On the plane

by Doreen F.

"May I get in here?" I heard a voice behind me. "Sure, itíll only be a second." I was standing in the aisle of the plane which was supposed to bring me back home from my visit to the US. I had been visiting my dad who lived there and although we had had a great time I was looking forward to coming back home. I was still standing, but by now I had put my hand luggage into the overhead locker. I took a step to the right to let the man pass. He seemed about my age. I sat down next to him. He had the window seat, I had the aisle seat. The one between us was empty. The more I looked at him the more I hoped it would remain empty. The plane did not seem to be that full, so my chances were not so bad after all. Our seats were at the back of the plane somewhere behind the wings; these were the ones I usually ended up in. My quasi neighbour was in his mid twenties, he had dark blond hair and a great tan and he was sporting glasses with brownish plastic frames, more or less rectangular.

The plane started to move out of its parking position. As usual I took the safety card and read through the board magazine. This was going to be a long flight back to Paris, well not that long. Boston Ė Paris was not such an enormously long flight, but long enough for someone who could not sleep on planes. The plane did not have the small monitors on the back of each seat, the monitors were in the aisles and never at the distance I would have needed them. I could see fairly well with my glasses, this was not the problem, but everyone who had had a similar experience would know what I meant. The board magazine told me that there would not be any movies I really wanted to see anyway. So I had even more time to kill. I had a good book with me, but did I really want to spend the whole night reading? Another problem was that I always got sick after eating the food that was served on the plane. Finally the plane took off. Great only several hours to go!

I took out my book and started reading. So far I had not noticed much of the guy sitting next to me apart from the fact that he was actually my neighbour as the seat between us had remained vacant. It did not take long and the flight-attendants were getting busy in order to serve us dinner. I had a bite of something at the airport. "Madame, vous avez quelque chose?" "Oui, díeau, síil vous plait, merci." "Et vous, Monsieur?" He was not paying any attention. "Hey", I touched his arm, "do want anything to eat or drink?" "Oh, sorry, just water, thanks." After stewardess had gone he felt that he needed to apologize. "Iím sorry, Iím just not a big fan of flying and I had been deep in thought andÖ" "No need for apologies. Iím glad you did not order anything to eat. Iím getting sick from the smell of it."

"Really? Me too. I really tried, but every time I ate it, I had to vomit."

"Same here, so, are you going home?"

"Yeah, Iíve been on a summer programme at the university."

"Iíve been visiting my dad, he lives in the US."

"Interesting. Are you going to Vienna as well?"

"Yes, home sweet home, you too?"

"Thatís unbelievable. Wait a minute, your connection flightís leaving at 9.30 as well? Where are you seated?"

"18A, you?"

"18B, thatís amazing."

"It is, but thereís plenty of time to kill until we are in Paris, if you canít sleep on planes."

"Youíre kidding me. You canít sleep either? Well, I guess we have plenty of time to get to know each other. Iím Gino."

"Carina, nice to meet you."

Talking to Gino time passed at light speed and we arrived in Paris in no time at all. We had so many things in common and we hardly stopped talking at all. Needless to say I did not read a single page of my book. In Paris we had to change terminals, which is not all that easy on Charles De Gaulle, but we managed to get to our gate only to find out that our flight was delayed due to bad weather. I excused myself, went to the bathroom and put in my contact lenses, which I usually wore on short flights. Gino was waiting for me. "Oh back in contacts?"

"Yeah, well I wear them most of the time. What about you?"

"I tried them, but did not really like them. I prefer wearing glasses."

"You look good with them."

"So do you." Both of us smiled.

"Anything new about our flight?"

"No, except that our plane should be there shortly."

"Thatís what theyíve been telling us ever since we got here."

"I could think of things far worse than waiting here with you."

"Could you? Yes, me too." I smiled.