Early in my life, I decided I wanted to travel to Paris. Why Paris? I do not understand why. When I entered high school, they had selected Paris as the class trip for March Break. I couldn’t believe my luck about going to my dream destination. I knew I had enough money saved from my part-time job at a bingo hall to pay for it.
The closer the departure date approached, the more excited I became. Until we landed at Charles de Gaulle Airport, I couldn’t believe the trip was happening. During our approach into the airport, I remember thinking, we’re almost home! I did not know why this thought crossed my mind. I have theories on this, but that is for another post.
Thursday, March 20, 1986 became a day I would never forget. Half of our group had headed for the Loire Valley with our tour director, Andre Havard. The rest of us stayed behind to explore Paris on our own. Around noon, I stated I needed to go take my medication. Prior to leaving Canada, I had contracted a bacterial infection and prescribed medication to combat it. After several minutes of prodding, my group agreed to go.
We stopped at a pizza shop on our way back to the hotel. We saw the name, The Golden Egg, and wondered what it meant. It didn’t take us long to find out. As soon as a pizza came out of the wood oven, the cook cracked an egg onto the center. We all turned our noses up at the thought of a raw egg on a cooked pizza.
When the other part of our group didn’t show up at the allotted time, it started to worry us. I heard an announcement over the loudspeaker, looking for any member of our party. After several back-and-forth attempts, Andre and Diana connected. When she came back, the color had drained from her face. She informed us a terrorist group bombed the city. We became silent, unsure of how to take this news.
I made a glib statement about being glad I made them leave. They all stared at me with a look of uncertainty. Did I have divine intervention or something else outer-worldly? None of them said a thing, but I could tell they thought I had a premonition. I didn’t confirm it, but I had one.
I heard a voice telling me I need to leave and take my friends with me. Knowing no one would believe me at the time so I used the medication excuse. While I don’t believe I saved lives, I believe I had a part of getting my group out of harm’s way.