September 14, 2004

The Next Morning

Every time I fly I think, this is it. Something's gonna happen and I'm gonna die. Today. And when I finally land, I'm sick of living.

This time is no different. I'm flying towards death. A black flight attendant squeezes my shoulder. Her warm smell of clean vanilla sugar envelopes me, licks my sadness closed. When I smile into her eyes she knows. I don't know how she could, but she must sense it through those perfect red nails.

The moment ended sooner than a moment should. A red-haired man keeps glancing behind his seat, his eyes toward me. I pretend he's eyeing me. His right arm bracing the aisle seat is covered in a beautiful tattoo of reds and greens. I can't make out a shape, but I know it's for me and me alone, like his whole life he was searching for me, searching for the person for whom he'd endured such pain.

I'll never see him again, I know. It's better that way. I don't want to find out he kept looking for his friend behind me. Didn't even know I was there. Two more hours and I'll be there. If the plane starts hurtling down I think I'll run up the aisle and tell the red-haired boy that I'm his red and greens and can he please hold me in his arms forever?

by E. M. Soos

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