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Waiting For Thetake-Off
An experience of waiting to take off.
Pankaj M Prasad Neale Steade
AUTHOR'S E-MAIL ADDRESS
Waiting For Thetake-Off
Pankaj M Prasad Neale Steade
Waiting for the Take-Off
He boarded flight TW-782 in New York for Los Angeles. He entered the aircraft, his mind busy planning the meeting scheduled ahead. If all went ahead he would have the deal by tomorrow. He had planned each and every step in detail. The papers were prepared. The schedules and agenda planned and finalised. Only what remained was the meeting and how it passes off. This had occupied his mind for the last two days. He had tried relaxing but could not get his mind off.
His wife and little daughter had noticed him tensed up. They had tried talking him out of his anxiety. He too had tried but his mind kept going back again and again. Then, busy packing up for the departure this morning his daughter had come up to him.
‘Daddy’ she said, ‘I want you to bring something back for me when you return’.
‘Sure darling anything you want’, he had replied putting his clothes in the suitcase.
‘I would like you to remember all what you see in the aeroplane when you are waiting for the take off and tell me about it when you return’.
He looked at her. ‘Why not anything else?’
‘Promise me this only this time’ she pleaded.
He had nodded ‘Alright love’ and kissed her.
‘Thanks’ she replied and ran out saying ‘Daddy I love you’.
He remembered this in a flash as he handed over his boarding pass to his to the air hostess. She smiled and took the card. She walked ahead in long strides, asking him to follow her. He followed her. She reached a seat and opened the overhead luggage bin.
‘I’ll keep it with me’, he said pointing to his leather briefcase.
He had planned to read the papers in flight.
‘That’ll be fine’. She smiled returning back his boarding pass.
‘Anything you should require please press this button’, she pointed at the orange button overhead.
‘Thanks ‘he replied.
She acknowledged and went ahead towards the front. His seat was in the rear by the window. He had kept standing. Matching up the number once again he stepped inside to take the seat. He sat down and put the briefcase by the side of his legs, on the floor.
Seated, he straightened his coat and trousers. Looking out of the window he could see a few people moving below finishing filling up the engines.
Other passengers had started coming in. He once again remembered his daughter’s words. He thought he would just watch all and everything till the plane took off. He felt his breathing instantly easing a bit. The other passengers were taking their seats. Old and young, mostly quiet. Placing the hand baggage above they sat quietly, whispering to themselves, especially the old ladies. A few were reading newspapers while the others were settling down.
Soon everyone was seated in the seats. The air hostesses and the cabin crew had seen them to their seats and were returning assured of them having settled. One of them was making a head count. He felt he had relaxed a bit and was breathing slowly and easily. He leaned backwards and reclined on the back of the seat feeling the tense muscle build up, slowly relax. He looked at his watch. There was still some time. The cabin crew announced the passengers to fasten the seat belts and stop smoking and prepare for take off.
He never smoked.
One of the air hostesses closed the door and ‘armed’ it shut. The remaining doors were closed too.
The passengers had fastened their seat belts. One of the crew members hurriedly made a check of it and reminded those who had not done to do so.
The aircraft was quiet. The captain announced on the radio to the cabin crew to take their seats and passengers to be ready for take off. He felt his mind and body completely at ease. He now longed to feel himself being carried up , taking off, after all it was going to be a long flight , he thought as he closed his eyes and tried to go to sleep.
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© 2007 Pankaj M Prasad Neale Steade
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