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Chapter 2

Written by: Rosemary Wakelin

I don’t like landing either.

That hiccupping thump of the landing gear, that initial jolt when touching down and the final, loud rumbling slide that follows. I slam my eyes shut, press my small feet hard into the floor, as if that alone will help stop the plane sooner.

And then… just like that, it’s over.

I sigh, a bit too heavily.

“I don’t know why you do this job, Lasiandra.” The voice is controlled, well intentioned and belongs to my older co-flight attendant, Aolani. She is flawless with her honey-coloured skin, her sleek, auburn hair and large, wide-set eyes that remind me of my grandmother’s prized muffins, all round and chocolaty. She slowly shakes her head while removing her seatbelt. Not a single hair falls out of place.

I throw her a feeble smile and pry my traitorous body out of its death grip. When I stand, my legs feel like sun-worn rubber. “You know why.”

“Because of what’s out there?” Aolani hooks a levelled thumb over her shoulder. I follow it to the aircraft window.

Out there is exotic Tahiti.  “Of course,” I say.

“Oh… Lasiandra.” She says it as if my best friend had just died.  I didn’t much care for those sorrowful, downturned eyes of hers either.

“It’s just another glamorous playground,” she says.

And I, for one, am ready to play.

I say nothing more. I straighten my shoulders, put on my best plastic smile and follow Aolani into the throng of eagerly awaiting passengers.

*****

The crew meets later at the Intercontinental Bar. It is a view-lover’s haven, with its crystal waters and red-hot sunsets.

Aolani falls into one of the high backed rattan chairs. She sighs with about as much zest as a geriatric rat. Her hair is wet like mine.

“What have you girls been up to?” This question comes from Matt, a middle aged, very married co-pilot.  He is ogling me with those big come on eyes of his. I shiver, recalling the last time he did the same, when he partnered it with a horribly clichéd, Want me to show you how a real pilot flies?

“We snorkelled in the ‘Lagoonarium’,” I say.  I thought the whole, unblemished ocean pond amazing. But, Aolani appeared strangely indifferent.

I ask Aolani if she wants her usual drink. She nods and I stroll to the bar. It’s all glossy, local wood, palm-scented thatching and fragrant smells of fresh frangipanis. I order and wait, mentally plan tomorrow’s agenda. A mandatory workout at the gym is first, I think. Later, a spa… perhaps a long massage, and even another swim.

The cocktails arrive and I indulge in its fruity rum-laced tang. It immediately melts my muscles and I relax.  This is when I realise that every agonising bump of the flight is worth it.

“I’m thirsty,” shouts a disturbingly familiar voice. “I want a drink. I… want… it… now.”

I turn in its direction and instantly freeze.

It is the same boy from the plane.

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Comments

Submitted by Suraya Dewing on Sat, 2016-01-30 11:28

This chapter was such a lot of fun. I loved the twist at the end and loved this line, “I shiver, recalling the last time he did the same, when he partnered it with a horribly clichéd, Want me to show you how a real pilot flies?”
Great chapter.
Oh Roseyn, I looooved this chapter!

Probably too late to admit that I’m the mother with those 3 kids 😀
They are 10, 8 and 6. The 8 year old boy is the one with the penetrating voice (so add ADHD and you know what I’m going through :-D) He is also a soprano in the school choir where the other two are Alto’s (?) The choir teacher says he sings super high!

I have never been with them on an airplane and don’t believe I’ll ever do until they are teenagers and willing to be sullen 😀

But I would love to go to Tahiti!
Haha!!! I haven’t been to Tahiti either. But after researching the Intercontinental Hotel, it’s now on my list.
Yes, have taught many, many ADHD children. Love them as I do, don’t think I could be on a plane with them. School camps were enough!!
So Happy you enjoyed the chapter. 🙂
😉
Nice work Rosemary, I so want to be in that bar with those ladies. It sounds like heaven – children and all! I confess I have a two year old and will take our first long haul flight with him later this year – eek!
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