Getting Over Take Off and Landing This work is considered exceptional by our editorial staff.

May 25, 2010
Marcy anxiously looked across her row, out the slightly foggy airplane window at the humming engines. She shifted uncomfortably in her seat stiff vinyl seat, and clutched her sticky armrest. Marcy would rather eat her grandmother’s beef stroganoff every day for the rest of her life, than fly on an airplane. Her grandmother was a fan of Buck’s discount beef, which was often green.
Marcy sighed, stretched her legs into the aisle and yawned. Instantly all of the airplane white noise was amplified. The small children bickering two rows back turned into a piercing screaming match, and she became aware of the somewhat concerning creaking sounds escaping from the overhead compartments.
To make matters worse, the televisions were out of service, which Marcy depended on to distract her from overanalyzing every possible crisis scenario. So she was stuck on plane, for four and a half hours, with no entertainment, and the anxiety level of someone about to jump off a cliff.
Why it was so imperative that to fly out for her mothers wedding? She didn't know. She hadn't seen her mother for six years, and she had never met her fiancé. Who, by the way, was only 24 years old! Only five years older than Marcy. Her mother had left without a word six years ago, and out of the blue two weeks ago she had called insisting Marcy fly out for the event. It was quite inconsiderate Marcy thought, but her father insisted it was important.
Marcy picked up her dinosaur old first edition Ipod and looked at the time, 3:21 only three and a half more hours until she would be in sunny California with her doting mother, having the time of her life. Marcy snorted at that thought, and returned to uncomfortably shifting in her seat.
She tugged at the edges of her leather jacket, and played with her mousy brown hair as the plane started to jostle. She was cursing to herself for not bringing a book when she noticed the guy across the aisle was staring at her from behind a pair of electric blue sunglasses. He had jet-black hair that fell artfully across his forehead, and he was wearing a bright green blazer. Odd Marcy thought as she reached for the whole-wheat turkey sandwich her father had packed for her. When she glanced at him again, she noticed he was furiously scribbling in a neon yellow notebook. Marcy stretched over to catch a glance at what he might be doing, but he immediately recoiled like a clam snapping shut. So fast he almost knocked over his neighbors steaming coffee.
"Um, what are you doing?" Marcy asked. He grunted and avoided her harsh look.
"Hey, I'm talking to you... Seriously what are you doing? Are you-" he cut Marcy off and finally spoke,
"I'm sketching, when I see something interesting I try to capture it."
"You think that I'm interesting?" Marcy asked.
"No, I wasn't drawing you." He said very plainly, but Marcy was doubtful.
"Then show me." He took a moment to process this request; he sighed and opened his sketchbook. He flipped through the graphite dusted pages until he stopped at a picture of a airplane seat headrest that was torn open at the seam revealing several layers of padding inside. Marcy turned around in her seat and sure enough, there was a tear in her headrest. Not exactly what Marcy would have deemed, "interesting," but whatever floats his boat.
Suddenly Marcy became aware of something sticking to her shoe; she looked down and discovered that on of the children behind her had thrown up. The pungent odor wafted up from the floor, and suddenly she had a pain in the pit of he stomach. Awesome, she thought, this flight is going so well.
The guy next to her started laughing, and quickly flipped to a new page in his notebook.
"Thanks! You’re going to sketch me now?" Marcy exclaimed!
"Your interesting now." He continued to sketch furiously as Marcy reached up to press the orange flight attendant call button. She was sliding her feet on the floor, trying to wipe off the vomit when the flight attendant came with a bottle of cleaning solution and a smile.
"Madam, I apologize but I'm going to have to ask you to stand up while we clean up this little whopsie!" the petite blond said in an all to chipper voice. Marcy had a mini panic attack, the seatbelt sign was on and the plane was bumping around.
"I can't." Marcy said.
"Well you must in order to comply with airline safety regulations." she was still smiling, like flight attendant Barbie or something.
"Ok, but you see the thing is if I have to stand you'll have two whopsie's to clean up." Marcy snapped.
"Here take my seat, I'll stand." The mysterious guy in sunglasses said.
"Wow what a courteous gentleman! If only all of our passengers were so accommodating." Barbie said. Marcy was stunned; she got up and clung to the airplane seats as she switched positions with the guy. It was terrifying, but not nearly as bad as standing. Macy adjusted the seatbelt tightly around her waist and returned to clutching the armrest.
"My name is Darren, but my friends call me Ren." Finally a name from the mysterious sunglasses guy!
"Well thank you for your seat Ren, you have no idea what you did for me. Seriously, I may have died. Anyways, my name is Marcy." He reached out to shake her hand, but Marcy did not release her grip on the armrest.
"It’s the least I can do for the model of my next masterpiece. Do you want to see my sketch?" Mortified Marcy shook her head,
"Kidding, kidding, gosh you need to loosen up Marcy." Ren said, he flipped open his sketchbook to reveal a picture of her shoe covered in vomit.
"Lovely." Marcy mumbled as she turned away.
"So what brings you to California miss Marcy? Beaches, shopping, love?" Ren clearly had no qualms when it came to prying.
"My mother, who hasn't contacted me in six years, is getting married to a man nearly half her age. She thought it might be nice if I attended, although I have no idea why." Marcy blurted out.
"Well maybe she missed you, and she didn't know how to bring you back into her life. And, weddings are sort of a big deal... At least to women." Ren mused as he casually shifted his weight. How could he be so at ease standing like that? Marcy would never understand.
