Flight 668 (Part 1/2) – By Dr. Abdullah Bahi


Sitting there in my seat, waiting for take off just like any other flight. I hear the baby that cries at every flight, watch two men ahead fighting for a seat while I could hear a lady behind me asking another man politely if they could switch seats so that she could sit beside her man. I looked at the empty seat next to me, praying that I’m not the lucky person of the day to be seated next to a morbidly obese woman with heart failure, who would repetitively make me stand on the aisle as I wait for her to take her walk to the mini-toilet as a result of her medications.

But she didn’t come, I was rather blessed with a skinny old man who smiled at me as he sat next to the window, and apologized for the third time for making me pull back against my seat so that he could pass by.

I obeyed the orders to fasten my seat belt and broke the rules by keeping my cell phone switched on, as usual. I mumbled my prayers and laid back in my seat trying to clear my mind of all the paperwork that awaits me next week as I return from my trip. I thanked God for leaving this city and it’s burning August sun, to go to another city in the same country that has a weather imported from heaven, away from all the sand storms and angry people.

“Everything has a price,” I thought. You pay your good mood and sweat in return for a pleasant salary at the end of the month and a few days away from the hot tap water which hasn’t been heated to a place where you’re actually going to need a water heater.

I watched through the window as the parked planes moved backwards in ascending speed, with the raising voice of the engines as it was leaving it’s temporary stop, going home within the clouds.

It was a only a few seconds after take off when the plane’s right side suddenly tilted downwards, making more babies cry and young women scream afraid of being part of the evening national TV news.

I gripped the arms of my seat tightly and took deep breaths to calm myself down. I kept reminding myself of the extremely low probabilities of the plane falling down as my brain kept picturing all the videos I’ve watched of airplane disasters.

There was even more screaming as the whole plane started tilting left and right, just like a paper falling from a height in preparation for the grand final flip before it lands. I remembered the promise I made my wife that I’ll be seeing her in a few hours. I remembered the three beautiful kids who are waiting for their daddy to come back home loaded with gifts and candy.

I looked at the old man next to me, expecting tears out of his tightly closed eyes, pouring on his wrinkled face. But that wasn’t the case with this old man. He was smiling as the whole plane dived through the air towards the desert where my passport will be hidden within the sand waiting for it’s return to the arms of my crying wife.

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