Steve flipped his wrist impatiently, checking the time. The taxi he ordered was late, and the plane was not going to wait. He looked at the stream of traffic going down Roosevelt.
He tapped his foot nervously as the taxi pulled up. A short stocky man rolled down the window. “Mr. Rainey, sorry for the delay.” Sam saw the bags and popped the trunk, then hobbled out of the car and over to put in John’s bags. Sam wiped his brow, “It’s a hot one today, ain’t it?” Sam smiled, hoping for a small relief from Steve’s stern face.
Steve drew in a sharp breath, then relaxed and smiled. Sam reminded him a little of his own father, hard working, and eager to make another’s day better. “It sure is! I’m ready to be back home in the mountains where it is cooler.” Steve helped with his last bag, then they both climbed back in the taxi.
“O’Hare or Midway, Mr. Rainey?” Sam inquired.
“Very good. We will be there in no time.” Sam smiled back in the mirror. “So, the mountains you say. Where abouts?”
Steve grinned just thinking of home and his face lit up. “It’s a little town at the base of the Rockies. Our house is out on a lot behind a field of wildflowers and next to a quiet stream.”
“Ours you say? Sounds lovely!” Sam chuckled. He loved when people said that.
Steve laughed, “I mean me and my sweetheart. We just moved there a few months ago.”
Sam continued driving, weaving through the traffic on the Dan Ryan with ease. “We should be to O’Hare in 10 minutes, Mr. Rainey.”
“Great, and you may call me Steve.” He flashed his charming smile while glancing at his watch. He realized he was going to have plenty of time and his stress disappeared. “I am on United by the way.”
“Great! So the missus is waiting at home? What brought you out to the Windy City?” Sam loved to hear why people came to this town.
Steve flinched a bit, and stuttered, “We’re not married just yet,” he paused. Then he continued, “I hope to change that however now. Just worked out a book deal and the advance will cover the ring.”
Sam chuckled, “Son, if she really loves you, the ring won’t really matter. Keep that in mind. It needs to be nice, but not extravagant. It’s the love that matters.”
Steve looked down and fiddled with something in his hand. “You think so? I already had a ring, but she deserves so much more.”
Sam pulled the taxi to a stop. They had arrived at the airport. “I will help you with your bags,” and with that, Sam jumped out of the taxi and readily pulled out Steve’s bags.
Steve walked up to Sam. “Thanks for getting me here so quickly.” Steve fiddled with a small, aged ring box.
Sam saw it. “May I see?”
Steve was a little shy about the ring, but opened the box. A simple ring sat in the box. “I bought it years ago. It was for her then, but it took us a lifetime to find each other again.” Steve looked up and Sam had a tear in his eye.
“You tell her that and ask with this ring. It would mean more than you realize.” Sam’s eyes locked with Steve’s.
Steve grinned and nodded. “Thanks Sam…I think I will.” He turned and headed into O’Hare, with a lightness in his step.