“This is the pre-boarding announcement for flight 1719 to Missoula. We’ll begin the boarding process in ten minutes.” Oh my God! How long does it take to make an iced coffee? My subconscious snarls at the barista. If I miss my flight, I swear to God, lady. I stand impatiently and shudder as I read another text from my boyfriend—I mean ex-boyfriend. Liv, we need to talk. I can’t tell you how sorry I am. Call me.
“Liv,” the barista shouts. I snap back into reality and force a smile, “Thank you.” I grab my coffee and head for my gate. As I turn, I am pummeled by what appears to be a tall, well-groomed man in a business suit. And my coffee is now an accessory on my white silk blouse. You've got to be kidding me.
“Excuse me!” I yell after him. He continues to run.
“Oh, no worries,” he calls out with a wave of his hand like the whole thing was my fault. What an ass!
I rush to the restroom and by the grace of God and a stain remover pen, I erase most of the stain.
“We invite all remaining passengers to board at this time."
I catch my breath as I take my seat. The plane fills quickly and it looks like I'm going to get the whole row to myself. Fingers crossed. I am not big on conversation with strangers. The flight attendant greets one more passenger at the cabin door and my stomach sinks. It’s the rude guy who ran me over in the terminal. I close my eyes tight and recite this mantra in the hopes he doesn’t sit next to me: Please don’t sit here. Please don’t sit here. Please don’t sit here.
“Looks like I am 16E.” I squint through my right eye to find him standing next to me with a smug look on his face.
“Perfect,” I scoff.
“Oh, hey. I remember you. You’re that lady from the terminal.” He looks at my blouse. “Oof, what happened there?” Like he doesn’t know?
“Ladies and gentlemen, welcome onboard flight 1719 with service from Chicago to Missoula. Please secure all baggage underneath your seat or in the overhead compartments and fasten your seatbelts.”
I am a nervous flyer—have always been. I try to calm myself with some music and a book.
“What are you reading? Some fifty-shades-of-something-or-another cheesy romance novel?” He smiles with self-pride.
“Charming,” I sneer. I put on my headphones and escape the conversation.
I am lost in my book when an elbow jab pulls me back into reality. “What?” I shout over my music. Rude guy gestures to be quiet and points up to the speaker.
I take off my headphones. “What do you want?"
“We’re landing soon. Just thought you’d like to know.” I think he takes pleasure in annoying me.
“Good evening, ladies and gentlemen. We’ve landed at the Missoula International Airport where the local time is 4:49 and the temperature is 57º. We hope you enjoyed your flight with Montana Air and wish you a safe journey to your final destination.”
Hey mom! Just landed. Call you tomorrow. Love you!
“Texting your mom? How cute.” Boy, he sure knows how to get under my skin.
I throw a nasty glance at him. “Excuse me? What is your problem?”
“Sorry. I wasn’t trying to be rude. I was just...”
I ignore him and put my things in my bag. The cabin door opens and I rush to be the first out the door. Thank God! Get me out of here.