Life, God, The Universe (your pick) can display a real knack for putting us in the right place at the right time and even sitting scrunched up on an airplane for two hours next to the right person.
On April 3rd, I boarded my Miami connect to Jamaica behind a strikingly beautiful woman. While we were being herded across the jet bridge she caught my attention with her animated phone conversation, thick Jamaican accent and statuesque carriage. Fast forward five minutes and I find my assigned seat wedged between the mystery woman herself and a middle-aged American man, who were right in the middle of introducing themselves when I walked up. “Well, my name is Katie!” I announced. They both looked up and smiled in the realization that their third wheel had arrived.
My flight from Charlotte had boarded at 5:30am that morning and I’d gone on to successfully navigate the Miami airport and catch my connector to Jamaica with little to no complications. That being said, I was tired and looking forward to settling into my newest Deepak Chopra book for a relaxing 2 hour flight.
As you may have guessed, a relaxing 2 hour flight with Deepak is not how this story ends.
It was clear within a few minutes that my flightmates and I were going to get to know each other. On either side of me sat very charismatic, talkative and inquisitive individuals who were at least determined to get more acquainted with each other, whether I wanted to read in the middle or not. With a few questions slung my way, I discarded my antisocial act and seized the moment to get to know two seemingly interesting fellow light beings.
Mystery Lady’s name is Nadine. I asked the obvious…”Are you Jamaican?” “Yes, but I live in the US now”, she replied. “Are you going home to march Carnival?” I asked. She looked pleasantly shocked “Carnival is this week?! I had no idea! Yesss!” she squealed in response. I laughed, “Then what are you doing on your trip? Visiting family and friends?” “No” she said seriously and rather sheepishly “I’m going for business.” “What do you do?” I asked “I am a model” she said, “I’ve taken some time off to spend with my family, but my agent has set up some photo shoots for me to refresh my portfolio.” A model? Now we were talking. I immediately wanted to tell her that I model too, but judging from her 5’10 frame versus my 5’6 one…I wasn’t sure she’d take me seriously. Or that I’d take myself seriously either. So, I kept that tidbit to myself and the conversation carried on into other directions.
The three of us discussed our various plans for once we landed on the island and exchanged phone numbers with plans to link up for drinks once we settled in. Nadine dozed off mid-flight and somehow managed to look quite graceful in the process. She woke up after perhaps a 20 minute nap and sighed, “If I march Carnival, the press will catch wind that I’m home and I’ll never see the end of it.” This comment tipped me off that maybe Nadine was like…really a capital M Model. “So, have you done work for anyone that I may have heard of?” I asked. “Gucci” she casually replied and proceeded to show me a few shots of her work that she’d saved on her cell phone. See below:
I finally revealed to her that I too, do some modeling and she was so humble and genuinely interested in my experiences as well. “You are a real model” she told me when I insisted that compared to her I wasn’t. “But I am a super model” she laughed. How could I disagree? We landed in Jamaica, each of us bubbling with excitement to debark the plane. We all three made promises to get in touch once we were on the island and went our separate ways.
Vacation ensues, I make new friends and lots of plans. For the time being, I forget about my airplane buddies and get swept up in my new island breezy attitude. About my fourth night there, I’m with the crew at an outdoor dance club perfecting my wind when I look up and see Nadine walking right in my direction. She grins, I grin, we hug and gush about how crazy it is that we ran into each other again. “This is my agency” she said gesturing to a building to my right “And this is my agent” gesturing to a man to her left. Our reunion was brief, but sweet and my opinion of Nadine was further solidified. She is really a sweet and down to earth, while exceptionally beautiful woman.
I can’t be sure why stories unfold the way that they do, but I believe with certainty that there is no such thing as coincidence. Somewhere, someone is doing some orchestrating of events. I’m not sure why I met Nadine, but I do know I’ll be using her phone number soon. If nothing else, to get some more motherly advice from her on Jamaican men, because I’ve decided to relocate to Jamaica indefinitely. My trip there inspired a joy and peace in me that I haven’t felt in quite some time and to put it simply, a week just wasn’t enough. On my much less eventful return flight from Jamaica to Miami, I watched the island shrink farther and farther away through the window and through my tears. That’s when I knew my time with Jamaica wasn’t up yet, we have unfinished business between ourselves. Chapter Two of my Jamaican adventure kicks off on June 18th.