Introduction. Chapter One. Chapter Two. Chapter Four.
The thunder is rolling in, and it’s lightly raining as Jocko sits with Jocquetta and their luggage while they get ready to check-in at the airport, and things seem not to be going well. The other couple ahead of them seem to be arguing over something in their luggage.
Suddenly, the lady at the counter tells the man to stop yelling at the woman he was with. The man did not like that and grabbed their luggage and stormed off. However, the women kept talking, and the conversation got louder.
The airline agent and the woman started cursing when the airline security came over and led them away. Jocquetta leaned over at Jocko and whispered, “I wonder who was at fault. I hope the next agent is friendly to us.”
It took about 15 minutes when another agent walked over to the computer at the check-in desk. Jocquetta say’s “Jocko grab our bags, let’s go.” He say’s, “We should wait until she calls us.” Then pointed to something. Jocquetta slowly lowers her sunglasses, tilts her head down, looks at him, and says, “Really, we’ve been here 20 minutes; we’re next. Let’s go.”
He shrugs his shoulders, smiles, and says, “No Problem.” When they get to the counter, they see the woman looks very unhappy, maybe because she had to rush over and fill in; they’re not sure why but Jocquetta’s thinking, here we go again, another unhappy airline agent with a bad attitude.
When they reach the counter, Jocquetta puts their tickets and passports on the counter. The agent grabs the tickets, passports, and a phone dials a number, then says, “Can you bring a supervisor agent to counter 8.”
The agent says, “Give me a second.” Jocquetta say’s “Ok.” Then the agent says, “Stop yelling at me; give me a second.” Jocquetta looks back at Jocko, then turns around and say’s, “Yelling at you lady, we’ve done nothing but be nice and wait in this long ass line while your other agent was cussing and yelling; at another customer.”
As this happens, Jocko is thinking about a talk he had with his dad about chaos. His dad said, “Son, when your girlfriend or wife is experiencing the chaos of life, always, and I mean always, have her back. Because life’s storms come and go, you must be her anchor showing her support when she needs it most.”
The agent removes her earpiece and say’s, “I’m sorry, I’m not on the clock, and I’m trying to get you an agent plus, I was not speaking to you it was my ex who was yelling at me in my ear because I was telling him to pick up our kids because the storm is keeping me from leaving and I did not ask you up to the counter.”
Then the agent pointed to the sign that said wait to be called to the counter.
Jocquetta was about to say something when Jocko grabbed her hand and gently said, “I’m sorry, I’m nervous about flying, and I’m probably stressing my girlfriend out. We both thought you were talking to us. You are right; we should have waited to be called up.”
Jocquetta turns around and look’s at Jocko with a bit of a smile on her face and say’s “Thank You.”
They both walked back and got in line. Jocko puts his arms around Jocquetta and says I got your back, J. They both were nervous, but it was not about flying. They had never dated anyone before, so this was all new to them.
The wait was short, and they got their boarding passes set down. It was quiet for about ten minutes, then Jocquetta said, “I’m sorry, Jocko; thanks for stopping me before I might have said something I would have regretted.”
“J, you don’t need to apologize; things were going bad before getting to the counter.” “Yes, but you told me we should wait to be called, and yes, I saw the sign you pointed to. So I assumed you were just like other guys who think they have some right to tell girls what they should do.”
“J, I was following what the sign said to do. I don’t have any right to tell anyone what they should be doing. Plus, I will always have your back, especially in times of chaos.”
“You are the most important person to me, so you and I have to support each other, listen to each other, and know neither one is perfect. I’m sure I will do something one day that will make you mad.”
“What do you mean you will do something to make me mad because you already have?” So Jocko is thinking, ok, what can of worms did I open myself up to?
She grabs both of his shoulders and looks him in the eyes; “You held onto my wide receivers all game long.” They both laugh uncontrollably with tears pouring down their cheeks. Jocko thought, man, I thought I was in some real trouble. I love that she has a sense of humor because that has served my family well.
They continued to talk until they were called to board the airplane; right before boarding, Jocquetta grabbed Jocko’s hand and then whispered, “Are you really nervous about flying?”
He laughs. “No, I could not think of anything else to say to her.” They continue to talk during the boarding about many things like what else besides going to the conference they should do. The more time they spent together, the better Jocquetta felt about opening up to Jocko.
They continue to talk about the couple earlier that were arguing. “Jocko, do you think we could end up like that couple arguing in public?” “I don’t know what the future will bring, but it’s up to us to work together and listen to each other.
My dad gave me what I think is some of the best advice about relationships. He said love starts with understanding the person you choose to be with begins with the fact that neither one of you is perfect, so when you disagree, you might be the one to get upset; take time out to remember your relationship will never be perfect.”
“I’m not perfect for sure. There’s something I’ve wanted to tell you, Jocko, but please don’t share this; I’m trusting you, so it’s important that it’s my secret to share, not yours.”
He says, “Ok.” “The reason I stopped playing football was too many concussions. Sometimes I can’t see well when I have horrible headaches.” “J, I’m sorry, my parents made me quit for the same reason. I miss some of my teammates, but that’s about it.”
The announcement came on to board the plane. As they boarded the plane, the stewardess whispered to another stewardess, “I hope it’s not stormy all the way there because that’s what’s predicted.
By Michael Vance Pemberton
I woke up one day and decided to learn to write. I pray and hope I’m getting better.
Chapter four comes out on April 23 2022.
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