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Catch Me If You Can

The terminal gates open and thousands of passengers rush into the terminal, ready to go against the battles of the day. Custom clerks rang up the flights, security on their cues to protect the terminal in the best way it can, and the ATC was ready for its new recruits from a sister station.

Another day, she thought. It was early and she was tired but that didn’t mean everyone else was. Life would soon sprout all around the terminal on this cold and dark morning, and it would once again, forget to have wrapped itself along the lines of where Ariel stood and outward. Never directly on her though. Never.

Sighing deeply with her hand on her hips, Ariel walks around the enormous terminal and sets her sights on the familiar scenes; fathers and sons wishing each other luck, mothers and daughters crying uncontrollably, husbands and wives kissing to no end, boyfriends, girlfriends, old friends all of whom loved one another and thrived from it. Sometimes there would be tears, sometimes a laugh here and there, but here in the airport, love cannot escape. And right in the middle stood Ariel and she was out of luck…where was her love?

“ARIEL!” screamed a voice from behind.

“Huh??” Ariel jumped. “Oh it’s just you, Yi Zhen. Haven’t you gotten enough from scaring me to death?”

“Forget that,” she enthusiastically scoffed. “I just found out that the pilots are coming today! Can you believe that??? OH the terminal will be filled with handsome gorgeous men!”

“What happened to your boy toy, Calvin Chen?” Ariel sneakily asked.

“Who needs him when there will be REAL men entering my life?” she smugly answered.

“You still haven’t asked him out haven’t you?” Ariel laughed a little.

“Don’t even go there,” she pouted. “Every time I see him, I freeze up so badly that I haven’t even gotten passed ‘Hi’ without clamming up.”

Typical, Ariel thought. This dame would never garner enough gall to do anything. She liked to think that fate will protect her from doing anything stupid; who knew that fate is probably the cause of her stupidity to not further along her non-existent relationship with Calvin. It was a bit pathetic but she was Ariel’s friend, so she couldn’t necessarily tell it to her face, even though she wanted to. It’s not like this hasn’t happened before. Just like everyone in the terminal, Yi Zhen didn’t control her destiny. Just as Ariel was about to turn around to look at the score board, Yi Zhen turned her back to stand face to face. Her eyes this time were wide and Yi Zhen looked as if she had seen a ghost.

“Calvin’s right in back of me isn’t he?” Ariel asked nonchalantly.

“Yep,” Yi Zhen squealed. “HIDE ME!”

Drooping under Ariel, Yi Zhen tried covering her blushing face as the peculiarly handsome man walked towards them. Calvin actually worked in the ATC, the department where Ariel wanted to be. He often worked with radios a lot and controlled basically every department on the ground from Baggage Handlers to Ground Control. He was also Yi Zhen’s biggest crush.

“Hello Ladies,” he kindly smiled to the two women.

“Hi Mr. Chen,” Ariel smiled back. “How’s life in the ATC?”

“It’s been good. Still have that pesky snag back in the towers but they say it’ll all be cleared within a few days. I recall that you wanted a job in the ATC am I correct?” he asked.

“Yes, sir” Ariel nodded.

“Well I hope to see you one day working with me side by side,” he said, continuing his streak of professionalism. “Hi Yi Zhen.”

“H-hi,” she sputtered, still unable to look him in the eye.

“Ah! I will catch up with you ladies some other time, I just got a buzz,” he apologized. “I am supposed to give the ol’ drill and kill to the newbies today. Wish me luck.” He sarcastically smiled as he winced at the inevitable fact.

As they watch the perfect gentleman walk away from them, Ariel could see why Yi Zhen’s puddle of drool was getting larger and larger. Even though Ariel never thought Calvin was much of a looker, he sure did know how to behave in front of a lady. And his smile was probably a factor to why Yi Zhen couldn’t contain her giggles every time she thought of him.

“Stop drooling, pup,” Ariel nudged her friend awake. “I thought you said you had your sights on the new arrivals.”

“Oh yeah,” Yi Zhen said dreamily. “Hurry we need to get to the good spots!”

Meanwhile, the head of the ATC stood stiff and calm waiting for these new pilots to make their entrance and give them a grand welcoming to their new headquarters. Calvin stood aside the Field Commissioner and next to the head of Airport Security. This was an unnecessary procedure for any incoming pilot but this wasn’t just any ordinary airport; it was the best. With fresh ideas and technological advances coming their way, the staff was required to be as up to date as possible.

