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The Student Voice of Forest Hills Central

The Central Trend

The Student Voice of Forest Hills Central

The Central Trend

The Student Voice of Forest Hills Central

The Central Trend

Sophomore Year Scrapbook: 7-24-22

The flight board from that night with almost every flight being canceled.

Gate signs, maps, and scurrying people all blurred by tears. The fluorescent lights cross-fade into a mental image of birthday candles as I check the time on my phone, only to be reminded by the large DELAY letters in glaring red.

Outside the windows is an endless downpour of rain, dully illuminated by the array of runway lights and moving trucks with the constant background noise of footsteps and rushed conversations. Everyone there has a purpose and a place to be. When you often spend time people-watching, it is easy to see when someone is stressed, and I’m sure if someone glanced at me for even a second, they would see the telltale signs immediately.

My eyes are puffy and bloodshot from exhaustion and tears, my nose is the shade of red only present when I’ve been crying, and there is an ever-present crease in between my eyebrows that can’t be ironed out.

It is 2 a.m. on my birthday, and I’m sitting alone in an airport.

It is 2 a.m. on my birthday, and I’m sitting alone in an airport.

My headphones have long ago run out of battery, and to keep my mind occupied from the frequent ‘what if’ thoughts, I pace around the entirety of the C terminal, passing the same people over and over again. Every time I make my loop, it is almost as if nothing has changed in the 20 minutes that I’ve been pacing except for the numbers on the clock. Each time, I stop and stare at the flight board, scanning for my Chicago to Grand Rapids flight to suddenly be updated to be on time, but the only thing I see is a long list of the words FLIGHT CANCELED repeated all across the board.

It wasn’t supposed to be like this.

A week prior to this, I was alone on a long and uneventful flight to New Mexico to visit my aunt and uncle. I spent an amazing week there, but the end came much too soon, and I found myself on my way back home just in time for my birthday. 

On my first flight to New Mexico, I spent an extensive and grueling five-hour layover in Midway airport and was looking forward to the significantly shorter two-hour layover on my return home. However, my trip home turned out to be even longer after an ill-timed storm passed through the Midwest.

After numerous hour-long delays that pushed my flight from 11:30 p.m. to 3:45 a.m. and the daunting possibility of them being canceled altogether, there was even the thought of having to be driven back to Grand Rapids, which would have been at least another six hours at Midway airport, which is the most boring airport on earth where nothing is open past 5:30 p.m.

I’m sure you can imagine how crying in an airport is an overall humiliating experience, and the combined effects of jet lag and sleep exhaustion don’t positively contribute to that. That entire night was a blur of lights, sounds, and stress all mixed together in one place, as well as the looming nightmare of spending my entire birthday in an airport.

It was a long and dreadful journey home, but I did eventually make it back in time to get three hours of sleep and have an actual birthday celebration. While I’ll always regard it as an overall horrible experience, it is definitely one of my most memorable birthdays.

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About the Contributor
Addie Woltil
Addie Woltil, Copy Editor
Addie Woltil is a sophomore entering her second year writing for The Central Trend. She is excited about another year of writing on staff and more to come. In her free time, she enjoys hanging out with friends, going to the mall, and watching overrated reality TV shows. She loves ending her day in room 139 and can't wait for what's next. Favorite fruit: Mango Favorite TV show: How I Met Your Mother Favorite day of the year: July 24th

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