Arrivals, departures, the hustle and bustle of holiday travel. It happens every year at this time, and there's only one thing that can bring it all to a screeching halt. The dreaded winter snowstorm that decided to make an early appearance much to the chagrin of the weatherman and each and every person now stranded in the airport on Christmas Eve. Among the weary and aggravated travelers sat a beautiful blonde woman frantically dialing her cell phone.
"Daddy! There has to be some way to get me out of here."
"It's not funny Daddy, I'm going to miss Christmas!"
"I know, I know you would help me if you could. Well, wish everyone a Merry Christmas for me then. I have no idea when the weather will clear but I'll be on the next available flight."
"Yes, Jonathan should be getting there tonight. Tell him I'll call tomorrow and let him know when I'll be arriving."
"Thanks Daddy, bye."
"Oh this is just not fair. What ever am I going to do stuck in the airport?"
Meanwhile a few gates down a similar, though less frantic, call was being made. The beautiful brunette was laughing and smiling as she spoke on the phone. "Hey Ma. Yeah, it's not lookin' too good. I'm sorry but I don't think I'll be able to get out of here tonight and tomorrow's lookin' iffy too."
"Yeah, I know. Tell everyone Merry Christmas for me will ya."
"Thanks Ma, I love you too."
"Oh well, might as well stretch my legs and try to find a good place to bunk down for the night."
Strolling through the airport Jo Polniaczek took in the many and diverse faces around her. She enjoyed people watching and was just about to claim a spot near the food court when she felt a shiver run down her spine. Turning around for some unknown reason she spotted a very familiar face among the throng. It can't be! Oh I'll bet she's spittin' nails.
Blair Warner Mitchell was trying her best to concentrate on the novel she'd brought with her to read on the plane. For some reason she was feeling somewhat antsy. Angry, disgusted, frustrated… all these emotions she could understand, but antsy? Suddenly Blair got goosebumps all over and turned to look out toward the food court. There, standing just a few yards away was a blast from her past. Jo! Oh I don't believe it. Well, at least I'll have someone to talk to. I've really missed her. Smiling brightly Blair stood, picked up her purse and carry on and made her way over to the smiling brunette.
"Well, look who it is. Jo Polniaczek, as I live and breath!"
"Hey there Princess! How've you been?" Dropping her bag on the floor she opened her arms to the blonde.
Dropping her own bags as well Blair moved into the embrace and returned it. "I'd say I'm glad to see you, but under the circumstances that would be crass." Holding the brunette at arms length she looked into the still familiar blue eyes. "Oh heck, I really am glad to see you Jo!"
"It's okay. I understand. I'm glad you're here with me too, even though I'm sure we'd each rather be on our respective flights." Moving out of the blonde's embrace Jo motioned toward the slightly sheltered corner she'd been heading for. "I think that's gonna be a good spot to have later when everyone's lookin' to bunk down for the night."
"What? Oh, no Jo. I was just heading to the Platinum lounge. There are sofa's and food and TV's… come with me?"
"Hey, you don't hafta ask me twice. That's a much better deal than what I was proposin'." Picking up her carry on as well as Blair's Jo gestured for the blonde to move ahead of her. "Lead on Princess."
Settling down on the last available couch in the lounge Jo and Blair each let out a healthy sigh. Laughing, they grabbed their carry on bags and rummaged around for something to do. Blair stood and motioned toward the bar. "Would you like a soda or a snack or something?"
"Sure, how about a Coke?" Pulling a baggie of cookies out of her bag she held it up to Blair. "I've got the snacks covered."
"Are those Fig Newtons? Ooh, I love them!" Confused as she recalled something from her past Blair had to ask. "I thought you didn't like Fig Newtons?"
"Yeah, well, at the time you were not one of my favorite people. I pretty much boycotted anything you liked." Smiling ruefully at the blonde Jo added. "I'm just glad I got over that childish behavior. Because I gotta tell ya, I did without a lot of my favorite things for a while there."
Chuckling at the brunette's admission Blair countered. "Well, I never told you this, but I figured out what you were doing. There were a few things I pretended to like because I knew you liked them and wouldn't have them." Shaking her head she added. "I'm sorry for that Jo. I sometimes wonder why we did the things we did." Walking away to procure their beverages Blair continued to try to make sense of it all. It's really amazing how we went from arch-enemies to best of friends. I used to enjoy getting Jo angry and Lord knows she could certainly give as good as she got.
Jo watched as the blonde walked away. It's been almost four years since I've seen her and it seems like it was just yesterday. She looks great, too. But she's married, so I'm not goin' there. Watching as Blair returned Jo smiled and took the offered Coke. "Thanks. So, were you headin' back home?"
"Yes. Mother planned a lovely dinner with Father, Jonathan and myself." She smiled wistfully. "I was looking forward to being back home again." Looking over at the brunette she was so glad she was here. "Were you on your way to Brooklyn?"
"Yeah. Ma was having the whole family over for dinner. It was gonna be a real full house." Sighing Jo added. "I was really lookin' forward to seein' everybody."
"Well, it looks like it's just you and I… at least until the weather clears."
"Yeah, that's somethin' isn't it?" Chuckling, Jo popped the tab on her soda. "Remember that last Christmas with the gang? What was that you got me? It was a Barbie pink duffle bag, right?"
