The plane lifted off. I was in the middle seat in economy class, not the aisle seat in business class, as was the norm for me. Nonetheless, I prepared myself for food service and the morning paper. Then I noticed the attractive woman sitting in the window seat. Her long blonde hair cascaded smoothly down her back. She wore impeccable makeup, which was not immediately visible—I liked that. She appeared to be in her mid twenties. Her obviously lithe young body filled out a stylish blue blouse that matched her piercing eyes … I caught myself staring.
This might actually be a pleasant flight.
The plane leveled out. As if on cue she leaned in provocatively and quietly whispered in my ear, “I know I’m supposed to keep this a secret, but I absolutely must tell someone.”
Ignoring the tingling sensation suddenly creeping from my ear lobe down my neck and into my stomach, I managed to get out a strangled “R-really?”
“Yes … really,” she whispered with a conspiratorial wink. She puckered her eyebrows in a tiny, pretty frown, motioning with her hands that I should speak lower. Instantly I had an image of how I might appear to her: eyes eager and wide, mouth gaping, grinning inanely, and possibly even drooling a little. I shook off that unflattering self-portrait, and assumed a look that I imagined conveyed complicity in her subterfuge—one eye squinting, opposite brow raised—then nodded and whispered back: “What is it?”
She shivered, made a delicate moue, reclined in her seat and said at regular volume, “Ooh, now I’m conflicted! Maybe I really shouldn’t say.”
Now I simply had to know.
“Oh come on,” I pleaded, “you can’t leave it at that! You can’t pique my curiousity and then just hang me out to dry!”
“Oh … can’t I?” she asked, tilting her head to look at me coolly.
“No. It isn’t fair. You get me interested and then don’t deliver. That’s cruel. Unless …”
“Unless you’re trying to pass the time on the flight, and enjoy a little game you can run on a schmuck like me.” I blurted. “I get it, don’t worry. Yes, you are beautiful, everybody wants you, but nobody can have you, especially good old Mr. Average Businessman here. Well I have some news for you, darlin’: I don’t actually want you. I am quite happy.” I was nearly shouting. “I don’t need to know this little secret of yours, anyway. In fact … you can shove it where—”
I didn’t get a chance to finish describing where her secret would end up, as there was a loud bang, and the plane suddenly dropped. Weightless for a split second, I crashed back in the seat painfully on one hip. Oxygen masks popped down from the overhead bin, but neither of us grabbed for them. My eyes locked on hers. I grimaced in pain and fear. She smiled triumphantly. I was about to learn all about her little secret.