We were at King Shaka International Airport in Durban on Sunday after having spent a long weekend there with my family when I witnessed my very first Love Actually moment. In fact, it was more than just a Love Actually moment – it was your quintessential rom-com denouement. Let me set the scene and tell you how it went down.
Please, if you will, imagine an appropriate soundtrack playing unobtrusively over the airport speakers. Perhaps Ronan Keating’s When you say nothing at all. Visualise a busy airport gate with passengers queuing and rushing to board their flight (it was nothing like this – we were just about the last three passengers to board a Kalula.com flight from Durbs to Joburg – definitely not JFK or Heathrow).
Anyhoo. So there we were clambering through the airport after scoffing down the slowest egg croissant orders in the history of the world, my Mister, me and the baby, our bags, her pram, stuffed cow and blankets. When we got to the boarding gate there stood our hero, carrying his heart in his hand (this is no metaphor – I swear he was holding a big red velvet heart) along with a gift. He was on his phone to his girlfriend/potential fiancée, asking her to just tell him yes or no and saying he couldn’t wait as the plane was about to board and he couldn’t change his flight.
I tried to hang back a little to listen in on his superbly dramatic conversation but my Mister had tramped off down the ramp and I looked like I was hanging back to listen to his conversation. My Mister was completely oblivious to the dramatic and possibly life-changing events unfolding a few meteres behind him. I asked him if he’d heard what had happened and his response was: “Ja shame – that guy’s having a problem with his flight”. Boys.
This is what happened in my head. Boy on phone is having a long distance relationship with girl on other phone. They’ve been taking turns flying between Durban and Joburg to visit each other. But it’s been getting harder and harder to be apart and the novelty and Sleepless in Seattle ness of it all is wearing thin. Finally he convinces himself that proposing to his long-distance love is the best way to rectify the situation. In his head he proposes, she says yes. They move to Durban to pursue his career. It’s perfect. What could go wrong? Well, apparently, she could not say yes immediately.
During the flight I happened to glance up over the baby playing on my lap, eating my hair and licking my face, and saw our story’s protagonist conveying his tale animatedly to a very pretty (plain) air stewardess. I did consider asking her to confirm my literary suspicions but we were hustled off the plane before I got a chance.
As we trudged wearily out the airport at the other side, I again spotted our hero waiting for, I can only assume, his girlfriend/potential fiancée. But we left before I could see what happened. I like to believe that his girlfriend decided that saying yes would indeed make her exceptionally happy and that they were very lucky to have one another in their lives.