best to appear as casual as possible.

"Family."

"That's nice," he said, taking a sip from his drink.

"How about you?" I asked.

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