Niles closed his briefcase and glanced out over the crowd in the symposium as they applauded thunderously. It had been a very long week in Spokane. Being one of many speakers at this conference was quite an honor and a privilege, but he found that he missed Daphne terribly. He had checked out of his hotel beforehand and, in his mind anyway, he was already heading for the airport.
The chairman of the seminar approached the podium and shook his hand. "Very well done Doctor Crane."
"Oh, it was my privilege. Interpreting dreams is one of my favorite elements in psychology."
"That story about the man with a reoccurring dream about living underwater and when he finally leaves the water, the fish follow him out of the water. It was quite entertaining."
"Yes, thank you."
"I'm throwing a little dinner and drinks party at a local restaurant for all of the speakers. Can I count on your attendance?"
"I would love to Mister Thourrow, however, I have a plane to catch."
"Well, I'm sorry to hear that. Perhaps next time."
"Looking forward to it. Safe travels Doctor Crane and Godspeed."
Niles hurried through the crowd and out the exit. He caught a cab to the airport. Once arriving at his gate he took a seat in the waiting area with his ticket in hand. He smiled. He almost felt like a little boy on the eve of Christmas. It would be so good to see Daphne again and to hold her.
Then there was a call over the PA:
"Attention all passengers. Attention all passengers. Due to unexpected fog, all departing flights are cancelled until further notice. All arriving flights have been re-routed. Please check with the corresponding airline ticketing agent for airport destinations for inbound flights. We do apologize for any inconvenience this may have caused. All outbound passengers check with your ticket agent for hotel accommodations. Thank you and once again, on behalf of all the staff here, we are sorry for the inconvenience."
Niles had a first class ticket. Surely they would put him up in the closest five star hotel at no cost, but that didn't matter to him. His heart sank. Christmas had just been canceled.
He sat there for several moments to muster the strength to make his call. Her beautiful, warm voice was on the other end.
"Daphne, it me, Niles…"
Before he could get another word out, she spoke with such excitement in her voice. "Oh Niles! You're coming home, aren't you I can't wait to hold you. I've got your favorite wine and dessert waiting for you."
He had to swallow before he spoke. "Daphne, that sounds wonderful, but unfortunately, they will have to wait for another day."
"What… what are you saying?"
"The flights in Spokane are canceled due to a thick fog."
"Oh dear," her voice dropped.
"Don't worry my love. I'll be home tomorrow."
"Did you get a hotel room?"
"No, I have to check in at the ticket counter."
"Well, I'd best shove off so you can check in before all of the rooms are taken."
"I… I love you so very much."
"Oh, I love you too. Now go get that room. Call me when you get settled."
Niles ended the call and put his cell phone back in his coat pocket. He sat there for a few moments. He really didn't care about the quality of room accommodations at this moment. He just wanted to get home to see his Daphne. A warm smile arose from his lips. There was a sparkle in his eyes. He would rent a car. Yes, he would. He could be with Daphne in four hours. His heart was dancing. He would surprise her.
It would be amazing.