Two Strangers On A Plane: Part Three
Her face scrunched up into a scowl almost instantaneously and I cringed, waiting for the inevitable attack to begin. “You think killing your uncle and being certifiable crazy is timeless? You do know that ‘timeless’ is a synonym of ‘relatable’, right? How on Earth is Hamlet relatable?!”
“His utter despair. Why else would it continue to be a staple of our culture? Especially since it’s more than a few centuries later! People can relate to it. I mean, he talks about death and life: age-old questions of what happens after death and if it’s any better than life. We’ve all wondered that at some point if I dare say,” I said. I kept telling myself not to look her in the eyes lest it be seen as a challenge, like an unknown dog, but my eyes kept wandering back to her face, out of curiosity or a subconscious death wish I didn’t know. I’m guessing the second one, though.
Her upper lip curled, molding to her teeth, like a dog baring its teeth to a perceived threat. Her grimace was terrifying. But not as terrifying as her silence.
She looked at me from head to toe with disdain clear in her face. She took a deep breath, held it in for a second, closed her eyes and pinched the bridge of her nose. She was stressed out. I realized I was holding my breath when my heart tried to pound its way out of my chest and my lungs were burning.
She pressed the flight attendant button, and a second later a perky voice appeared behind me. I couldn’t look, in case Simone attacked me. “Can I help you, ladies?”
I jumped a little when my row mate spoke, even though I was looking straight at her, searching for a hint that she would lunge at me. “Is it possible for me to get a new seat?” she gave the flight attendant a strained, fake, sugar-sweet smile. I didn’t allow myself to breathe a sigh of relief. She wasn’t gone yet, after all.
“Is there a problem?” The attendant sounded confused and a little scared. I imagined her eyes flitting between my sure-to-be-terrified expression and Simone’s now dark and angry face. The poor flight attendant probably saw Simone’s expression and thought better of her question. “Follow me, Ma’am,” she said.
Simone smiled, gathered her stuff and stepped gingerly over me, careful not to touch me as if I were a leper.
Before following the stewardess she turned to face me and left with a parting shot. “I was wrong. You aren’t like my niece. You’re much worse than her,” she smiled a triumphant smile and turned, without a single glance behind.
If she had looked back, she might have seen me give a sigh of relief, looking up to the heavens and saying “Thank you!” even though I’m not particularly religious.
One thing’s for sure; I’m never taking another flight all by myself.