The airport features many transfer flights. It is fussy inside and outside as swarms of people scurry for planes. From an abstracted angle, this mere wonted episode emanates alarm ascribed to the timetable. But this time passengers do not rush to end up at a final destination; they run away from fear. Whatever goes on could be ubiquitous. In the meantime, I am still debating… Whether to address voyagers individually and expose their utterly unique views, or regard them as whole and document the shift of social contract.
A bristly white man holding the hand of a child was walking across the hallway. His wife trundling the spinner luggage alongside chattered on the way.
– It’s 4 am, we got 5 minutes to find the 48th gate. – Don’t worry Maria, we are on time, catch up princess! – Dad, I am missing home, will our next place be as good? – Of course, Athena, are you excited about going on a plane? – Yes Daddy.
– This way Brian, boarding is underway, yelled Maria. – Almost there, returned Brian.
The queue extended from the gate’s desk to shops and cafes lying on the opposite side. With his resonant voice, the staff made sure passengers were grouped correctly. In the meantime, a couple of travelers were shopping for snacks.
Boarding commenced and passengers were invited based on the class of their ticket. The line of first- and business-class passengers ended pretty fast. About three dozen people, mostly wearing luxurious clothing and jewels, moved towards the jetway. Eventually, the economy class passengers started to progress row-by-row. Brian scanned all three boarding passes and walked his family in.
Stepping on the jetway, Athena twirled and observed the drab sky erupting thunderbolts. Drops of rain flowing on glasses turned red through the reflection of navigation lights. The stains that these droplets had left were resembling scars, which altogether shape one big wound.
While Maria and Brian were busy storing the documents, Athena was jumping from side to side. She touched the glass with her palm and watched ground vehicles’ earnest work.
Why do they drive when it’s so miserable there? Asked Athena. – It’s their job, little girl. Answered an old woman. Once Athena saw the stranger and discovered the absence of her parents she fell into slight panic. The woman continued. – They stuff all the baggage in the plane, so we can fly. Athena saw something soothing in the intonation of the stranger, she even dared to leave a comment. – It’s always sad in airports, you want time to fly by until you fly. – That’s fine, little girl, there are transitional phases in life, isn’t it interesting to be heading for another place? Are you going home or away? The woman inquired. Away, but my dad said it’s a new home. Claimed Athena.
The woman turned to Maria and Brian, smiled and then said. – Your child lags behind to explore. Maria returned the courteous smile and yelped. – Come here Athena! – Why is it cold and dark here? Whispered Athena leaning on her mother’s thigh. – It’s only the weather honey, soon we’ll be in the sky. Replied Maria. – I bet you’re gonna love the dawn up there. Brian joined in.
Asynchronous footsteps coupled with the rolling of carry-on bags were dominant in the space. A humming sound was playing in the background, produced by the plane’s engine. Athena felt that the torrent of mob was taking over her, so she preferred to stick with family even more.
They gradually approached the entrance, welcomed the genial cabin crew and advanced through the aisle.
Here is 38 ABC, who wants to sit by the window? Said Brian. – I do. Replied Athena and sneaked to the window. Maria sat next to her, Brian placed the bags in the overhead bin and plumped down.
Because the rest of the passengers were congesting the aisle, Brian put on his earphones. Some classic piano began to automatically play. Not focusing on any rhythm yet falling for harmony, he churned the thoughts around in his head.
Maria took a gum out of her clutch, offered one to Brian, and put one in her mouth. – You want to watch a movie? She referred to Athena. – No Mommy, I’ll wait for takeoff.
Soon the plane was taxiing… Athena stared at the luminous airport building which bids farewell to thousands of passengers a day. The guard lights shone phosphorus clear while the rest of the ground was buried in darkness. The flight attendant grabbed the instructions manual. She poised in the middle of the aisle and drew the usual gestures.
Four planes were rolling to the runway at the same time from two opposite directions. Upon the flashing of the green light, one was allowed to occupy the runway at a time. Each one needed about 3 minutes to take off.
Athena watched other planes overpower gravity. The big birds looked so splendid, unafraid to dash into the realm of thunder and hell. It’s always satisfying to behold something brave.
Who should take credit for this? Thought Athena. – The pilot holding the helm in the cockpit, or the human-made plane? Probably, they need each other to demonstrate bravery.
Captain announced. – Crew, members of the flight, the runway is ours, it’s minus 7 degree Celsius outside, the local time is 5:20, we’ll be airborne soon.
