The final person approached the desk. His eyes stood out from the rest of his face, their steely gaze focused on the young man. His face showed no emotion, and even if it had it would have been masked by his overgrown moustache and beard. He didn’t speak; instead he just threw his passport on the counter. Trembling, the young man asked for his boarding pass after quickly returning the passport. He soon began to wish he hadn’t. The man then took up a frenzied search through his pockets. The more he foraged, the angrier he became and the more nervous the young man became.
After emptying out all of his pockets, the man gave a distressed look across the desk, as if
conceding defeat. In an attempt to appear helpful, the young man suggested where the boarding pass could be: in the suitcase.
Never before had he made a bigger mistake.
At the mention of his suitcase, the man’s eyes began to burn. If looks could kill, the young man behind the counter would be dead. The man was furious. In an outburst of words, he accused, threatened and attacked with uncontrolled self-defence. With every moment, he grew and the young man shrank, cowering in his shadow.
Overhearing the commotion, a senior employee piped up. He had a small figure but yet he had a strange ability to control most people. He silenced the man with a single sentence: “I think we are going to have to have a look inside the suitcase.”