I saw the man run by me in a panic multiple times. I felt like the only reason he passed me several times was the fact his plane had moved gates more than once. But here he was behind me in line – sweating and wide eyed – on a flight that had never moved gates.
I could hear him taking shallow breaths as he tried to bring himself under control. So far, he didn’t seem to be doing a great job of it. Different scenarios flashed through my mind of where he was coming from and where he was going.
“Is everything all right? Do you need some water?” I turned and offered the man the overpriced bottle of overpriced water I had just bought at the airport shop. He was sweating profusely and I wondered if he was actually sick. I wondered who he was running from.
“Yes, yes. Thank you. I’m a little out of sorts,” he gasped as he took the water from me. He gulped half of it down before breathing again, but still looked pale and shaken.
His breathing started to slowly return to normal, but his eyes darted nervously back and forth. He jumped from one foot to another and couldn’t stop his fingers from twitching. Like he was expecting someone or something to sneak up on him. As we waited to scan our boarding passes, my imagination took me all sorts of dark places. All which proved true when he started screaming.