Not a complete stranger. He had been in the middle seat, right next to me, for three and a half hours. He is handsome, his name is Jeff, and he works for Westin Hotels. A combination of stress, sadness, and turbulence on descent nearly placed my last meal of Pepsi and cold Chicken Mcnuggets on handsome Jeff’s very nice dress shirt and tie. I don’t quite know how I caught myself–even now–and I believe that Jeff may also know how close we were to disaster. A few minutes later, after looking up from his Sports Illustrated for the fourth time in that last second, Jeff asked if I was alright.
Of course I was alright. Those armrests are meant to be clutched and wasn’t that plane hot? Had the color of my face changed? Avert your gaze, Jeff! The NFL playoff preview needs your attention!
Yeah, thanks for that. I have never stayed at a Westin Hotel, but I will remember the keen insights of their Corporate Development Director next time I require lodging.
“I wish I had some Sprite left. If you’re feeling queasy, it might have helped.”
Oh, Jeff. Chivalrous man of clear, carbonated beverages. If I did not already believe that I had found true love, your gentle smile and soft eyes may have induced me to toss up on you for nothing more than the sake of telling our grandchildren that we fell in love while a United Airlines Flight Attendant apologized profusely to their grandfather for their grandmother’s untimely regurgitation. Touchdown. Welcome to Chicago, ladies and gentlemen.
“I hope you feel better.” Jeff was turning to me as he walked through jet bridge. He walked so quickly. A man on a happy mission outpacing a girl on a death march. “Don’t study too hard.”
“Thanks.” Big smile. “Don’t…uhh…corporate develop too hard.”
He chuckled the chuckle that I know from a thousand handsome men chuckling at the random blurtations of a thousand inept girls. And he was gone–vanished into the crowd, like one leaf into the rustle of a breeze. I texted Matt. Plane landed. I ❤ U.