Pro tip: trust your gut.
Komal awoke with a bad feeling about our trip back home, and honestly, I so had I. Right off the bat, the plane was delayed for thirty minutes: Our first flight from Providence to Atlanta was supposed to be at 6:30 PM, but while checking our luggage in, we were told that departure had been pushed back to 7:00 PM. Of course, this wasn't much of a problem: the flight is about two hours and a half in length, and our connecting flight was at 10:35 PM.
We made our way to the gate without any problem and boarding on time was not an issue. However, after everyone was situated and ready to go, we were forced to wait another fifty minutes while the plane was filled with fuel.
Once we had landed at around 10:00 PM and gotten off the plane at about 10:15 PM, we regrouped and attempted to figure out how to get to our gate. We ended up sprinting, carryons and personal items in tow, to the shuttle that would take us to the other side of the airport. We kept running until we reached the gate.
It was deserted.
At three minutes before departure time, they had closed the gate and were ready to go. Our seats had been sold off before we could tell them we had arrived late because of their delayed flight. We stood in front of the glass window, staring at the plane we were supposed to be on. I even waved to the pilots.
We were given tickets for the next flight, which would be at 8:00 AM. Delta refused to pay for the hotel (keep in mind, we were a group of women of color in one of the biggest airports of the Deep South and were not going to spend a night in the airport) and only offered a slight discount. Furthermore, due to the way funds were coordinated for the trip, we didn't have enough money to pay for the hotel rooms.
Eventually, Don was able to pay for the rooms. By the time we got them, it was past 1:00 AM. I got to bed at around 2:30 AM, after showering and getting ready for bed as much as I could (my pajamas were in my suitcase). Being that our flight was at 8:00 AM, we were only going to be allowed four hours of sleep.
Surprisingly, everything went along smoothly. We boarded the plane on time and without incident, took off, then landed about five hours later. We spent our time watching the movies and listening to the music Delta provided on their monitors. The sound and display was surprisingly good quality, and I was able to rest comfortably in my seat.
Everyone was exhausted, so chatter was minimal throughout our travel. The shuttle from the airport to El Cerrito High School was nearly silent. I wasn't sleeping, but rather reminiscing about Ivy League Connection and my time spent at Brown.