Laughing at the memory Blair added. "That's right! And you got me… Wait, give me a minute. Ooh, you got me that cashmere scarf. Oh, Jo, that was so beautiful and I felt like such a jerk for giving you that pink bag."
"Hey, water under the bridge." Jo said as she waved it off. "Besides I traded it in for a pretty nice pair of gloves."
"Oh, good. Because you know I'd…"
"Obsess over it!"
"Hey!" Blair yelled as she swatted at Jo. "Well, you're right, I would have." She said as she pulled the surprised brunette into a hug. "I really miss this… us… you."
"Nah, you're just feelin' needy 'cause you can't be with your husband and your folks." Waiting for the smart remark she was sure was coming she was instead pulled into an even tighter embrace. "Hey, are you okay?"
The blonde remained in the embrace as she answered. "Jo, Jonathan and I are getting a divorce. We were planning to tell our respective parents over the Holidays."
Squeezing the blonde Jo whispered. "Oh, Blair, I'm so sorry to hear that."
"Don't be. I think we both finally realized that we got married because everyone thought we should, not because we wanted to." Pulling back she looked into the concerned blue eyes in front of her. "We've both come to terms with it, but our parents are not going to like this. They probably think we are going to tell them we're expecting."
"Yeah, I bet you'll make a great mom some day."
"What about you, you've always been good with children?"
"It'll happen, but I want to make sure I've found the right person to have kids with." Thinking about what she just said and what Blair just told her Jo gasped. "Oh, Blair, I'm sorry! I wasn't thinkin' when I said that"
"Hey, it's okay, really. You're right to wait for the right person, starting a family is serious business." Shaking her head Blair sighed. "Enough about all of this, tell me what you've been up to lately. I haven't seen you in so long and I want to know everything – don't leave anything out."
Yeah, that'd go over real well… Oh I've just spent the last four years dating poor substitutes for you Princess!
"Jo?" Blair asked, concerned that the brunette hadn't answered her. "It's okay. You don't have to tell me everything. I just want to catch up with you."
"Huh, oh sorry, I was just tryin' to come up with somethin' you might find interestin'." Flashing a quick smile at the blonde Jo added. "I've really just been workin' at the bike shop… oh, I did go to Italy two years ago with Sam! That was fun, and so beautiful, Blair ya shoulda' seen it!"
"Oh, Jo that's wonderful! I love Italy, it's so romantic… so who's Sam?"
"What, who… did I say Sam?" Feeling flustered Jo gathered her wits about her and continued. "Uh, well, Sam is who I went to Italy with. Ancient history if ya get my drift."
"Well, that's too bad. But it must have been wonderful at the time – being in Rome with a lover…" Sighing wistfully Blair asked. "So where else did you two go?"
"Oh, I can hardly remember half of it nowadays." Jo was trying desperately to find a way to change the subject. "I remember this great little town in Tuscany – San Gimignano. We really wore ourselves out trying to see everything there. It was so beautiful. Then we spent the last night in Florence before heading to Milan the next morning to fly home." Chuckling Jo lost herself in the story as she added. "Sam was so tired I had to drag her out bed the next morning so we wouldn't miss our flight." Smiling at the blonde Jo noticed an odd expression on Blair's face, a mix of shock and confusion. Thinking over what she said Jo understood why. "Oh God, Blair did I say she, I meant…"
Holding up her hand to silence the brunette Blair spoke. "Don't Jo. Don't lie just because you think you've offended my delicate sensibilities. It's alright if Sam was a girl, there's nothing wrong with you dating a girl, Jo. Don't ever be ashamed of who you are!"
"Hey, calm down alright. I didn't mean to upset you. Actually I figured you'd be more upset about me datin' a girl then me denyin' it." Now it was Jo's turn to be confused.
"Denial is exactly what's got me where I am right now. Getting a divorce from someone who should have just been a friend and losing contact with a friend that should have been more." Turning away Blair began to softly sob.
Gathering her friend up in her arms Jo continued to process what Blair just said. "Hey, it's gonna be alright Blair. Don't be upset."
"Don't you see Jo, you've just proved to me that I paid a dear price for denying my feelings for you back then. For being a good little Warner and marrying the right boy."
"You were talkin' about me?" Jo asked in wonder.
"Of course! Who else would I be talking about?"
"Wow, Blair… I don't know what to say."
"Then don't say anything, just hold me for a little while." Sighing dejectedly Blair gave Jo a squeeze. "We'll both be on different flights in the morning."
"Wait a minute. Are you tellin' me that's it? Now that you know we bat for the same team you're just gonna fly away?" Jo sat back so that she could look the blonde in the eye. "I don't think so Princess. I ain't lettin' you slip through my fingers again. We are gonna go our separate ways for the Holidays but I want you to promise me that we'll talk, and as soon as we can both swing it we'll go someplace together and see what the future holds."
Tear-filled brown eyes gazed into equally tear-filled blue as Blair answered. "I promise Jo, I promise."
At the stroke of midnight on Christmas Eve two wishes were granted, two hearts found hope in a promise, and despite the inauspicious beginnings this would truly be a Christmas to remember.