We found a cheap flight from Santa Marta to Bogotá and decided to go for it instead of the 10 to 15 hour bus ride through the mountains. We'd spent nearly a month in on the Caribbean coast and felt we had to b-line to central Colombia so as not to miss too much. Ironically enough.
The Santa Marta Airport is the smallest I've ever been through. And I've been through some tiny airports. It hosts only two airlines. When it was time to board the plane, half the airport lined up and walked outside, down a couple flights of stairs to the tarmac, then onto the plane.
I was in front of John as I made my way to the stairs. There were two unofficial lines moving down the stairs. The people on the left were in a rush and the people on the right were in less of a rush--for a number of reasons. I was on the left and as I hit the landing between the first and second flights, I noticed an elderly women, close to 90, well-dressed, struggling to make her way down the steps. I wanted to ask her if she needed help, but alas, I was pushed from behind and rushed right past her. As I reached the tarmac, I was disappointed for missing the opportunity to offer her my arm.
As I neared the line to the plane, I stopped to look back for John. A warm chill of deep, profound love rush up my spine when I recognized him, on the stairs with the elderly woman's arm wrapped around his. My eyes swelled with tears. He walked her slowly down each step, protecting her from the rush of people too foolish to realize the plane won't take off until that delicate old woman was safely in her seat. When they reached the tarmac, I saw her nod to John with thanks as they unlinked arms.
He's a really, really, really good guy.