Chapter 5

Written by: Griffin

“Can you please keep your feet within the seating area?” I say to him sweetly. “If someone trips they could get hurt.”

“You hear the nice lady, Jeremy? Don’t trip people. You are not in the school yard.”

Clenching my mouth, I turn to the cumbersome metal meal trolley.

“And now, here is you meal.”

I resolutely push my trolley down the aisle, hearing behind me that whining, piercing voice, “I didn’t trip anybody, I was only stretching. There’s no space here, I’m all cramped up …”

 “Jeremy, eat your dinner.”

“I don’t like chicken or beef.”

The words go around in my mind like a stupidly stuck record, ‘Chicken or beef, chicken or beef.’ I would make a brilliant Singapore street food hawker. I love the fragrant prawn noodle soup on Joo Chiat Road, the swarms of strange people and all the exotic smells.

My Mum and her cute boyfriend go there to visit his relatives once a year. They were on one of my flights once. That was fun, it felt like they were my special visitors and the plane was my living room. Li is an engineer. He has a strong face, well-groomed greying hair and gold-rimmed glasses that do not suit him at all. Mum did not do much travelling before meeting him. Now she eats Chinese food and goes to Victoria Street. They were not bothered by all the bumping around over Java, but me, I was trying to remember what I had put in my will. Aversion therapy, that’s it. Maybe I can tell Brenda (that’s my sister who shares the apartment) to push me out of bed at random times during the night. And vomit on me.

After service, we return to the galley. I slide my trolley back into its slot and secure the red latch.

Aolani says, “Aren’t vegetarians the worst?”

“Oh yes, truly painful.”

“That new-age red-head swears black and blue she ordered a vegan option on the website.”

“But there is no vegan option on the website.”

There is a glimmer of dawn through the window. Touchdown in San Francisco in two hours.

My dad developed a craze for new age music. He was down at this intimate bar every Thursday night and fell in love with Inez. Mum wasn’t happy and the settlement was acrimonious. I was fourteen at the time.  My brother Joe was nine.

“I hate that little monster,” I said.


“Jeremy, that horrible eight-year-old. He’s back on this flight trying to trip me up. I might spike his Coke.”

“Help, help! He’s got a bone stuck." I recognise his mother’s voice coming from the direction of A22 where my little darling is.

“I’ll go,” I say. “Can you tell Bob?”

There she is half-standing in her seat. Two other passengers loudly issue conflicting advice. 

“I told him not to chew the bones, and now this happens,” the mother screeches.

Jeremy is staring straight ahead with his mouth wide open and hand clutching his throat. 


Oh, good way to keep Jeremy in the picture and being a pain!