Driving to the airport tonight at top speed and with the Bridget Jones soundtrack ablaring, I had the odd feeling that I was on some romantic quest to halt the departure of an unrequited loved one. Odd especially since I am in, actual fact, collecting my parents, whom I love…requitedly (though unromantically), on return from their holiday. Even now, sitting in arrivals I’m tempted to run at someone and say, “Stop! I bloody love you!” In fact, I’m actually considering the redhead in the knee-high boots. Imagine how that would go…

“Pardon?”

“I said ‘I love you’…what’s your name?

“What?!”

“That doesn’t matter to me. So, I don’t know your name…” A crowd is now forming around us. A security guard puts down his scanning device and listens in. An air hostess stops in her tracks. “I don’t even know if you have a boyfriend – ”

“I’m married.”

“Right.” Just then hubby walks over. “I didn’t know that. But I do know – what is your name?”

“Diane.”

“Right. I do know, Diana –”

“It’s Diane.”

“Sorry – Diane. I do know that I love you.” With that female members of the audience swoon. “And you mustn’t get on that plane.”

“What’s going on here, Diane?” Diane’s husband is a remarkably large man, and I begin to wish that I’d picked on the minger in the tracksuit. She’s obviously single. “Is this bloke bothering you?”

“He says I mustn’t get on the plane.” The audience awakes from the slumber of their swooning and gasps in fear.

“Nobody board the plane!” The husband shouts to the crowd. And then quieter but with no less urgency, to me. “Especially not you.” Then everything goes dark.

Awaking from this thought I’m relieved to find that I am not covered in blood and reconsider the whole romantic terrorism thing altogether. Instead, I watch returnees wheel their luggage from the carousel to the crowd, appearing from behind a screen, looking tanned and tired and for family and friends. As I stand with them and behind the barrier that separates the tanned from the untanned (which I am, I’m not sure), I think to myself that it’s an arrangement not unfamiliar to celebrities the world over. The security, the barricades, the adoring fans. Throw in some red carpet, supermodel Caprice and a Star Wars prequel (not much, I know) and we’ve got ourselves a movie premiere.

The old man approaching is there already, waving at nobody in particular but enjoying his moment all the same. Hey, I know the next couple…It’s R2D2 and C3PO – my mum and dad, back from a Balearic Island, far, far away.

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