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“Okay kids, we’ll go ahead and tell you. We are going to take a weekend trip to Atlanta, Georgia next weekend!” Mom said.
“Really?” I exclaimed.
“We have to go to the Lamborghini dealership!” Kaleb piped in.
“Well, we should start planning,” encouraged Dad.
The next weekend finally came. It was scorching hot outside, but we were all packed and ready to go. Our plan was to visit the World of Coca-Cola, catch a movie, see the water show at Olympic Park, stroll the sidewalks of downtown Atlanta, and look around the CNN Center. We had a full weekend scheduled.
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While we were browsing the gift shop at CNN, my mom got a call from Aunt Renae.
“Hey sissy! Harold and I are in D.C. and our flight was changed. We are going to be flying into Atlanta at 11:00 tonight. I know you guys are in Atlanta. Would you be willing to pick us up at the airport?”
My mom came back over to us after the call and told us the news.
“No, no, no!” I complained. “That means we will get home super late!”
We made our way to the airport – three hours early! Luckily, there were cute shops and Domino’s Pizza. We were glad to take it easy for a while, but it was a long three hours! When it was about time for their plane to arrive, we moseyed to the greeting area.
Mom tried to get me to go closer to the rope.
“Mom, I don’t need to get closer. It’s just Aunt Renae and Harold. I see them pretty often.”
“Yes,” she replied, “but they’re getting home from a trip. You should be excited!”
In the back of my mind I was thinking, “It’s after 11:00 at night. I should be in my nice, warm, comfortable bed instead of at the bright, noisy, rambunctious Atlanta Airport.”
“Sweetie, I need the camera,” Mom said a little too happily.
“Why?” I asked.
“Just get it out,” she said.
“Fine!” I figured there was no use in arguing.
We waited for fifteen more minutes. By this time, Mom and Dad came closer to the rope as well. I began to think about my older brother, Kyle, and how I missed him. He was way out in California, working Security Forces for the United States Air Force. I was so proud of him, but being at an airport made me realize how much I wanted him to come home before he would leave for Afghanistan. I turned to Mom.
“Wouldn’t it be cool if Kyle put together this whole idea to surprise us all?”
Mom tried not to smile. Next thing I knew, I saw this familiar hat coming up the escalator – one that I knew belonged to the best older brother in the whole entire world.
“No way,” I shouted, “I knew it!” I ripped the rope off the unsteady poles and rapped my arms around my six foot, four inch big brother who had a huge grin on his face. It seemed like no one else was around. And, that’s hard to believe when you’re at the busiest airport in the world. A whole ten seconds later, Kaleb realized what was going on and noticed who the crazy guy was that I was hugging.
“You’ve got to be kidding me!” He was shocked big time.
“Surprise!” Kyle said laughing.
Mom and dad just smiled. They knew everything. They conspired with Kyle and my aunt just for my little brother and me. It was an unexpected ending to the trip, and definitely the best surprise ever!