Joe, Mike and Jiro walk into the terminal with only one thing on their minds; flight. They march in unison, with their neatly pressed aviation attire on, pulling on their matching suitcases, and with bright beaming smiles that left all the women within their peripheral vision to fall to their knees in overwhelming numbers.

“Gentlemen,” the head of the ATC greeted the three men. “Welcome, to your new home! I am the head of Air Traffic Control, this is my right hand man, Calvin Chen, and to my left is the head of Security personnel. We are going to become the best of friends!”

“Thank you for your hospitality,” Jiro happily answered with a small bow.

“I think this would be the best time to introduce you to your new surroundings,” Calvin beamed as he led the way.

“Right this way, gentlemen, and we’ll settle a few things back in the office.”

The new aviation pilots scan their new premises and to their surprise, this new terminal they were transferring into was indeed a lot more technologically advanced than what they were prepared for. As the men all walk into the Aviation towers, where all the communication happens between the pilot and the ATC, life had already began beaming away from one neon colored wall to the next. It looked as if NASA had repositioned its new bureau in this small shack of a room.

“This is the new radio system we have prepared for the new recruits,” the head of the ATC added. “We are hoping that you have had the training to understand the new instruments.”

“Sure!” answered Mike, as he studied the new material.

“We’re trying to cut back on the irrelevant signals we get as the aircraft enters international waters,” Calvin explained.

“Therefore, with this new technology, hopefully we will be able to communicate with each aviator more efficiently if he or she has to so an emergency landing in an uncharted territory.”

“Makes sense,” Joe nodded as he looked into the new computer system. “And
Ground control will still enable us to land in uncharted territories? Or is this systematically altered into each aircraft?”

“We still use the Secondary surveillance radars to display traffic control, so our pilots are completely safe,” Calvin answered. “I will go into more detail as we begin take off but as of right now, the only thing left is to check in with security. Please, follow our security personnel for your badges and your flight schedules for this coming month.”

“YES SIR!” shouted all the three pilots.

Walking out of the aviation tower was absolute mayhem. It was as if these three pilots were supermodels that just flew in from Milan. All the female employees from every department flocked to their side and were screaming for attention, security was desperately trying to surround the new pilots; absolute mayhem. When finally arriving into the back offices, the three men sat down in an office with clear, transparent walls so every face outside the offices can be spotted, including the dozens of female employees in the Custom’s department peaking in for a glance of the new handsome arrivals of the terminal.

“Now these are you badges and these are your new schedules…” said a customs officer as he passed each men their respective items. “And I’m sorry about the… ruckus. They’re just a bit flamboyant today,” the officer apologized. “The Field commissioner will be in any minute.”

What was even worse was that the only couch inside the office faced the outside. The three men looked as if they were fresh meat on a stick for all those hungry dogs, all longing and hungry for a limb, to devour. And as the dogs salivated in front of their prey, the men just sat inside the small, cozy office, the offices and cubicles outside the Custom’s office, that were once filled in by their female inhabitants, were now emptied. This meant for a clear chance for two baggage handlers to sneak in for a peak. Slowly walking in to the offices, Ariel and Yi Zhen had snuck inside to check out the new fresh crop of men to see if they needed any harvesting.

“Come on Ariel!” Yi Zhen whined. “We already missed them at the Aviation Towers! I don’t want to lose them in the Field Commissioner’s office!”

“Ugh,” Ariel huffed as she sat down in a cubicle. “I don’t want to see them anymore! I don’t care! Let me just sit here and watch you, along with every girl here, gawk and stare at the mice in the cage.”

“Suit yourself, my dear,” Yi Zhen smirked as she rushed herself next to the mob and managed to squeeze in between.

Ariel sat in the cubicle and sighed. Her feet hurt from running and she was starving. Why did she follow Yi Zhen from one end of the terminal to the next; that was suicide for her feet! Putting her legs up on the table, Ariel rested her body for a bit as she waited for Yi Zhen to finish whatever the hell she wanted to do. Their lunch break was almost over and they still hadn’t eaten anything.

Meanwhile, inside the Field Commissioner’s office, Mike, Joe and Jiro were snickering about the lack of professionalism this terminal had.

