A Plane Encounter

The woman with chestnut hair rocked her head and her hair flew up and
she turned to face me.
I wondered if I was dreaming because she looked like she was smiling.
I made my way towards her, pushing through herds of people, but falling
back. As the sound of the speaker calling for boarding of such and such
flight. And she got up and went into a forming line towards a square
tunnel that would lead her to the plane. And then they boarded. Her
purse clanked at her side as she left. And I stood there and watched
the doors to the plane entrance close behind the people.
I looked down at my ticket and went on further, pushing past the crowd
to get to my correct gate, before I would be stuck at an airport waiting
for the next flight so many hours later.
I made it just as people were boarding and went through the square
tunnel and down the corridor to the plane. Found my seat, near the
middle of the plane, by the aisle.
I sit next to a man who is reading his paper. Hi I say.
Oh hi, how are you. He has a british accent.
Oh I am alright.
Oh good and he quickly returned to his paper. I grab a book I had
brought. Some mystery I picked up at the airport shop and paid a
fortune for just to make sure I’d have something to read. I always do
forget to bring a book and get it when I have to shell out premium
prices. Same with snacks. I come to the airport in a state of missed
meals and I have to shell out top price for average fair.
I pull out the book, smell it’s pages and look at the first page.
But I can’t focus on the words. All I see is her face looking back at
me.
When the plane takes off I can feel the muscles in my stomach clench.
It’s kind of pleasant, the feel of take offs are super butterflies. But
as we rise into the air I realize that girl is growing miles and miles
apart from me and that we will never meet.
Half an hour later the man folds his paper and looking out the window
says, “Wow it sure is beautiful.”
“Yeah.” I offer.
“I’m going to visit my sister for the first time since she had her
daughter. I am pretty excited.”
“Oh that sounds nice. How long since you have seen her.”
“Five years.”
“Sounds like my family. I mean we don’t see each other that often
either.”
“Just get so busy you know?”
“Yeah.” I say sincerely.
“Say where are you going?” he asks.
“Nowhere special, I travel for work.”
“So do you get to see the world?”
“No not exactly, it’s more like I go between two cities often. So I
have two homes. It is kind of unique I think, but I come to Seattle
because since this is where work’s headquarters are.”
“How do you like it?”
“It’s alright. I have job stability. And my family doesn’t mind.”
“That’s good, I don’t know how my family would take it if I were gone
all the time.”
“Well my wife is real laid back, she wouldn’t care if I were gone longer
I think. It’s good, I get a lot of freedom.”
“Well then you are a bit lucky eh?” I look down at my lap because I have
run out of things to say. I feel the fabric of my jeans in my fingers
as I look at the pocket on the front seat. It has an airplane magazine
and a brochure for emergencies.
“So tell me about your sister and her kid.” I look up and ask.
“Well there is no father. She doesn’t know who the father is. There are
two possibilities but she doesn’t want to tell them. So she is raising
the girl by herself. She is living at a friends house.”

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