"Well whatever, the only reason I came is so that I can collect information to bring back to my Dad... To make him feel better. When she left us in Chicago, she broke his heart. He has never so much as looked at another woman, and she's been out in California doing God knows what for the past six years. You know what though? I'm glad she left, she was an awful selfish mother who only cared about herself!" Marcy gasped for breath as she finished her rant, and looked around to see that everyone had begun staring at her. Fantastic, this was just the cherry on top of a perfect flight. Ren took a moment before he responded; Marcy studied him as he formulated his response.
"Maybe you don't know her as well as you think. Give her a chance, she might surprise you." Marcy shrugged in response; she didn't need some stranger to tell her to give her mother a chance. Just then the Barbie flight attendant popped up,
"All better! See how easy that was, now you may return to your seat." Marcy wondered how she could still be cheerful after cleaning up puke.
"Gladly." Marcy got up and shrugged Ren's hand off as she stumbled to her seat. She felt a wave of exhaustion pass through her body, and as uncomfortable as her seat was it still felt like the
perfect place to take a quick nap.
"We are about to begin our decent into San Francisco international airport, please make sure your seats and tray tables are in the upright position and all carryon items are stowed under the seat in front of you. Thank you for flying with us, and welcome to California." The cheerful voice crackled over the loudspeaker, and woke Marcy up from her deep slumber. Marcy opened her eyes, and was horrified to discover that during her nap she had slumped onto the elderly lady in the seat next to her. Marcy felt her cheeks warm up as she profusely apologized. She yawned and was again reminded of the brutal consequences, loud noises and now her ears hurt too. She tried to focus her attention on the seat in front of her but her eyes were drawn out the window to the sparkling blue bay peppered with sailboats. Well at least it was beautiful. Maybe...
Gradually plane began rocking from side to side as it edged closer to the water. Marcy began to panic, what if the plane did a nosedive into the water? Her stomach dropped, and she pressed her heals into the thin carpet. She saw the runway coming closer, so she squeezed her eyes shut. She held her breath and prepared to die. The plane collided with the ground and let out sickening screech as it speed to a sudden halt. Then it was over. Marcy had survived! She was truly astonished, and she just sat there stunned. Before she knew it everyone was standing up, and competing for aisle space so they could lug out their over packed carryon’s. Marcy remained seated; she didn't want to deal with the congestion. She closed her eyes and sat back in her seat as the elderly couple scrambled over her legs, she wasn't eager to meet her mother. When she opened her eyes she noticed the plane had cleared out except for one person, Ren. He was, of course, staring at her intently scribbling in his sacred sketchbook.
"What are you still doing here, don't you have somewhere to be?" Marcy asked accusingly.
"Don't you? Besides, who would have helped you get your bag down if I hadn't stayed?” Ren countered.
"I can take care of myself, thank you very much." To prove her point she reached up into the overhead bin to pull out her suitcase, she was startled by it's weight and it came crashing down barely missing her bare toes.
"Clearly." he smirked, "I'll see you soon Marcy!"
Okay, right, Marcy thought to herself. She waited a few minutes before finally exiting the plane, giving herself enough space as to not run into Ren on her way out. As she pulled her rolling luggage onto the jet way the flight attendant waved goodbye,
"Have a nice day!"
Not likely. Marcy dragged her battered blue up the exceedingly long jet way, and through the complicated airport full of bustling families and suspended model airplanes to escalator. She hauled her bag onto the escalator and began descending to her doom. As she drew closer to the ground she could hear the clanging of the luggage belts, and the distant arguments between distraught customers and flight agents. She smelled corndogs, and car exhaust from the street. Marcy saw smiling families embracing, but nowhere could she see her mother. Then there she was, poof, like a magic trick. Her curly brown hair was tucked in a silver hair scrunchie, and she was wearing a magenta floor length peasant gown. She was smiling brightly, and holding a giant purple sparkly poster that read, “WELCOME MARCY!” Marcy caught herself smiling, until she happened to notice the man standing next to her mother. He was tall, wearing a green blazer, and his blue sunglasses were on top of his head holding back jet-black hair. Marcy thought she was going to be sick.
As she stepped off the escalator her mom came rushing forward. Her bangles jangled as she ran. She scoped Marcy into a strong lilac scented embrace.
“Marcy, you don’t know how much I’ve missed you.” Marcy pulled away, but her mother didn’t notice.
“Marcy I would like you to meet Ren, you flew in on the same flight from Chicago! Ren is my fiancé.” Her mother beamed and placed her hand over her heart. Ren looked directly at Marcy and winked.
“Well we best get going!” Ren cheerfully said as he effortlessly plopped Marcy’s pathetic blue bag on the luggage cart. They silently headed out to a waiting taxi, and Ren held Marcy back while her mother regally entered the yellow cab.
“Marcy, I know this sucks. I’m sorry I didn’t tell you who I was on the plane, but I thought maybe if you got to know me you’d give me a chance. I love your mom, and I know she loves you too. You’re all she talks about, wait until you see her apartment, its covered in pictures of you! Just give her a chance, you risked your life to get here didn’t you?” He smiled and opened the cab door and Marcy slid in.
“Yeah.” She said to herself, as she looked out the window at a plane taking off. She had managed; somehow, to survive that death trap maybe she should give this one a shot. She kept her eyes on the blue tale of the plane as it soared in the sky; she didn’t stop until the dot had disappeared in the mist of a cloud.

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