Friday, December 9, 2011

In The Plane

Singapore Airlines. It was the red eye, the last seat at the back, a lady, Asian mixed Caucasian, seated on the right side of the plane, an aisle seat, in her mid. twenties, reading her novel thoroughly. It is a ten hour flight from Sydney to Los Angeles. Night falls as they go into the fourth hour of their flight, dinner was already served, hours ago. The lady in the aisle seat continuously reads her novel. The elderly man next her in the window seat has fallen asleep long ago. After a while, she dozes off into the night.

“Ms”, the steward wakes the lady.
“Would you like some juice?”

“Its morning already? Yeah okay, sure.”

The sun penetrates through the window of the plane, the lady takes out her digital cam, and snaps a few shots of the morning skies. The elderly man, approximately in his early 60’s sips his juice and smiles as she does so. They both smiled at each other. 20 minutes later, breakfast was served. The lady continues her novel after breakfast. Another four hours left to their destination. In the last two hours, the plane went into a sudden turbulence. The plane shook as if a little kid was shaking a wrapped up box on his/her birthday guessing what was inside.

The cabin crew did their job of keeping the passengers calm. The lady puts her book on the middle seat which was empty, fasten her seat belt and hold on tight to the chair’s handle. The plane dropped into a number of air pockets several times.

“First time flying? Or afraid of flying?”, asked the elderly man next to her.
“I’m just keeping myself safe.”

For the first time, the lady really notices the elderly man’s nationality. Asian, Japanese perhaps.

“Are you Japanese uncle?”
“Why~ yes I am. You’re not racist aren’t you?
“*snicker* no~, just wondering.. *giggles*.”
“*giggle* you must be terrified of the turbulence”

The lady didn’t say a word.

“Things like these happen almost all the time on flights.”
“Why aren’t you scared? You were a fighter pilot of something during your day?”
“Haha~ nope, I got used to it by traveling a little bit too much. What is your name sweetie?”

“Lisa, You can call me Haru. And you are mixed? I assumed?”
“Yes I am, my mum is Chinese my dad is Australian. They met in college. I just graduated by the way, after my doing my Masters.”

“Ah, wonderful. Congratulations. Where you plan to work?” or what do you plan to work as?”
“Don’t know yet, I want to travel, clear my mind off things.”
“You youngsters these days. * he looks at the novel*,Hmm~Norwegian wood.”
“It’s a good book,” says Lisa.
“ I know, I read it before.. it is a wonderful story.”

The plane turbulence just got a little worst, the pilot tells everyone to calm down and everything will be okay.

“What do you think of the writing?” asked Haru.
“I feel he is like Neil Gaiman, a English author/ writer. His style is, draggy but when it drags it drags you into it even more. Draggy but interesting. I like this author, Haruki Murakami.”

“Thank you I myself am a big fan too.”

The plane’s turbulence stopped, Lisa was relieved. She closed her eyes and breathes deeply to calm her nerves. Haru just smiled. Few hours later the plane landed at Los Angeles Airport. As the plane comes to a halt at the bridge, everyone prepares to go off the plane. Packing their things back into their carry on back pack.

“Hey Haru, thanks for talking to me during the turbulence. I appreciate it. It help me get my mind off the turbulence.”

“It was my pleasure, your most welcome Lisa. Nice to have met you. Perhaps or paths may cross again.”
“Its nice to get to know you too, yes, perhaps. One day.

As they both approach the door, the stewardess and the pilot greeting them off are awaiting them.

“Oh my god, it is you,” says one of the stewardess.
“Damn it, it is you,” says the pilot.

Lisa was few feet back. Adjusting her back pack while she overheard as well.

“Its you, Haruki Murakami. The Japanese author. Yes I recognize you. Am a biggest fan of yours. Thank you for flying with us,” says the pilot.

“Thank you and thank you to your cabin crew as well in doing their job in keeping the passengers calm. I’ll be flying with your company again. I assure you. In the near future.” Says Haruki Murakami.

Lisa, stares at the front airplane door as he waves Lisa goodbye. All she could do was just smile.

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