"There you go love." The cabbie set the suitcase on the ground with a thud. "Next stop Bali. Now you be good over there. Don't do anything I wouldn't do."
Roaring with laughter, he winked broadly and wagged his finger, before jumping back into the taxi and screeching away.
Caitlyn breathed a prayer of thanks for her safe arrival at the airport as she watched the driver disappear into the endless stream of traffic. Then, as her heart rate returned to normal, she slung her duffle bag over her shoulder and reached for the suitcase, all the while mentally kicking herself for not buying luggage with wheels.
"Hey… seems like you could use a hand."
Surprised, Caitlyn looked up into a pair of the bluest eyes she had ever seen. There in front of her was an honest to goodness, blonde-haired, sun-bronzed surfie, with a smile that would melt board wax. Cait could feel her knees giving way under the warmth of that gaze.
"Wow, thank…" The words died on her lips as she heard a still, small voice speak to her soul.
Caitlyn sighed, gritted her teeth, smiled and thought, Let's try that again.
"Thanks. That would be…"
Again the words trailed away as the gentle whisper called once more.
Cait quickly debated the pros and cons in her head. Okay kiddo, you've got two choices. You can listen to what may or may not be the voice of God, and throw away what could be a once in a lifetime chance to live happily ever after, or you can ignore it and just go with the flow for a change. Hmm…tough decision.
Forcing a smile, Cait looked into the glorious sun-kissed face and finally said, "Thanks for the offer. I appreciate it, but I'll be fine."
For a moment, the sun disappeared and flecks of ice crept into the blue sky of her surfie's eyes. Then he shrugged and muttered, "Okay, see ya," before turning and walking away.
Idiot! Caitlyn grabbed her suitcase and headed for the check-in, ranting all the way. He was only offering to carry your suitcase, for goodness sake! It wasn't like he was asking you to live with him!
For the first time ever, Cait wished that she could take a vacation from being a Christian. She wanted to live a little and do things that other women her age enjoyed. She was a girl and she wanted to have fun.
The wait to check her baggage seemed eternal, giving the irritated young woman even more time to stew over her bad choice. If I'm going to imagine You talking to me every time I meet someone, then I may as well stay home.
Then, to push the knife even further into her obedient heart, Caitlyn noticed the man of her dreams standing in the adjacent line, laughing and talking to a living, breathing Barbie doll.
Great… just great!
Later, on board the long anticipated flight to Denpasar, Cait continued her endless reproach.
Of course, they would be going to Bali too, wouldn't they? she grumbled to herself, as "Barbie's" tinkling laugh floated down the aisle. It was all too much to bear.
Finally the flight was over and Cait jumped to be first off. Yet her hope of a quick escape came crashing down as the flight attendant stepped forward to ask everyone from her row back to remain seated until the rest of the plane was cleared.
It seemed like hours, but in reality only five minutes passed before Cait and the rest of her travelling companions were able to leave. Grabbing her duffle bag, she headed out into the humidity of a tropical paradise.
My vacation starts now, she decided as she collected the rest of her luggage and headed to Customs.
Nearing the front of the line, Cait heard a commotion coming from one of the checkpoints. A woman's voice was raised in distress, her suitcase open before her, as Officials brandished a bag of white powder and demanded an explanation.
"Barbie…" Caitlyn was shocked to recognize the young woman, now alone and crumbling at the sight of the potential death sentence in her luggage.
As Cait was bustled forward, she heard the girl cry, "It's not mine. I've never seen it before … oh please, you've got to believe me."
With careful English, the Customs Officer asked, "Did anyone else handle your bags?"
It was then Caitlyn wept…and the still, small voice whispered gently to her soul.
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