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Turbulence This work has been published in the Teen Ink monthly print magazine.

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     When I was 16 years old, my family and I took a vacation to England. We had always loved traveling - seeing new things, taking ourselves out of our normal environment. But the previous year on a flight to Florida, something changed.

During this flight, we flew around a lightning storm. Everyone in the plane craned their necks to see the storm as we glided by. The experience of looking at lightning from the sky was very interesting. Rather than streak across the horizon, it shot out of a cloud and raced toward the ground like a stray bullet. My sister, however, was horrified by the experience. “I didn’t need to see that,” she whispered, her face pale as she tightened her seat belt as far as it would go.

A year later we were on another plane. I had just fallen into a relatively peaceful sleep, which was a treat for me because I usually have trouble sleeping on planes. So, justifiably, I was irritated when I was brought out of my slumber by my sister. At this point she had developed a full-blown phobia of flying. So when the turbulence reached a significant intensity she decided she needed me.

“Wake up,” she hissed, gripping my right shoulder and giving it a rough shake.

“What?” I asked groggily, annoyance lacing my voice.

“There’s turbulence,” she whispered, her usual big blue eyes looking almost comically large - ready to pop out at any moment. She was shaking with terror.

I debated how to handle the situation. I could look out the window and wonder aloud why the engine was on fire. I could give her a curt insult and go back to sleep. Or I could be nice and explain that everything was completely normal and under control.

I eventually decided on the latter option and stayed up with her. I talked to her about what she wanted to see in London, fabricated statistics about the safety of flying, made fun of her irrational fear - anything I could think of to keep her occupied. The moment we touched down, she calmed, taking a deep breath and releasing it shakily. “I’m never flying again,” she declared as we pulled into the gate. Of course, we were able to cajole her onto a plane just days later - for the flight home.

This work has been published in the Teen Ink monthly print magazine. This piece has been published in Teen Ink’s monthly print magazine.






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