There's Always Hope

Alex found flying boring, but when he squeezed past the attractive woman in the aisle seat to get to his, he thought this flight might not be so bad after all. Maybe he could strike up a conversation with her. She looked fine. For an older woman. She must be at least 30, he thought.


She wore jeans, the expensive kind, the kind that fit like they were made just for her. His bagged in all the wrong places, especially when he sat down. Her blond hair was cut short and she wore just enough lipstick to show off her full lips. The more Alex thought about her, the happier he was that his pants bagged.


She turned and caught him staring at her. Instead of acting annoyed, she smiled and held out her hand. 


"I'm Catherine."   


Alex reached for her hand, pumping it a little too much, and told her his first name. Her hand felt soft and she smiled at him. 


She obviously likes younger men. He felt in control.


"Do you mind if we talk during take-off," she asked. "I know it's silly, but no matter how much I fly I still get a little nervous taking off and landing."


"That's cool," Alex assured her. She wants me, no doubt. I bet when the plane takes off, she'll grab my hand. Maybe she'll grab more than that before the trip's over. Thoughts of the mile high club filled his head.


While the flight attendant showed where the exits were and how to use the oxygen mask, Alex noticed a hard covered physics textbook sticking out of her purse. He wondered if she taught high school. The thought excited him.


When the plane began its ascent, she began to chatter about the weather, her family, her job. 


"I'm a graduate assistant in physics at the University of Texas," she said. "That's why I'm going to Austin."


"Wow. My dad teaches there. I'm visiting him. Him and my mom just got a divorce and we moved back to New York." Alex leaned in towards her as if to share a secret. "He cheated on my mom with one of his students."


She stared intently at his face. "Alex, do you mind telling me your last name?"


"Wells." He watched her turn red.  


"I'm your dad's girlfriend."


Alex wondered if he still had a chance with her.



Wayne Scheer has locked himself in a room with his computer and turtle since his retirement. (Wayne's, not the turtle's.) To keep from going back to work, he's published hundreds of short stories, essays, and poems, including Revealing Moments, a collection of flash stories. He's been nominated for four Pushcart Prizes, and a Best of the Net.

Category: Airplanes

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