“Hey, I thought you were supposed to be in New York?” exclaimed Charlie, running into Tim at the entrance to the off-licence.
“Fucking drones!” swore Tim. “It’s been a total cunt of a day!”
“You’ve been caught up in that mess out at Gatwick?” asked Charlie. “What a nightmare!”
“You know what a nervous flyer Mikael is…” said Tim. “All of that anxiety has steadily been building for the last few days, and then today just took it to a whole new level.”
“Oh dear…” sympathised Charlie. “I can imagine.”
“We were supposed to fly at 9:50 this morning…” explained Tim. “I’d seen the news alerts last night, so I was gently trying to manage expectations about potential delays. But, we were up early and I checked the flight status and everything looked okay. So, we got the train to Gatwick, and checked in no problems. It was while Mikael was outside having a final cigarette that I checked again, and it was clear that everything was all a bit up in the air.”
“I still don’t understand what’s going on…” agreed Charlie.
“We went through security, and every hour they announced that we were going to be delayed a bit longer…” continued Tim. “I fall for this every time. You think - it’s just another hour, we just need to be patient and it will all sort itself out. None of the staff there knew anything, so everyone was in the dark, just trying to stay calm and hoping that everything would turn out for the best. Eventually, I got a text saying that the flight was officially cancelled and that we needed to re-book. Mikael completely lost it, but eventually I calmed him down enough so we could get on the train to come back home.”
“Where is he now?” asked Charlie.
“I’ve dosed him up on sleeping tablets and he’s in bed…” shrugged Tim. “I’ve managed to book us on the same flight for tomorrow, so I’m just hoping that they figure out how to take down those drones so we can actually take off tomorrow.”
“You could always just stay in London and join us for an orphan’s Christmas?” suggested Charlie.
“A generous offer, thank you…” nodded Tim. “But, I’m going to give it another go at Gatwick tomorrow. We’ve got our heart set on Christmas in New York.”
“Fingers crossed!” grinned Charlie, giving Tim a hug. “Hope your Christmas all goes smoothly from here!”