My suitcase is sitting on the edge of my bed, freshly packed and brimming with clothes and toiletries and some useless items that are surely taking up too much space. I could probably take out that 8th pair of socks, or maybe that one puffy vest. No, I think I’ll keep the vest. You never know when a cold front might move through. I’ll be thankful that I have it then. “honk, honk!” I sprint to the other side of my window and stick my face as close as I can in order to see around the outer brick walls of my building. Uh oh, the cab driver’s here already. Seriously? I just called like 10 minutes ago. “HONK, HONK!!!” OK, jeez, I’m coming! Scooping up my luggage I throw on my oversized, army green coat from the Goodwill. It swallows me up as it is two sizes too large but I don’t care. I wear it way too often and love it way too much. It set me back a whopping $3.50 and has been the golden egg in my wardrobe ever since that day I picked it up while out thrifting with my aunt from Tennessee. It is long and thick and sturdy like it could protect me from rain or snow or thick brush or a cold night in the city.
Anyways, enough about my jacket, where was I? Oh right, the pesky cab driver. “honk honk honk honk honk!!!” It’s like he is trying to signal me to come downstairs with some sort of car horn Morse code. Bag in hand, I slam shut my apartment door, fly down the stairs, almost tripping with every clumsy step I take. I throw open the door to my building and sprint to the cab car. I hop in, shaking the car with the force at which I entered it. “To the airport!” I could tell my enthusiasm annoyed the driver to no end. He didn’t say a word and neither did I. Hugging my suitcase, I melt into the cracked leather of the cab’s backseat and looked out the window, taking in everything that I was leaving behind. Who knew when I would see it all again. I’m snapped back to reality when I’m nearly thrown through the front windshield of the car. I guess the cab driver was annoyed with my wide eyed, obnoxious stares and wanted to bring me back to reality with a quick slam on the brakes and a hard jolt of the car. I throw a twenty into the front seat and leap out of the car, slightly fearing for my life. I could tell that the driver, I believe his name was Nick, according to his cabbie license posted on the dash, definitely was plotting my death. Whatever, I didn’t care.
I had arrived at my destination. I had finally reached the airport. Through the doors I ran, up the escalator I rushed, through the crowds of people I pushed, only to end up at the back of an absurdly long line at the security gate. My flight was scheduled to leave at 8:30 a.m. and I was in danger of missing the departure time. Luckily, the line moved quickly and as I got to the front, I began putting all of my things on the x-ray scanner belt. My shoes, my belt, my bag, my beautiful green coat, all neatly placed on the conveyer. I walked through the metal detector with ease. I mean, obviously I did, what did I have to hide? I just wanted to get the hell out of this place. “beep beep BEEP BEEP” A loud sound began coming from the x-ray scanner and a red light was flashing. I look over and see that my stuff has set it off. In disbelief I walk over to security to see what was going on. A man, with a freshly buzzed head and a tightly pressed uniform on, took me by the arm and led my to the other side of the room. He holds up a small Ziploc bag two inches in front of my face. The inside of the bag is speckled with some sort of red substance. In the bottom left corner I see something popping out of a pool of the red liquid. I looked up at the man in uniform and ask him what was going on. To my horror, he opens the bag and with his gloved hand, pull out the object that was submersed in the fluid. It was a tooth. Terrified, I step back, shaking and sweating. Where did that come from and why was it with my things? The uniformed man was a police officer, investigating the death of a man recently murdered a few hundred yards away from the airport. The tooth belonged to a dead man. The tooth, in my possession, belonged to a man that had been shot in the chest while driving his taxi away from the airport. This man’s name was Nick. It was believed that his most recent passenger had done the deed, exited the car, and tried to make a getaway by boarding a plane out of town. I stood there in disbelief, feeling nauseous and faint, trying to figure out how I was the center of a homicide investigation. How did I have this man’s molar? He was alive when I got out of the car and was alive when he drove away from me! I begged and pleaded for the officer to hear my side of the story. I was innocent! But how does one prove their innocence when they are in possession of bag full of a dead person’s blood and missing tooth. As I was being handcuffed and taken away, in my hysteria I tried to make sense of it.
I guess ol’ Nick was a miserable guy. He was tired of driving overzealous, wanderlust seeking, twenty-somethings to the airport day in and day out. When I hopped into his car, he knew he had found a way to get back at all those snarky brats, taking vacations with their parent’s money and never tipping him a dime. As he sat outside waiting and waiting for me to come out of my apartment, he reached deep into his glove box and pulled out a pair of pliers. He placed them around his back tooth and clamped down. With one hard yank he pulled it out, while laying on the horn to muffle his scream. He carefully placed his molar inside a baggie along with a little blood that was dripping from his gums. He tucked the baggie between his legs and waited, while swallowing the blood that was quickly filling his mouth. As soon as I jumped into the car he knew he had found the one to take the fall. He couldn’t bear the thought of his wife knowing that he committed suicide so he decided to pin it on me. After a silent ride together we arrive at the airport. He slams on the brakes with all his might and as I am thrown forward, he carefully spins around and shoves the bag into my oversized coat pocket before I could even notice. I jump out, he drives away. I wait in line at security, he shoots himself in the chest. I take the fall, he dies in peace. All because he didn’t want me to go on vacation.