I am fairly certain that I have previously written about the item of discussion in Today’s challenge. As a runner and someone who works very hard for the things in her life, I am very passionate when people abuse the system for personal game. Moreso, when it comes to taking things which belong to someone else. When the challenge was issued, I decided it’s well overdue for me to sort out my lingering demons.
Write about a loss: something (or someone) that was part of your life, and isn’t any more.
What’s important is reflecting on this experience and what it meant for you — how it felt, why it happened, and what changed because of it.
Today’s twist: Make today’s post the first in a three-post series.
Graduation Day! After seven of the most intense weeks of my life, I was finally a main line flight attendant. My parents came to the ceremony. Dad pinned on my wings. Then we headed home. I made sure my bags were locked up and the crew tags proudly displayed before we checked our luggage at the Atlanta Airport. The customer service agent welcomed me to the company, noting the crisp, clean pressing of my band new uniform. The white tags marked FLL (Fort Lauderdale-Hollywood) were attached, and I watched my life in luggage zip away on the conveyor belt.
A couple of hours later, we were home. Finally home after seven weeks of dormitory living with the best roommate I ever had. Honestly, my training roommate was the only long-term roommate I’ve had that I’ve ever liked. Sifting through overdue laundry and my personal effects, I pulled out my running shoes. They gave me the stink eye because they did not receive enough attention during my stint in Atlanta. Classes ran six days a week with twelve to fourteen hour days. Tests were daily and dropping below a ninety percent average was unacceptable. Sundays were the only days we had off, so the only time they really saw asphalt action was as Yuri and I ran loops of the parking lot while we watched the planes land on the north side of the airport.
Sorry, Dear Friends, I didn’t mean it. It was for all of us, but now that we’re done, let’s hit the road! I threw my clothes into the wash, hung my uniform, and donned my running clothes. Sitting on my back patio, I laced up, and feeling the cinched laces against my feet felt damn good. I grabbed my sunglasses and reached into my suitcase where I hid my Nike+ GPS Running watch. My hand came up empty. I groped in another secret hiding place in my suit case. Nothing. I started pulling everything out, one by one, until frustration took over and I upended the entire large suitcase onto the floor. Like a thief, I rummaged through my own things, tossing them onto the bed, into the closet, and over my shoulder. It simply wasn’t there.
My $300, practically-fresh-out-of-the-box, last-treat-from-working-at-the-boarding-school running watch was missing. I hadn’t noticed it when I got home as exhaustion from the blur of training finally slammed into me like a careless driver on Interstate 4. My TSA-approved lock was missing. It was on there when I checked my bag at the counter as I knew I was putting something valuable inside.
It’s only an 70-minute, direct flight, it’ll be fine.
Someone with sticky fingers decided to help themselves. I had saved up money for several months to afford that watch, and now it had Stockholm Syndome. I had to close my Nike+ account shortly afterward when it’s new user decided to try it out without deleting my information. I tried contacting customer support, but there was nothing they could do to disable it. After that, my excitement over Nike+ as a whole dwindled. I felt betrayed even though I knew it wasn’t their fault my watch magically grew legs in walked itself into Atlanta.
Now, I never travel with anything of any value in checked luggage. If I absolutely need to bring it with me, I make sure it fits in my carry on luggage, it’s locked, and near where I am seated. If I can leave it at home, I do. Three years later, and I am still angry that I was betrayed by the very security that is supposed to assist me in my job. Flyer beware: leave valuables at home or check everything of low value that you absolutely do not need for your flight home.
Word Count: 630
Assignment: September 18, 2014