“I think we should have stayed at Taiwan Taoyuan International,” Jiro joked. “What are all those women doing? Don’t they have anything better to do?”

“Flash them your ring, Mike, and then let’s see them scream at a different tone,” laughed Joe.

“Please, Rainie can mutilate all of them without having me flash my ring,” Mike scoffed as he rolled his eyes at the mass outside.

Suddenly the Field Commissioner came in with an annoyed expression written clearly across his face…along with the howls from every women outside. He was a stout man, with a brown goatee, with a few grays here and there. He was balding a bit and had chubby, red cheeks just like Santa.

“Get back you vultures!” he screamed at the women. “Phew, I didn’t think I was going to make it in that mosh pit!”

“HAHA, glad you could make it,” Mike laughed. “So we heard you wanted to talk to us? Normally we aren’t confronted with the Commissioner.”

“Ah, that’s because this is my terminal; and everything that happens, including recruitment and transfers has to go through by me,” the Commissioner smugly nodded as he stated his place. “Now, which one of you is Jiro?”

Jiro stood and took a bow.

“I’m ready for business,” he smiled.

“Ah!!!” screamed a woman from outside. “He’s soo cute!”

“Ugghhh,” the commissioner heaved a sighed as he rubbed his temple. “Sit, sit. I have a few things to talk to you gentlemen…”

The commissioner began his small rant on ethics of the terminal and soon all three pilots were wandering in their own world and trying to stay awake. Mike had already started nodding his head almost automatically. Jiro left his hand on his cheek as he steadied his head from tipping off his neck. Joe however, kept his gaze at the women. At least they were a bit more interesting to look at than the Field Commissioner’s sweat filled brow. More specifically, he was looking at a woman pretty far away from what he can see. She was working in a cubicle and rocking her chair back and forth, back and forth. This was going to be interesting.

“Give her two more minutes before she hits the ground,” he thought to himself.

As Ariel waited for Yi Zhen to hurry up, she receives a call from Kris’ school, paging her to call them back. She grabbed one of the phones, which were still connected by wire, and dialed her friend Ella.

“Hey Ella!” Ariel answered. “Is this a bad time?”

“Oh no,” Ella answered at the end of the receiver. “I’m not busy. The kids just entered silent reading.”

“Hey I got a beep from you. What has she done now…”

The conversation inside the room however, seemed like there was no end to it. Mike and Jiro had had it with the nonstop novice treatment. They were transfers not beginners!

“I’m sorry commissioner,” Jiro interrupted. “But is this necessary for transfer pilots to undergo such lengthy introductions?”

“Of course!” the commissioner refuted. “You see, this is not just a terminal. This is family…”

Oh no, Jiro and Mike thought. They had just made way to another hour long lecture…

Heaving out a strong sigh, Mike went back to dozing off and Jiro continued to mount his aching head. Joe however, kept his focus on the woman. And now since she was talking on the phone, she paid no attention to the amused man staring at her. The chair she sat on was almost hypnotic as she continued to rock back and forth, back and forth. Something about the image was attracting him; whether it was because he had nothing else better to do or because she was actually slightly attractive had nothing to do with it…well? He didn’t know it at the time, but it was as if his mind forced him to understand who this woman might be.

Rocking back and forth…back and forth.

“She did WHAT!!!!” she suddenly screamed. “Whooaa!!”

And just as he predicted, the chair gave way, and the woman began to slowly descend backwards until she hit the ground! She tried tugging at the phone wire but it too snapped and went back with her. Screams from the outside suddenly woke up the sleeping men inside the office.

“I wasn’t sleeping!” Called out Mike as he snapped up from the loud bang.

“I’m awake! Jiro suddenly yelled.

Only Joe was left snickering to himself at what had just happened. He bit his lower lip from cracking up as he sees everyone jump from the collision.

“OW!” screamed Ariel

“What was that?” cried one female employee.

“Ella???” Ariel screamed back at the receiver. “Ella???”

“Are you OK?” Yi Zhen called out.

As the commotion all piled into the center culprit, the men inside the room ended their thorough discussion.

“I guess that will be all for today, gentlemen. I suspect that this was a truly eventful visit.”

“Truly,” Joe smugly answered as he shook the commissioner’s hand.

As the men left the office, Joe turns to see the woman who had started all this, but they were quickly bombarded by the horde. The only face he saw was that of Yi Zhen trying to pick up and console another employee.



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