Chapter 6

Written by: Hemali Ajmera

I march to seat A22 where Jeremy sits with his mouth wide open. He is finding it difficult to breath and his face is drained of color. For once he is quiet. I would love to let him be in this state for the reminder of the flight. But helping passengers in distress is part of my job, even if those passengers are a real pain in neck. Thankfully, this time the pain is in Jeremy’s neck.

“Please calm down and stop panicking,” I sternly command Jeremy’s mother.

I gently pull Jeremy into the aisle, stand behind him and put both my fists firmly under his rib cage. I apply pressure and pull him with force toward me. Jeremy’s head bends forward and POP! out spurts the offending bone.  Jeremy hungrily gulps in air and sinks into his seat. Everyone else breathes a collective sigh of relief and bursts into spontaneous applause. I beam with pride.

Just then I see Matt walking somberly towards me. His trademark arrogant swagger and lustful eyes have been replaced by a subdued demeanor and downcast eyes.

 “Great job, Lasiandra. You have just averted a life threatening emergency,” Matt says, patting me paternally on the shoulder.

He solemnly walks back to the cockpit before I can mumble a thank you. No cheeky comments or flirtatious remarks!! I am genuinely intrigued. I glance at Aolani with raised eyebrows and push her toward the galley.

“You have to tell me what happened between you and Matt last afternoon at the Intercontinental poolside bar,” I prod her as soon as we are alone.

“Well, Matt was telling me how sexy and desirable he found you. I sensed that he was trying to hit on you. So I told him to imagine his daughter in your place. How would he react if a much older and newly re-married man ogled at her?”

“And that made him cry?” I ask incredulously shaking my head.

“Yes, that did the trick. He is very possessive and protective about his daughter. He hardly gets to see her because she lives with his ex-wife and only has chaperoned visitation rights. I touched a raw nerve,” Aolani explains with a mischievous twinkle in her eye.

I feel a pang of sympathy for Matt.

“People are so different underneath their masks. Matt is probably hiding a yearning for his daughter by flirting so brazenly.” Aolani nods her head in agreement.     

I look at my watch. Fifty minutes more to go. Jeremy has sobered down considerably. I am ever so thankful for that. The Mother looks at me with gratitude when I pass by to take my seat in the front of the plane. Landing preparations will begin soon.

What an eventful flight this was, I think.

Just then Bob, the captain, summoned the cabin crew.

“We have a crisis,” he says gravely.

“Two of the engines have failed,” he says, emphasizing each word.

“We will have to make an emergency landing.”