A Sudden Crush(2)

By: Camilla Isley

Not that I’m a frequent patron; this is my first time ever. But Liam said we shouldn’t settle for our honeymoon, so here we are in plush, bed-like chairs half a plane away from each other. Right now, I’d give up this ridiculously large throne and happily sit in coach if it meant getting to be beside my husband.

“Excuse me, miss, did you call?” A smiling stewardess is towering over me.

“It’s Mrs., actually, and yes, I need some help. You see, I’m on my honeymoon…”

“Congratulations!” she exclaims, including the brute in her felicitations.

“Don’t look at me—I’m not the lucky fella,” he says sarcastically.

“So you’re not sitting next to your husband?” she asks, the smile evaporating from her lips.

“No.” Finally, someone who understands. “And that’s the problem. We were detained at our reception…”

“Here she goes again,” the ogre grumbles, then resumes his out-of-the-window staring.

I ignore him.

“…then the movers had made a mess, and there was the accident on the highway…” I’m babbling; all the adrenaline from today is making me skittish. “So we were late for the check-in, and the only seats left were these two,” I conclude.

“You didn’t check-in online?” the flight attendant asks, perplexed, almost shocked.

Am I the only one who didn’t get the memo that online check-in is the new black?

“I…should have, but I forgot,” I admit, turning scarlet. “With all the details from the wedding to organize, it skipped my mind.”

“Madam, I understand completely,” she says sympathetically. “And I’m very sorry for the inconvenience, but the flight is fully booked.”

“I know, but couldn’t we switch places with some other passengers?”

“I’m sorry, madam, but it’s too late for that.” She puts the last nail in this journey’s coffin. “We’re about to take off, and the seatbelt sign is already on.”

“Oh.” I want to cry. “But this is a six hour flight!” If it were a one or two hour connection, I wouldn’t care.

“Again, I’m very sorry,” she says with a fake smile that I’m sure she reserves for customers she can’t accommodate. “Can I offer you some complimentary Champagne before we depart?” she asks, the smile never leaving her face.

Free Champagne, wow! At least she’s trying to make up for it.

“Yes, thank you.” I say, slightly soothed.

“I will take one too,” chips in the troll.

We both glower at him. The stewardess, because he just gave away her game by pointing out that in first class the bubbly is free for everyone. I, for making me feel stupid that I thought the hostess was giving me a special perk.

“I will be back in a minute,” she says graciously. She shoots a cold look at my neighbor, her smile changing from fake to “I-politely-hate-you”.

As she leaves, the security instructions begin to play in the background. I cross my arms on my chest and look around me only half listening to them.

“…this aircraft has ten emergency exits…”

Bored, I automatically reach into my bag to take a manuscript out―I’m a book editor, I love my job, I’m great at it, and I always carry a manuscript wherever I go. But when my searching fingers can’t find anything, I remember Liam made me promise to leave all work-related books at home. He’s a best-selling author, so we made a deal that he wouldn’t write a single word on our honeymoon if I didn’t edit a single word. So I left all physical book copies home. Only now we’re trapped on this plane for six hours, miles away from each other, and I don’t have anything to do. I could try to edit something on my phone, I guess, but I don’t want to be sloppy―no author deserves that―and I’m too tired to accomplish anything half-decent anyway. I even feel too tired to just read, which has never happened to me before.

“…illuminated strips on the floor will guide you to these exits…”

Joan, stay positive, I say to myself. The destination matters more than the journey.

“…in the event of a loss in cabin pressure, oxygen masks will automatically drop from the panel above you…”

Tomorrow I will wake up in a five star resort in a tropical paradise. There’s no need to stress about the plane ride.

“…every seat is provided with a life vest. In first and business class, the vest is located under the armrest. In economy class…”

“Here’s your Champagne, madam.” The stewardess is back with two plastic flutes filled with the sparkling liquid. “Sir,” she adds curtly. “I hope you have a pleasant flight. Let me know if I can assist you in any other way.”

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