The Secret Billionaire

By: Vanessa Brown

Chapter 1

“Shit shit shit shit!” Vera cried as she bolted out of the cab. She had already paid the cabbie and the only thing she was looking at was the gate that was in front of her. “Move aside, please!” she yelled warning people in front of her. Holding her bag in one hand and a ringing phone and purse in the other, Vera entered the airport and did not stop to take a look around. She knew where she needed to be and her feet took her to her destination.

The shiny floor was making all the efforts to make her slip, but she was used to running on this floor. This was not the first time she was running in here. “Coming through! Excuse me!” she kept yelling while running. The people in front of her were able to hear her loud and clear, and so she did not bump into anyone — though a few time she had near misses with elderly people who were not able to move just in time. Through the crowd she was now able to see the desk of Lagoona Airlines. A long line of passengers starting from the counter was going all the way back to the lounge. It was raining chaos over all the airport — the weather had suddenly taken a turn for the worse and the flights were being delayed. Quickly, Vera ran past the long line of the passengers and ran towards the door that had ‘Employees Only’ written on it.

“You are late, Vera!” the woman by the gate tried to inform her as she entered. But Vera was not interested in listening to anything. Inside, she quickly took off her coat and stood before her locker. Stuffing her coat and purse inside, she quickly stood before a mirror that had bright lights and makeup placed in front of it. Vera fixed her face and hair and took a final look at her dress that was hiding under her coat earlier.

Jane was able to see Vera from the counter outside, “Vera!!” she cried peeking her head inside the tiny window.

“Coming!” Vera yelled back as she saw herself for one last time to ensure she was looking spick and span. Seconds later, she was at the counter beside Jane.

“Thank God you are finally here!” Jane was letting her know that her presence was appreciated, but Miranda was not in a good mood, “We have been dealing with this all morning. You are not supposed to be late on a day like this. Flights are getting delayed and people are going crazy.”

“I get it Miranda! Now let me do my job, alright!” Vera was taking charge of the situation.

“This is bullshit!” An irate passenger yelled at Vera, “I am not booking any other flight. I paid you guys and you are supposed to fly me out of this pathetic city.”

“I am sorry sir, but all the flights are being grounded due to the incoming storm.” Vera was trying to be polite. Inside, she wanted to throw this guy’s ticket in his face and tell him to get the fuck out of here. But she liked having this job and so decided to keep that plastic smile on her face.

“I am going to sue you guys. You just wait!” the man threatened before leaving the counter. Vera knew he was not going to do anything.

The whole staff was used to getting these idle threats all the time. Almost all of the unhappy passengers for one reason or the other, threatened to sue the airlines. “I would want at least somebody to actually do it,” Jane used to say often. “That way these cheap bastards would somehow learn how to run an airline properly.” Like all her colleagues, Vera knew that Lagoona Airlines was one of the cheapest in the business because they were masters in cutting corners to save costs. Misplaced luggage, bad food and mishaps with bookings were some common occurrences along with regular delays for no apparent reasons.

But today was something special. Lagoona was not the only airlines that was delayed. Every other airline was facing irate passengers who were threatening to sue them. Vera often joked with Jane that threatening to sue is the new trend that most people liked to follow these days.

“I will sue you!” she often imitated a passenger followed by a good laugh. “Nobody has the time.” Jane always said, “Do you know what you have to do to sue somebody? First, you have to hire a lawyer, most people drop the plan right at this step. And if some people dare to go beyond, they then have to help that lawyer file tons of paperwork. And lets face it nobody likes to file paperwork. So of all the people who actually go ahead with the plan of suing somebody or something, only 20% actually follow through. Rest of them, just give up somewhere in the middle.”

Vera trusted Jane’s statistics — she was good with numbers, and facts. Little did she know that her 20% was all made up, like most of her facts.

“What happened today?” Jane asked Vera while they both handled the passengers. Though they were looking and smiling at the people in front of them, Vera and Jane had screened them out of their conversation. They were able to talk to each other while working. Jane was still waiting for the answer. Vera handled the passenger in front of her and showed her beautiful smile as the next passenger replaced the last one.

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