As the driver sped down LaCienga Blvd., I asked him this question,
“Sir, can you at least tell me what airline you are taking me too?”
“No ma’am, not yet. Someone has gone to great lengths to surprise you, haven’t they?” he answered.
What? I thought, how rude! As I sat in the back seat and thought about what I was doing, I got a bit nervous. I thought to myself; this is crazy, what was I thinking? But when I thought about how much I wanted to forget about Andrew and have some fun, I calmed myself down, plus I had known Sam for ten years, it wasn’t like he was a stranger!
As we got closer to LAX, the driver asked, “would you like to know your airline?” “That would be lovely,” I said.
“You will be flying American Airlines today Miss Sanders,” he said.
“Oh, great. I am Platinum status with American, can you take me to the premium door?” I asked politely.
“Sorry, I have strict instructions to take you to the red door,” he answered.
“What is the red door? Sir, I am platinum I want to go to the premium passenger entrance,” I said. As the words came out of my mouth, I realized how snooty they sounded, but I had flown a lot of miles to enjoy the shorter lines at the airport, and I wanted to take full advantage!
As we pulled up the curb, we pulled past the premium door to a small red door, I had never even noticed the red door before. Men in red coats with red hats were standing outside of it. They opened the car door and took my luggage before I even had a chance to say anything. I quickly scanned the backseat of the car to make sure I didn’t leave anything, thanked the driver and followed the man who was wheeling my luggage. Through the red /secret door, we went; A very cheerful woman behind a small counter with only two computers great me, “Good afternoon, where are you flying today?”
I looked at her and felt really stupid, “good afternoon, um I have no idea where I am flying. Does that sound crazy?” I asked. I was assured they would think I was suspicious and detain me or something awful. What type of person shows up at the airport and has no idea where they are flying too?
“It happens more than you might think, let’s start with your name,” she said.
“Keylee Sanders, checking one bag,” I said. As I handed her my ID and spelled my name out loud she typed on her keyboard.
“Oh, you are headed to Miami today!” She said with enthusiasm.
Miami?!?! Fun! It was one city that had crossed my mind as a possibility. It was warm and on the east coast (I knew Sam spent a lot of time on the east coast for work) plus it was a fun and sexy place. I was excited, to say the least; I hadn’t been to Miami in years.
The cheerful woman handed me my ticket and as I turned around another gentleman in a red hat and jacket was standing there. “Follow me, Miss Sanders,” he said and at this point, I was just going with it.
We turned and got into the elevator. I have traveled a LOT through the American Airlines terminal and I had never even seen this part of LAX. As the elevator doors opened I began to recognize where I was, security. TSA and I were old friends, but this time was different. The man in the red hat waved to the man in the blue TSA shirt and stopped the premium passenger line to let me in front of everyone else- this was the premium of the premium! I breezed through security and said goodbye to my red-jacketed escort. I gathered my belongings off the security belt and looked down at my ticket for my gate. Gate 42 Seat 1A.
I stopped to grab a bottle of water and an US Weekly, People, and Vanity Fair (the usual) and headed to Gate 42. They called my group and as I walked onto the plane, the flight attendant asked me to turn left instead of right. It was not my first time flying first class, but it was my first time flying like this. I have been less comfortable on private planes than I was on this flight.
As I found seat 1 A, I realized that it wasn’t a seat, but a pod. I swear I have lived in studio apartments that were smaller than my seating area on this flight. My seat had more buttons and seat adjustments than my Mercedes. I adapted quickly and settled in with a glass of champagne for the 5-hour flight to Miami.
As I flipped through a gossip magazine I knew I was just avoiding my email – work and answering Andrew. After a few glasses of bravery, I decided it was time, plus I wanted to get it over with so he wasn’t on my mind this weekend in Miami. I pulled out my laptop and fired it up. Were things really over with Andrew, I wondered? If they weren’t totally over then I had figured that his lack of effort and enthusiasm toward me and our, what turned out to be, a faux relationship was lackluster enough for me to know he wasn’t the right guy for me. I decided I was done thinking about him!
