TWO SOULS: INTO THE FIRE
"Bing...bing..." The fasten seatbelt signal sounded it's order, and the plane began to move slowly into position for it's take-off. The crew members came down the aisle, checking on things, then gave the safety demo. Ghost was taking it all in. Steve had his eyes closed tight, and his knuckles were turning white from gripping the arm rests so hard.
"Ghost," Steve whispered. "I gotta get off. Tell them I can't do it."
"I can't do that," Ghost said. "Besides, you already are doing it. Here, hold my hand, 'cause here we go." He squealed, as the plane gathered speed, and lifted off the runway. The force of the take off pushed them back into their seats, and their ears popped. Ghost was giggling the whole time. Steve just looked pale, and sick...his eyes still closed.
"Wow, look at that, Steve...look outside. The clouds are beautiful. Ya gotta see it...look," Ghost said, urging Steve to open his eyes.
Steve did peek out for a second. "Um-hmm...oh, God...I feel sick."
"I'm sorry," Ghost said, brushing Steve's sweaty, yet cold forehead. "I wish I could make it be ok for you."
"Me, too. You just have fun and enjoy the ride. I'll be ok...when it's over, ok?"
"Would it be better if I was scared, and you had to be brave and make me not freak out?"
"No, and I'm glad you're not scared, 'cause I'd still be scared, and then what? It wouldn't work," Steve said.
Ghost thought about that for a minute, then noticed the flight attendant pushing a trolley down the aisle. "Hey, they're bringing drinks and snacks. Can we get some?"
Steve nodded. "Yeah, go ahead."
"What do you want?"
"Yep, they have that on their cart. Maybe it'll relax ya."
"Ahh, get me one of them, then," Steve said.
After a few swallows of his beer, Steve did relax a bit. He was able to look around some. Ghost was still munching on crackers.
"Ya feeling better, now?" Ghost asked.
"Yeah, a little...but, I gotta go pee...where? how?" Steve asked.
Ghost shrugged. "I'll ask." He pushed the call button, and a crew member came to their seat.
"Where is the bathroom?"
It was pointed out to them, and now Steve had to actually walk down the aisle, and keep his balance.
"You want me to go with you?" Ghost asked.
"No...yes...no, I'll make it ok." He rose unsteadily from his seat. Lurching and holding on to seat backs, he did make it into the tiny room. The rushing wind sound, and the bumpy effects of the plane, brought on a near panic attack. He was afraid he'd get locked in.
He could barely turn around in there, but managed to relieve himself, thought not very neatly. He looked in the mirror above the tiny sink. "Is that me? I look like hell," he thought. His face was pale, with red splotches on his cheeks and neck. His eyes were big and dark from panic. Taking a deep breath, he splashed water on his face.
The plane suddenly dropped in a bit of turbulence, and Steve felt his stomach flip flop. "Oh, God," he said aloud. "Let me outta here." He fiddled with the door latch, finally jerking open the door, and he started back down the aisle. Having to scoot over a bit, as someone else was coming, he almost landed in some businessman's lap.
"Hey, watch where you're going," the man said, and pushed Steve upright.
"Sorry, sorry," Steve mumbled, as he continued to his seat.
The plan lurched again, and Steve fell to his hands and knees. A crew member helped him up, and to his seat. "Fasten your seatbelt,"she said, "It's still a little rough, but we'll be through it soon...don't worry."
He did what she'd asked, then leaned his head back on the seat, closing his eyes. "Ghost...if I ever, ever mention flying again, just kill me, ok? That would be better than doing this again."
Ghost took Steve's hand, and leaned his head on Steve's shoulder. "Do you really hate it?"
"Yes," Steve said. He tried holding his breath, to keep from sobbing, but a few tears ran down his face, onto Ghost's hair. "I'm being such a baby. I know I am, and I can't stop it." He was shaking.
"Here, lean over on me. I'll hum you a song, and you try to sleep, ok? Then, when you wake up, maybe we'll be there," Ghost said. Steve did, and Ghost's soft humming did ease his panic enough to doze off.
Ghost gazed out the window at the sky and passing clouds...the sky he always looked at. It gave him a sense of peace, and he fell asleep for awhile, too.
As the plane began it's descent into LAX, the cabin pressure adjusted, making their ears pop, again, waking them up.
"What's wrong...what's happening?" Steve asked.
"Nothing, we're almost there...we're fixing to land in L. A. ... I can see buildings, and other planes, and stuff," Ghost said.
The plane made a smooth landing, but Steve thought it would never slow down.
"We're here...we're back on the ground," Ghost said.
"Good," Steve said.
At the gate, everyone began exiting the plane. Ghost got his backpack from over head, and they inched their way off the plane.
"Where's Linda supposed to meet us?" Ghost asked.
"She said after we get our suitcases, just go out the nearest exit, and she'd be on the sidewalk," Steve said.
They found the luggage pick-up area, and grabbed them as they came around.
"Ok, this way, I think," Steve said. He'd gotten his confidence back, now that he was on land, again. Ghost tagged along, behind, looking at all the people.
"Maybe we'll see a movie star," he said.
"C'mon, forget movie stars...we gotta find Linda," Steve said, as they went outside. They stood there a few minutes, looking around. Then, Linda saw them. She waved and hollered.
"Steve...Ghost..." She rushed up, hugging them both. "You're finally here."
"Yeah, Sis, we made it...wasn't any problem at all," Steve said.
Ghost gave him a look, and rolled his eyes. He started to say something, but thought better of it, in time.
"Ok, follow me. My car is over there, not too far," Linda said. They all piled in, and she pulled away from the parking area, heading for her house.
"How far away are you from the airport?" Steve asked.
"Oh, not that far, but with this crazy traffic, it'll take us at least half an hour. I'm telling you, Steve, my kids are beyond excited to meet their uncle. And, Lisa too, but I think she's a little shy about it," Linda said.
"Well, we're basically strangers. It's been years..."
"I know, but y'all will get to know each other real soon."
"Is she going to move, too?"
"Not yet. In fact her and her fiancé are going to be living at the house, and maybe buying it...or maybe just selling it for me. We'll just have to see how things turn out," Linda said.
Next part coming soon!
Peace, Love, & Writing