A Sudden Crush(3)

By: Camilla Isley


I mutter a thank you. The troll doesn’t even bother. So rude.

“…personal electronic devices may be used during take-off and landing, providing all transmission functions are switched-off and the device itself is put into airplane mode….”

I take my phone out of my bag. There’s a text from Katy, my maid of honor. She sent me a selfie of us together that she took just before we left. Yes, it was another one of the above-mentioned deferments. I reply with a waterfall of XOXOs and obediently switch the phone to plane mode.

The plane accelerates on the runway and takes off. I calmly sip my Champagne and watch the Chicago skyline disappear beneath us as the plane soars higher and higher in the dark-blue sky. Relax, I tell myself. I need to let go of the stress of these past few weeks. After all, from now on this trip can only get better.





2


The Crash


Several hours later, I am laughing my head off watching Sixteen Candles. It’s one of my favorite coming-of-age movies. It always cheers me up, even if I’ve seen it a thousand times and practically know it by heart. I’m glad they had it in the classics section, as I am utterly incapable of sleeping even though it’s almost two a.m. I have tried. I experimented with all the possible settings of my seat. It stretches out so far that it basically becomes a twin bed, but all the excitement of today is making it impossible for me to sleep. I feel like a kid who has eaten an entire box of candies before going to sleep…not going to happen! Liam, on the other hand, is fast asleep. After the takeoff, once the seatbelt sign finally turned off, I wanted to try again to see if we could somehow switch places, but he was already sleeping and I didn’t want to wake him.

I concentrate back on the small screen and giggle loudly as Molly Ringwald escapes her horrific grandmother trying to grope her “boobies”. I’m not looking at him, but my mind’s eye can clearly see the ogre rolling his eyes with disapproval next to me. Rude, and with no sense of humor. Phooey!

As I watch Sam confessing to her sister that she thinks she’s in love, the screen freezes and the text “PA – Public Announcement” scrolls across it.

“Attention passengers, this is your captain speaking.” The metallic voice bursts out from my headphones and from the general speaker system of the plane. “We are entering an area of heavy turbulence.”

Oh no!

“All cabin service is temporarily suspended, and all passengers and crew are kindly asked to remain seated with your seatbelts securely fastened.”

If the crew has to sit as well, this has to be serious. Where are we? I peek at the ogre’s screen, which has been on the flight map the entire time, and see that we are flying over the Atlantic Ocean somewhere between Miami and Puerto Rico.

“Please make sure that all your personal belongings are safely stowed in the overhead compartment above you, or under the seat in front of you. Your seat should be in an upright position, and your tray table should be closed. For our passengers in first and business class, please return your TV screens to the compartment under your arm seat. I apologize for the inconvenience. I will inform you when these extra precautions will no longer be necessary. Thank you.”

Perfect! Just perfect. They took away my only comfort. So far, I hate first class! In economy they get to keep their entertainment. And for what? We’re not even shaking. I put away the TV screen, and since I don’t have a seat in front of me—only a plastic wall and an exit hatch—I carefully close each zip of my Prada hunter bag, buckle the leather straps at the front, and tie its shoulder belt to the seat’s armrest. I wrap the strap around three times and make a couple of knots, just to be sure. The last thing I need is for my bag to fly halfway across the plane, scattering my things all over the place.

I cross my arms over my chest and, for lack of anything better to do, I study the patterns of the plane’s wall in front of me. I have to pee, I suddenly realize with horror. Why didn’t I go before? It’s as if in the moment they said I couldn’t get up, I suddenly felt I had to go. I shift uncomfortably in my seat.

“Excuse me, can I go to the toilet real quick?” I ask a passing steward.

“No, I’m sorry, madam. No one is allowed to stand at this point. I have to go sit, too. You will have to wait until—”

“Yeah, I know. Until the seatbelt sign is off,” I interrupt him. “Thank you anyway.”

He smiles and scurries away.

After fifteen minutes, my bladder is about to explode. I could have totally gone to the bathroom without any problems. The plane is trembling a little bit, but nothing too serious. Why do they have to spread the alarmism? I look around me and see only worried faces. I glance back at Liam, and see he’s finally awake and looking at me. Gosh, I love him so much. He gives me a reassuring smile and blows me a kiss, causing my stomach to flutter. Was it the kiss or the air pocket? I’m not sure.

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