Babies on a Plane
The broken brown seat in front of me seemed to be getting dirtier by the second. The white walls were starting to close in on me as my eyelids began to grow heavy. I awoke from a nap and felt like hours had passed. But it was still only 3:15am. A man wearing a pill grey tuxedo had been struggling with his luggage. He had a short stubby white beard and looked to be around 60 years old. He took the seat next to the broken one as he coughed into an old ashy silk handkerchief which he pulled out of the left tuxedo pocket; the one near his heart. Every second passed by slower than the last. I tried to get up out of my seat but fell back down. My legs were too numb from sitting in this hard brown seat for so long.
I arrived in Turkey at around 10:30 pm. All I wanted was to reach my beautiful country. This was my last flight before I would finally reach Lebanon. All I could do was imagine how my cousins would be waiting for me; all dressed up and excited to see me. I had been counting the down the seconds ever since I boarded the plane in Canada.
A line of men and women wearing scarlet red uniforms walked straight up to gate C. They all had triangular hats on. The women were wearing knee high skirts with fancy white shirts under their scarlet red blazers. They all had neatly folded black and white striped silk scarves wrapped around their necks and tucked under the rim of the jacket. The men were wearing red dress pants and most of them were holding their blazer hanging over their shoulders, covering the back of their white dress shirts. Just then a sudden realization washed upon me. They’re flight attendants! I thought. I sighed in relief as they began boarding the plane.
30 more minutes passed as I stared at the large clock. The minute hand wouldn’t move. It was mocking me as the second hand took its sweet time visiting the numbers one by one, and then staying for a cup of coffee. My eyelids were growing heavy when suddenly the speakers came on. “All passengers boarding the plane to Beirut, Lebanon please proceed to gate L. Thank you.”
What! Gate L? That’s two floors up! I thought, in disbelief.
I quickly got up but my legs wouldn’t respond. I hit and thrashed and kicked until my nerves started to tingle like a thousand pin pricks. I pulled myself up and dragged my feet one by one up the four flights of stairs and through the long hallways of the airport. I was determined to catch up with the other passengers who were already a few minutes ahead of me.
I finally boarded the plane after showing my passport and ticket to the people at the gate. The plane was extremely crowded and loud. I tripped over some lady’s bag. She looked me up and down and scanned every inch of my body before finally looking me in the eyes. It felt as if she had stripped me of my dignity as she snapped, “Watch where you walk! Are you blind? Don’t your feet know how to stop before they trample over every god damned thing in their way? Don’t you...” She kept going on and on about how my feet needed walking lessons and how she had some precious item in her purse that I could’ve broke. I yawned several times before she was finally done. Blurting out an apology, I almost flew to my seat.
I’ve only actually travelled twice before and I had my parents and siblings with me both times. This was my first trip alone and all could think was, never again. These flights seemed to never end. As I sunk exhaustedly into my seat, purse in hand, a lady pushed by me and sat next to me. I was the first seat so I had to move over in order for her to sit down. I could feel her eyes on me. “You’re married right?” She inquired.
Well that’s some way to start a conversation, I thought as I glanced at her then back at my phone. “No, I’m not. Why would you think that?” I asked.
“Well you look old enough. Never mind that. Move over. I’ll be back.” She answered as she pushed by me to get to the isle.
This is going to be a long flight, I thought rolling my eyes.
The flight attendants came over and checked the top storages as the seatbelt light went on. I pulled the belt across my waist and buckled myself in as the flight attendant beside me fought with those top storage bin area things – do they even have a name? She was pushing the storage door so hard she almost fell on top of me. A tall male flight attendant came to help her and eventually everyone was in their seats; everyone except the lady who sat beside me.
Just then she put a baby into my arms. I looked up and the lady had returned. Only then did I take in her features. Her arms seemed to sag in all the wrong places while the rest of her body was slim. She had a fairly large stomach but was wearing a salmon coloured tank top with a large grey belt on top, so it was camouflaged. Her hair was cut up to her ears and seemed to be suffocating from the amount of mousse she had in it. That poor brown, blonde streaked hair was crying for help. My eyes slowly travelled down to her face. Her saggy cheeks were losing the effects of the Botox she so clearly used to have. They were smeared with blush down to her jaw line. Her eyelids were full of blue eye shadow and she had the thickest eyeliner on. And then there was the red lipstick. The red lipstick on her lips made her look like a vampire who had just feasted on a succulent neck of blood. Her tanned arms flailed in the air as she demanded, “Hold the child!”
Wide eyed I hastily asked, “Wait, whose child is this? What am I supposed to do with her? Why are you giving her to me?”
Without a word, she glanced away and left, ignoring me. The biggest tear filled brown eyes were staring at me. I stared back at the child. She looked just as confused as I felt. “Don’t worry,” I reassured myself more than the child, “she’ll be back.” Hopefully, I thought.
© Copyright 2016 Tima Carr. All rights reserved.