Stranger on the Plane, Part I

My traitorous fingers froze on the keyboard as my mind recounts every little detail from that night.

I am a thousand miles away, flying over the Atlantic Ocean in the dark. That was over a month ago, but I have not landed yet. I’m stuck on the plane, on cloud nine, with a stranger on my side. Not a day has gone by without me thinking of him since then.

The summer was coming to an end but I was not ready to accept it. After many, many changes I have made to my travel plan to come back, I finally found myself in Madrid. I arrived at the airport four hours early, so I had all the time in the world. I tried to remember the light, the scent, and the color of the sky and keep it as the souvenirs somewhere in the depths of my memories. I prayed that these gifts will keep me warm long enough until I could return to Spain again…if I return to Spain again. It did little to comfort me. I was ready to break down any minute. I looked into the mirror in the bathroom and could see that my eyes did not shine, my eyebrows sloped down, and so do the corners of my lips – as if they had lost the battle with gravity. I was ready to surrender. I wouldn’t mind being stuck there forever.

I took a selfie of that miserable face, again as a souvenir, and left the bathroom.

A bad cup of coffee and three elevators later, I arrived at the gate, which was blocked off by strings of chains (yes, you did read that correctly). So I sat down in front of another empty gate and began surfing the Internet, and later got up to buy some food and drink for the flight, and came back to sit down again until my gate was opened. Unlike flying into Spain, I was in no rush. I slowly made my way to the entrance for the passport check. When I was finally allowed to go inside the gate, I found a seat where I can see the view outside. Normally, I would sit as close to the gate as possible so I could be one of the first in the line and I would have the time and spirit to people watch, and, yes, check out the guys. This time around, I did not even bother. I wasn’t in the mood to wish to sit next to some hot Spanish man. (The last time that I had wished that was on my flight to Madrid, and I got seated next to an elderly lady who kept asking me questions about how the entertainment system works).  I just wanted a normal flight “home”.

As my eyes got lost into the distance of the clear, Spanish blue sky, I began to tear up again so I had to look away. Then I noticed, just for a split second, a young man sitting in the next row with his back to me. When I was younger, I used to like guys with that hair that he has. Nothing extraordinary, just the short, short dark hair. He had a fine neck though, I noted. Then I could see the side of his face as he turned. Must be a model, I thought, the dude was good-looking.

Then my attention diverted back to the blue sky, and I forgot everything about him.

Until he came to sit next to me on the plane.

I had all the middle row by myself. The two seats to my left were empty, but I was too depressed to care. As I kept looking out the window and sigh, I remember hearing someone saying that he was going to change his seat to get more space, and I became slightly more annoyed. Great, an obnoxiously out-going dude is exactly what I need on this miserable flight. While he kept talking to the flirty, giggling lady, I stole a glance and was surprised to find out that this was the one I had noticed earlier. Great, just great.

Turning my attention back to the window, I stretched my neck to see as much of Madrid as much as I could. Going, going, gone… Gone is my last chance of seeing the Madrid landscape. As the only thing interesting to see outside the window is the golden light of the sunset, I turned around and reached for my book. I could feel being watched by this guy to my left. So imageI put the book down and pretended like I wanted to look outside the window again, this time the one on his side, and saw that he was not sitting straight, facing forward. It’s like he turned in his seat at an angle so he could see outside the window on my side better. I’m sure he noticed me looking his way, but I just pretended that he didn’t and I put my face back into the book. A few minutes later, the guy had the gut to lie down, occupying the two seats that were meant to be mine. I was really uncomfortable at how close his gorgeous head was to my lap. What did I do? I snapped a picture…

I found it hilarious. Little did I know that was far from him being “close” to me later on…

He got up, leaning on his elbow, and used the screen on the seat next to me. I could see from the corner of my eye that he was looking at my book, but I didn’t say anything. As attractive as he seemed to be, I just wanted to be left alone.

An hour after the takeoff, the Captain had a surprise for us all. The plane is having a technical problem, he said, and we will have to return to Madrid and the flight will be delayed for about 2 hours. Groans were heard all around but, good, I thought, I was excited to go back to Madrid already. It wasn’t the ideal situation but whatever keeps me in Madrid longer the better.

At this point, my travelling companion decided to get up and called someone. He started speaking in some language that I did not understand. Only then did he got me interested. I listened attentively. It couldn’t be Spanish, since I would have had understand what he said. Catalan, maybe? Hmm, it could be. But it couldn’t have been Portuguese, could it?

Find out in the next post. It’s late, so good night for now.



2 thoughts on “Stranger on the Plane, Part I”

  1. […] Once at the airport, I didn’t hesitate to order the darkest coffee possible. I got up to the counter to order something and was greeted with a “Hola, guapa”, which was nice, but unexpected… All I wanted was an espresso, not to feel conscious about my look… I didn’t even wear anything attractive or revealing, just my regular over-sized glasses, a boyish Superdry t-shirt and a pair of jeans – the same outfit I wore on the flight back to the US, when I met the Brazilian…Okay, okay, that’s also another story. […]

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