How did I get here? I still feel flush as I finally open my eyes. It takes a minute for them to focus as the harsh fluorescent bulbs bear down on my face.
Did this really just happen? It couldn’t have just happened. They must have laced my airplane size vodka with some form of hallucinogenic because things like this just don’t happen to me. As I gently lick my lips and take a deep breath I realize that the taste on my lips definitely was not chapstick, and the aroma I smelled was a seductive mix of Chanel No 5 and a forbidden intoxicant that you can not buy in a bottle. I quickly lock the bathroom stall door so that my rude awakening would not be coupled by an even ruder interruption.
As my mind is still a swirl of vivid images of animalistic grabs and bites I look down at what fell out of my lap… a turquoise scarf… Catrina.
I noticed her as soon as I walked into the boarding area. Sunbronzed skin, pixy short hair, and glasses that sat gently on her nose as if to deter the less attentive from getting too close. I don’t know if it was luck or she could sense my intense stare but she looked up and caught my gaze. I wanted to look away in embarrassment but she dark brown, even black eyes held me captive. Just as quickly as she had trapped me, she dismissed me and went back to tapping on her laptop.
I sat on the empty seat directly in front of her. In the minutes, which felt like hours before they started boarding the flight I felt like she crossed and her uncrossed her legs in a trancelike movement daring me to wonder what lay between them. I felt my mouth gaping open as the airport worker came over the loudspeaker “Flight 2828 to Miami is now boarding”. I exhaled. I knew that I would be free from her in just a few minutes. I waited for the plane to board as I was flying standby and hadn’t received my seat assignment. 33C… great the back of the airplane. I am sure I will have to see my temptress one last time. But I could deal with it…
As I made my way through the crying babies and old ladies with 3 carryon bags, I kept an eye out for the turquoise scarf that she had cavalierly tied around her neck. Once I saw it and knew where she was I would be able to sit back , take my constitutional vodka and cran, and listen to airplane muzak for the next 3 hours.
29…30…31. As I neared the end of the plane without a sighting of the illusive turquoise scarf, my heart began to quicken. This can’t be happening.. my eyes closed slowly in disbelief as in 33D was a turquoise scarf draped about the neck of a beautiful woman who gazed up at me, smiled, and looked back down at her book, that had replaced her laptop during takeoff.
I slid past her to the window and promised myself that for the next 3 hours I would do nothing but study the shapes of the clouds.
After a quick turn around the tarmac we were in the air.
Cumulus… Rumbus…damn I should have paid more attention in grade school.
I tried to focus but I couldn’t help it I felt myself staring at the small stitch of lace bra that peeked from behind her top.
“Would you like something to drink?” The stewardess said a little agitatedly as if this was not the first time she made the request.
“Oh um vodka and cranberry please” I said louder than I meant to.
Again my neighbor gazed up at me, this time with a bit of a side eye glance that meant I roused her from the read. I stopped myself from mumbling an apology as the stewardess handed me my drink. I reached in my jacket pocket for my wallet. Shit! It wasn’t there. I fumbled around at my pants. Oh Lord. This can not be happening. Then I remembered I slipped it into my carryon as I was boarding the plane.
“Umm it’s in my carryon. Excuse me miss. I am so sorry” I said I hurriedly tried to unbuckle my seatbelt, steady my drink and stand up.
As coolly as everything else she had done, she goes into her purse and pulls out a credit card. “You might as well make it two”.
The stewardess looked at me with pursed lips as she swiped my temptress turned savior’s credit card. She poured her a vodka and cranberry and went on to the next row, “Would you like something to drink?”
“Thank you so much” I said with a tad too much emotion.
“I did it for you as much as myself. The idea of luggage hitting me in the head was not the welcome home I wanted” she said with a slight chuckle.
“I will repay you, but I at least have to know your name for the Thank you card.”
Another effortless chuckle, “Catrina… but everyone calls me Cat”. It was then that I noticed the gold cat pendant with ruby eyes that held her scarf in place.
“Well Cat, my name is Kris. And I owe you one.”
“At least…” she whispered… I wanted to ask her what she said but she knew I heard her and I knew she wanted to be heard.
The rest of the flight was uneventful aside from another sideway glance complete with eyeroll from the flight attendant as she collected our empty cups.
continued: Flight 2828 Pt. Two: Crash Landing