Finally! Boarding time! She made her way to her seat and stowed her carry on away. As much as she loved traveling she was not keen on this 12 hour flight. She sat down and fastened her seat belt, wondering who would sit next to her. After a quick look out the tiny window she started scanning the other passengers entering the plane, wondering who would eventually sit down next to her. She glanced out the window again and observed the busy world out there. Then someone sat down next to her.
Not just someone but three someones even though there were only two other seats in the row. The couple sat down with their baby between them. This is going to be an uncomfortable flight, she thought and adjusted her position as the husband scooted closer to her. “Sorry,” he apologized, “the plane’s full and we’ve got to get home.”
She smiled, “It’s okay.” Thirty minutes ago, as she sat at the terminal waiting for her turn to board, she heard the announcement. “Ladies and gentlemen, due to the overwhelming demand, we sold more tickets than the plane could carry. If you are able to board a later flight, we are willing make arrangements.”
She sat there thinking, What kind of an announcement is that? She was not going to trade for a later flight. She needed to get home tonight, no matter what. She had to get home, sleep for 24 hours and then go back to work.
Now, she wondered if she could endure this 12-hour flight without the bathroom since she’s pretty sure there was no way the couple could move without accidentally waking their baby. Well, she thought, what do you expect? This is the end of the holiday season, everyone has to get back to work.
She leaned her head against the window, trying to feel comfortable. As the plane soared to the sky, she felt her heart lift with the plane, just like when she had ridden the plane a week ago. As the announcement came on, telling everyone it’s okay to turn on electronic devices, she plugged her earbuds in her ears and began listening to her iPod and tried to pass the time by falling asleep.
A while later, she was woken by a tap on her shoulder. “Huh?” She muttered groggily and saw the flight attendant. “Would you like some water and snack, miss?” She shook her head, “I’m fine.” She was trying to drink minimally so she would get through the 12 hours without going to the restroom.
She turned on the TV and paused her iPod. Wow, I slept for 4 hours? She thought looking at the ETA. 7 hours to go. She looked out the window, the plane was in the clouds and it was night time, there wasn’t anything to see. Sighing, she pulled her earbuds from the iPod headphone jack and plugged into the TV. Quickly, she scrolled through the list of movies and shows she could watch but there’s hardly anything. Most of the movies were old and western. Ugh, she thought, a little disgusted and bored. What kind of airline is this?
She sighed again and turned the screen back to showing the ETA, speed, distance, etc and once again plugged her earbuds back into her iPod. Bored and awake, she looked toward the aisle, except for the fan circulating the air, the plane was dark and silent, everyone was suddenly asleep. If I can just stand up and stretch my legs. She thought. Her legs were numb and asleep beneath her. She couldn’t feel a thing. She sighed again and leaned against the window. 7 more hours to go, 7 more hours and you can stand up.
She was woken a short while later by the husband who shifted his position again. “Sorry,” he whispered.
“It’s okay,” but it wasn’t. Her legs were even worse than before. She turned on the screen again, less than 2 hours. She exhaled and patiently waited.
Two hours later…
At last, the announcement letting everyone know the plane is approaching the runway and they should put all electronics away. She stowed her iPod back in her purse and looked out the window at the city lights. It feels so wonderful to be back. She thought as the plane touched ground and arrived at the terminal.
I am participating in Finish It, a challenge where we are provided an opening and we are to finish the story.
This is actually inspired by the last time I’ve ridden an airplane, from Dulles International Airport to Salt Lake. Almost everything in the story is true, yes, even the couple and their baby. The only thing that I cannot change due to the challenge is the flight I endured was a 6-hour flight.
F.Y.I, don’t fly during the holidays because this is what will happen. My flight was actually on the last day of my Thanksgiving vacation. I’m supposed to flight home from Washington D.C., get 24-hour rest before resuming high school.