I am at a loss for words, but thankful you finally decided, to be honest with me. I am disappointed that it took you this long, especially knowing what I have been through/ am going through. I do not wish you anything but the best but, in the future please remember that it is not just about you. I do not regret many things in my life and in no way regret meeting you, though I would not have taken three weeks out of my life to come to Portugal if I knew this was a game to you or that your heart was not in it. All the best, Keylee”
All the best, Keylee”
Upon our decent into Miami, I started to get a bit nervous again.
As I exited the plane, I called Sam to let him know I had arrived. He informed me that my driver would meet me in baggage and would bring me to the hotel. As I came down the escalator a man in a black coat with a hat held a sign with my name written on it “Miss Keylee Sanders!”
He gathered my bag and we were on our way. I had not been to Miami in years, but one thing I remembered was that the airport is fairly close to the hotels and I suddenly realized that I needed to make myself presentable, and fast. I pulled down the mirror in the back seat and quickly applied a bit of concealer, quick lining of my eyes, brushed my hair, slapped on some lip-gloss, a quick spritz of perfume and called it good.
Sam had asked me to meet him in the bar and since my buzz from the plane was wearing off I was ready for a cocktail to steady my nerves. When I arrived he had a martini waiting for me, he was good! As we sat at the bar, the bellman took my luggage upstairs to my room. I realized how happy I was that I had decided to come on the trip.
As I sipped my drink, I kept thinking how cute Sam looked in his vintage rocker t-shirt and jeans. Soon he asked me, “So do you want to know the real surprise?”
“Real surprise, what are you talking about?” I said.
“This is only the fist part of the surprise,” he replied with a sly grin.
“What??? Yes! Tell me!” I screamed. Everyone turned and looked at us, and I apologized for my excitement.
Sam smiled, looked at me and said, “let’s go to dinner, and I will tell you there.”
We headed to our rooms first because I wanted to change out of my airplane clothes. I told Sam that I didn’t have my key, and he said he had taken care of it- of course he had. As we walk down the hall, he opened the door into a beautiful two- bedroom suite. I was very impressed that he had got two rooms, very respectful- I would have requested it if he had not.
We went to the Delano, a Miami classic, for a light late dinner and drinks. I couldn’t take it any longer and begged Sam to tell me the rest of the plan. “Ok, I will tell you,” he said. “But first I want to say that if you do not like the plan you can change any of it!”
“Tomorrow morning you have a salon appointment. Then we are going to Bal Harbor Shopping Center to pick up anything you might need for the weekend. We then depart on a 6 pm flight to a killer resort on a private island in Turks and Caicos!!!!!” Sam threw his hands in the air as he told me with a huge smile on his face.
My jaw hit the floor. “Are you fucking kidding me?” Not the most ladylike thing to say but one of my favorite phrases and the only thing I could think to say. He laughed and said, “I am dead serious! Is this the craziest thing you have ever done?”
He laughed and said, “I am dead serious! Is this the craziest thing you have ever done?”
“If by crazy you mean the best date ever… then yes!” I answered. I have to admit; I was stunned but ridiculously excited. When Sam accepted a challenge he was in it to win it!
We finished dinner, some very expensive tequila and decided to head back to the hotel; I had a very big day coming up and needed my beauty rest. Between the flight, anxiousness and the surprises, I realized I was exhausted.
I retired to my room, changed into my pajamas and went into the living room to say good night. As I stood there, I suddenly wanted to kiss him. Sam leaned in and kissed me on the lips, this was the first time we had ever kissed on the lips! Granted we had known each other for a long time but never like this. As he slowly kissed me good night, my toes started to tingle. I smiled slightly and went into my room; I shut and locked the door. Maybe I didn’t trust him, maybe I didn’t trust myself…