The agent asked for my passport and the tickets that I hold.
My mind now scattered wondering what next would unfold.
Now there's three agents saying would you please come with us.
My energy level now falling, I went withouta complaint ora fuss.
We walked past all check points and then into a room.
The door when it closed echoed my head like a tomb.
Because the only thing in the room were a table and chairs.
A cold blinding light as they sit with expressionless stares.
The tickets were not electronic, they were hand written in red,
She looked at them, then me, I couldn't believe what she said!
"The flight that you had, we are requiring you to pay.
So this is the reason that we detain you today."
My mind went to rage as I stood with fire from my eyes.
Held my passport over my head as they all looked surprised.
I declared "I am an American citizen, am I under arrest?"
As I slammed my fist down and then to my chest.
"I have been screwed with and questioned for nearly five days.
I have had all I am going to take, now get out of my way!"
She then said "Now wait, we need your address.
We can't just let you walk" She continued to press.
I turned as I calmed and said "I see only two options for you.
Now open this door or get an attorney is what you will do!"
"British Immigration is the reason I stand here today.
They screwed my vacation so it is them that will pay!"
Now you open this door or you put me in jail!
If you do then a lawsuit is what you'll entail!"
I stood seemed like hours, as we continued to stare.
She knew I was serious, as she looked at my glare.
She took a deep breath and then nodded her head.
It seemed she couldn't look at the tears that I shed.
As I heard the door open, there was a buzz in my brain.
I then walked towards freedom, my feet leaded pain.
The first time in five days I had control of my fate.
Knowing the fresh air, would not heal my state.
I sat on the floor with my back against a wall.
The emotions now flowing, no strenght at all.
Minutes went to hours, watching the world pass me by.
I finally realized the lot I was in, I could not deny.
Then I stood, took a breath, and brushed off myself.
What ever happens next, it will not be fixing itself.
I got on the tram heading to terminal two,
and to US Airways to see whatI could do.
I walked up to the counter and again they were polite,
as they told me the British had never booked me a flight.
Stuck in Chicago again and I'm three states away.
Couldn't call friends and family, they work every day.
So back to the motel that I stayed at before.
In the same room, I dropped my bags to the floor.
I will not go into details about the night that I had,
except it was a personal hell, it went really bad.
I called my friend Mike, my plight we would discuss.
Greyhound my only option, thirteen hours on a bus.
I told him I didnt think that was something I could do.
Being caged up that long again, my anxiety grew.
He yelled "You have family and friends, we know you are hurt.
Now you be on that bus, your lot in life, you must reassert!"
It's now six am and it's the sixth day of my trip.
The cabbie horn beeping and I must get a grip.
We drove for an hour winding in and out of the streets.
I walked into the terminal, it was full and not one seat.
So I sat on my bags and I must have really been a sight.
People pulling their kids away from me with looks of fright.
Finally we boarded squeezing into the little seats.
The anxiety building as I could feel my heart beat.
Fifteen stops it would take for me to get home.
Wondering to myself if I had ever been this alone.
Then during one stop, life was put right in front of me,
and a man with a teddy bear is what I did see.
He told me his story as I listened to him intent.
The last five years in prison is where he had spent.
He had been drunk one night and driving his car.
He wreaked, his friend died, leaving emotional scars.
Not only had he not seen his little girl since she was one.
During his time in, his wife died, and she too was gone.
I stood in amazement thinking about what happened to me.
Mine somehow seemed trivial, there are worse things I see.
So I asked was the bear all he had to give to her,
the tears welled in his eyes and his emotions did stir.
I dug in my pocket and found the last British Pound I had.
I put it in his hand, we both cried, the moment was sad.
I said "I want you to take this, you give it to her.
It's something she can cherish, good luck it will stir."
He tried to give it back and said "You give too much!
This is a piece of your life, your heart it does touch."
"I would be honored if you keep it." is what I would say.
"At least I know one of us will be having a good day."
The rest of the ride passed, as I thought about life.
Family and friends waiting hopefully removing my strife.
We pulled into Youngstown and I then got off the bus.
Mike was standing there waiting "We have a lot to discuss"
Mike and I went straight to a pub called Cleary's. Mikey behind the bar said to me "What the hell are you doing here?" It is a question I would have to answer hundreds of times over the next few days.
It has been a little over six months since that trip and I am just now able to put it on paper. If you ever travel to London, make double sure your paperwork is in place and be ready to prove everything.
Thanks for reading and as always...
Write On My Friends!