Athena threw the final glance to the area left behind as the plane was accelerating. She figured the expiration of the present and couldn’t orient her mindset. The horizon was changing fast, igniting the growth of the vertical. Front wheels lifted off the ground, then, with the nose pitched up to skies, the plane started to climb.
The engines roared wild as they pushed the fuselage against the airflow. In the interim, passengers were pressed back to their seats. -That’s the G force guys, you experience the same on thrill rides. Yelled Brian.
Athena tried to associate this scene with her visiting of amusement parks, but she didn’t make it. The darkness here outweighs all the excitement. And though the lights were on in the plane, this piece of metal carrying passengers seemed so desolate in the air.
After the plane reached its cruising altitude, Brian called the stewardess. – Can I have alcohol at this time? He asked. – Of course, what do you prefer? She replied. – Something strong but easy to gulp, what would you recommend? – Would you prefer Gin with tonic, sir? – That’d be good.
Brian saw that Athena and Maria were submerged in the movie, then he emptied the tiny bottle of gin in his mouth. The heat of alcohol rubbed against his throat, yet it was pleasant to feel much blood streaming through veins.
Half an hour later, the lights had gone out, seatbelts could be unbuckled. Brian wasn’t even trying to sleep anymore. Thoughts never stop generating, and every time his brain shuts down, memories hurt. Instead, he pulled the notebook from his chest pocket, uncapped the pen to write. Maybe he might get over with thoughts by sorting them out.
The war was the grimmest I’ve ever heard of; it’s so bad words can’t describe. All the violence and wickedness that took place is beyond the limits of a normal person’s perception. Everything transpired under the artillery barrage, which vaporized the air, melted the ground. Thousands of individuals have died: some voluntarily stayed to fight, some were forced to, and still others just chose dignity over self-preservation. The outcome was a catastrophic massacre leading to the exodus of a whole nation.
I was told that good is bound to win against evil. Did it happen this time? Probably not. But what’s the reason that the longed-for magic didn’t materialize? It’s pretty simple, the good wins only because individuals come together and risk everything to save something more valuable. I don’t think all the bad individuals would unite and risk to end something they hate.
It’s so difficult to put up with. For one social class war is a tragedy, for another it’s opportunity or entertainment.
While I could have fought until last breath, it would not change anything whatsoever. Anyway… was I among the smartest people to leave the battlefield unharmed? Was it luck? I wish. I refused to heed emotions to survive for my family. Damn, I wish there was a way to forget.
In fact, Brian was already asleep, and Maria was reading his piece. Barely understanding the scribble, she got confused. In the post-war period, Brian tended to take pride in fighting for freedom. Also, quite often he merited commendations. How come he’s in a moral dilemma now? She thought. Even if he’s a deserter, staying alive was a feat. Nothing matters more than family, so it’s the best decision among all the options available.
The aisle was getting busier, passengers casually stood next to their seats. Not always this type of scene can be seen in a flight. There’s likely too much nerve aboard. And though the jet flew 900 km/hour, it couldn’t evade reality. All the individuals who seem simple beings carry too much trouble and grief. While they don’t reveal it, air passes through everyone’s nose and ears and makes the atmosphere contagious. Solitary enough, with all their uniqueness, people share vulnerability. Sometimes a small ignition can combust the toughest soul. By and large, it all depends on the situation and mood.
The plane will fly accomplishing its mission. Travelers, on the other hand, will disperse their vibes on and off the ground. Those who are smart, make the world strict, those who are cunning merge with the mainstream survival methods. And those who are too sentimental infect the future generations with tears. The magical seed of art that grows from the past permeates the minds of freaks. Subsequently, some say phrases that stay forever. Some do things above their morale.
Indeed, life moves forward morphing into a more complex phenomenon. It’s more than you imagine and all you live with. Sometimes it’s good, sometimes messed up.
Athena, leaning her head on the window shade, scrunched her eyes. The tiny slit of the shade projected a ray. She tried to cover it with her fist. To no avail: mild enough and alluring, the light was getting through.
In a trance, Brian thought. – The end of the world might feel a consolation for some people.
They left because the struggle wasn’t worth it. Nevertheless, the suffering that was meant to be absorbed has piled up all crystallized. The future is bound to shatter… I don’t want the countdown to end. But bad things have shrouded the world… Do you see how fragile reality is?
When your position is strong, you act, when it’s just alright, you speak. But whenever you’re in too much trouble and up against everything, you believe.