Flying

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Planes were groves to every journey and airports were checkpoints to each adventure. Most consider flying as a burden, but flying was a part of who I was. Flying was a way to extinguish all fires within me; I had no boundaries or boarders. The sky was the limit.

Throughout my life I have been on 50 to 150 different airplanes. To me, flying is a sixth sense. I was born in Singapore and as a baby traveled all over Southeast Asia, China, and the United States. I started traveling without my parents at nine years old and when I was eleven I flew the continent by myself. I have met some extraordinary people; people from different backgrounds, different lives, different places, different worlds. I hated sitting next to people I didn’t know, but now it’s what I look forward to.

Airports are binding, but they are wonderful. Each airport is like a person. Everyone has their own personality, style, and taste. Some are dull and dirty, others are clean and expensive. I have learned that airplanes don’t treat customers, customers treat the airplanes. Got caught in traffic and arrived late to a flight? There S.O.L for that. If someone was cold, they didn’t receive blankets; they got the man next to them, complete with a chair in their lap. And god forbid if there was someone with a soul on the plane, they get an incredibly nice sturdiest…… From all the good and bad that I’ve witnessed, I have learned that there are greater things than fun and vacation; some of the people I sat with were flying to fix their deteriorating companies and say goodbye to loved ones.

Boarding my flight, I swatted and smacked as I made my way to my seat. He was tan, blue eyed, average height, dark haired. I sat down and shoved my book bag under the seat. We distributed eye contact; he was the first to introduce himself, his name was Chad. As he was speaking I noticed the bags under his eyes and in them I saw anxiety and regret. As we got the small talk over with, I started my vampire romance novel. Just as I was about to see if Edward was going to bite her I was interrupted, “Do you want anything to drink miss?” Annoyed, I gave her a quick no. “Those books that good?” Chad asked me. Great, I’m sitting next to a talker. Trying to act like I knew everything was talking about, I replied, “Yes they are really good! I use to hate Twilight because it was a fad thing but once I started reading them I fell in love.” He smirked, so of course I had to ask why he thinks it’s funny. He said, “I couldn’t picture you reading something like this.” I thought to myself, “Yeah, I shouldn’t be reading these.” He commented on the shirt I was wearing, he told me that he’s been to Anguilla. This made me drop Edward. No one knew where Anguilla was, I started talk to him more. It turns out that Chad wasn’t an average Joe, but a millionaire and soon I found out why there was stress. He had been robbed; a bank went under and stole 17 million dollars from him. The money he fought so hard to earn was taken from him. He now had to sell everything he had just to make ends meet; in fact, he was on his way to California to try to get it back. The worst was yet to come. He was madly in love with his soon to be wife; she was also pregnant with their child. After he lost all of his money it seemed as if she ‘fell out of love with him.’ She aborted their baby, the one thing that was suppose to save Chad’s life, and left him. This story was not a made up romance novel. He gave me the truth.

As the plane arrived at Salt Lake City, we were still talking. A café was out front so we grabbed a quick bite together. As we were eating, I could hear my father’s voice in the back of my head, “Get to your next flight once you’ve landed.” I ignored and continued talking, I had 30 minutes. Chad told me that I probably should start going to my next flight, so we exchange goodbyes and went our separate ways. My exit was 30B and I realized it was on the other side of the building, I started picking up speed. Flight status: DEPARTED. Parents are going to kill me. Life is over. Now I’m never going to see Kate. First thing I do is ask the front desk when the next flight is. She told me that it was at 7:25 p.m.(my flight was as 2 p.m.) and it was booked. I then asked her when the next flight was and she told me 2 day and the only way I’d be able to get to Missoula was by making standby. I started to panic, I was 15; I can’t rent a hotel or car, I was on the other side of the continent, the only thing I’d be able to do was stay here the next two days. I called my mom, broke down and starting crying in front of the whole airport, but through the sobs I managed to tell her what had happened. Though her voice was sharp, she told me that everything was going to be alright and we will get through this. She called the airport and they told her the same information they told me, no flight out until 2 days. Not only that the Salt Lake City Airport was booked but also we learned that Salt Lake City was one of the three airports that was able to fly to Missoula. The other two: BOOKED. There was no way I would be able to leave the airport, as I look back now I would have loved it, but at the time it was a horrible feeling. My mom called my dad and they both asked me why I missed my flight. “Was your flight late?” “Were you lost?” If I told them what actually happened, they’d be furious; I told them that I go mixed up with my flights and was late. I felt bad for lying and even worse for the extra stress I just put on them. This was humiliating, flying was the one thing I knew how to do and I still managed to screw it up.

3. 4. 5. 6, anxiety, frustration, embarrassment were still there. I was on and off with my parents and Kate’s family trying to figure out what the plan was. As boarding approaches, my mom wouldn’t return any of her phone calls. More anxiety and frustration builds, everyone boards and I was left to sit on my chair and watch them get on the flight. My parents won’t answer me and I lose all hope. I hear the intercom come and list all of the people admitted from standby. Mary Smith was called, a woman came up to me and said that we must go to the flight. Quickly, we made our way out to the plane. I was in shock. With all of the people boarding this flight the chances were slim, but I made standby! As I took my seat I called my mom and she finally answered. She had bee on the phone with my cousin in Florida works. She worked with the airlines and has somehow managed to put me on this flight. I never felt more relieved.

The plane was a fundamental part of everyday life and without it the world would be slower, unsubstantially explored, and meagerly scrutinized. Without flying my emotions would have no outlet and I would have no escape. Cicero once said, “One should eat to live, not live to eat.” Though I have had some mishaps with flying I would not regret a single thing. Chad was just one example of the wonderful people I have met through flying and I would continue to met wonderful people and see beautiful places. Flying was what made me happy and it would place foot steps for my life. The sky was my limit.





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