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Keily, the Bookworm Part-13

I discovered my passion for writing after I quit my day job. So I began to write fiction stories, self-help books, and articles, blogs, etc.

Pic: Keily

Pic: Keily

As soon as the bus halted at Heathrow airport, Keily got off and entered the entrance. A huge queue of people was in front. Keily got into the queue, and she was asked to make her hand luggage one by putting her purse inside the backpack. She did that.

The queue was heading forward, not stalling. Soon it was time for her to let her backpack go through the security check, and off she was on her way forward inside. She came to an American Airlines counter. She checked in with her passport, boarding pass and ticket. And then, she was free to move forward to the waiting area.

There was another queue here but proceeding forward, soon she was inside the waiting area, which was packed with people. As she stood there, Keily was undecided about what her next move would be. Then there came an announcement out of which she could get the words, “… American Airlines … flying to Dallas… in a short while… “

She checked her ticket and soon found it was the right flight calling her to board. She showed her boarding pass to an attendant at the doorway and was allowed to enter another hallway and walk her way another kilometer to a counter where she showed her passport, ticket and pass. Here there was no queue, and she quickly boarded the plane and found her seat in a row of five.

An American woman sat next to her. Most of the passengers on the plane were Americans.

Keily had all forgotten about home and was completely in pace with her journey. The American woman next to her was friendly. She said she was on holiday with her parents in London, but she was going to Dallas to rejoin her work. Her family was American too, but they had settled in London a long time back.

“Are you married?” Keily asked.

“No, not yet. But I am kind of engaged with a man who is not yet ready to marry. He only thinks of his brothers and sisters and cannot commit to marriage. And I keep hoping he will change his mind, but he hasn't yet”, said the woman

“I am single too”, Keily said.

“I thought so”, admitted the woman. "Where are you heading to?"

"I am heading to UT-Austin for a Masters continuing to a Ph.D. degree."

“After finishing your studies, do you plan to marry a professor?”

Keily laughed without answering.

Soon lunch meals were being served. There was a choice between roasted beef with chips and chicken curry with tomatoes. Keily chose roasted beef along with orange juice, broccoli, bread roll and pastry. Keily and the woman next to her fully enjoyed the meals and thanked the air hostess who later came to take their empty trays.

Keily was interested in chatting with the woman next to her to know more about American life. So she struck up another conversation.

“What is life in America like?” asked Keily.

”Well, everyone is too busy with work. We only get weekends to relax and do household activities. Still, we go for recreation on Saturday nights, and sometimes, we get extended weekends for some official holidays”, replied the lady.

“What do you do for recreation?” interrogated Keily.

“If we have kids, we will go to the pizza shop and have a slice or two each. Or we will take the kids to visit the zoo, or simply watch a comedy movie at home when it's raining or snowing outside. I love watching comedy movies and have a good laugh with a friend or two”, answered the female American.

“Now that’s interesting!“ Keily confessed.

“Where are you coming from?” asked the lady.

“Dhaka, Bangladesh”, Keily said simply.

“Wow! That must be a long journey for you. Coming to London and setting off again for America!”, said the lady. “You must be feeling like a zombie by now.”

Keily tried to smile and said, “That is indeed the case with me. I am truly exhausted. I think I will take a nap.”

The lady replied, “Sure, help yourself.”

Immediately Keily dozed off. She dreamed of her students, her Dad's university and home. They were all saying, "Come on, Keily! Come back! Come on, come back! Aren’t you coming back?” Her dreams died down, and then Keily slept on peacefully for the next one hour.

The air hostess’s voice rang through her ears. “Tea or coffee?” she asked. Keily quickly woke up, gained her composure and asked for coffee. She put a lot of sugar and milk into the coffee on the tray and relished it.

There was no way she could look out of the window as she was at the side of a five-seat row.” So she set the screen in front to watch a movie. She chose “Matrix”. She was completely engrossed in it for the next two hours.

Five more hours to go. She was completely sunk in her seat and wanted some movement of her limbs and also visit the restroom. So she excused the lady beside her and came out. How completely free she felt to be able to move her hands and legs and walk.

She was back within 10 minutes, washing her hands and face. She brought out a towel from her backpack, which was in the upper cabinet. She rubbed it softly over her hands and face and then settled again in her seat.

Next, she thought of hearing old English songs back in the '90s on the screen in front of her. She felt life again. Boy! She loved those songs. She ventured next to hear new English songs and thoroughly enjoyed them as well.

How time flew Keily couldn’t tell. Only one hour remained for the plane to land at Dallas international airport. They were given a quick snack of cookies and juice and told to wear seat belts.

Over twenty minutes to go. And the plane started gliding down. It was a smooth landing in the airport ground, and the plane gradually halted at an airport terminal.

Soon Keily walked some considerable distance to reach an immigration area. A huge queue of people lined up here. The queue moved slowly. It took a long time, but Keily patiently moved on. Finally, she checked in with her passport at the counter she was shown.

Her passport was attached to the I-20 of UT-Austin. The immigration officer detached the I-20 from the passport and examined both. Soon he stamped and signed both. She was shown the way to collect her luggage in a trolley and place them on to the belt, carrying them to the American Airlines airplane that would take her to the final destination. Keily couldn’t hold her exhilaration to fly to Austin finally.

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Previous Related Article

Keily, the Bookworm Part-12

Keily arrives at Dhaka airport. She loves her journey to London. When she comes to a vacant place at Heathrow airport following the directions, she comes to know she has to take the bus. After she gets on the bus, she feels scared as she is only surrounded by several Non-English speaking men.

© 2020 Rosina S Khan

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