I found my seat. I got the window seat. You know that I usually ask the counter guy for a window seat, but this time it was a self-check-in in one of those machines; I was lucky.
Hi, I said to the man taking the seat next to mine. He was a man in his fifties or early sixties. He was tall. I could tell he was one of those tall people before he even stood up. Broad shoulders and long arms. Do you need a hand with your bag? He asked politely. His accent revealed his nationality. Which city, I wondered.
I thanked him and raised my 50-liter backpack over my head; it was half full, but really heavy. I leaned it against the edge of the overhead compartment and hated myself. Why do I always end up with super heavy bags? I shoved the bag inside. I had my computer and camera in it, a bunch of notebooks and snacks too. Heavy bags are a part of my destiny, really have no other choice. So what if the bag is slightly heavy and just a little bit big?!
I took my seat and started to chat with the man sitting next to me. I felt like I needed to speak with him not to be awkward. His name was James, or maybe Charles. But I think it was James. He looked like a James. He told me what his job was and where he lived. I knew Hannah and Elena from his city. I even thought of the inside joke Hannah told me about the people of their city, but I didn’t tell him that. I asked him if he was flying back home or if he was traveling. He was going to have a long weekend in a little town. He’s been there before, and it was beautiful. You can’t get enough. Just like every other place you visit on this planet.
I agreed and looked out the small window. I silently said goodbye and wished I could visit the country soon again.
It wasn’t a very long flight. About three hours. I took short naps, fell in and out of sleep as I watched the clouds underneath the airplane. Ocean of still clouds. I didn’t bother taking a picture, it wouldn’t look close to what I was seeing. The morning sun was touching my face, it was hurting my eyes a little bit, but I didn’t shut the shade. My view was magnificent.
The pilot announced that we were almost there, and we’d land soon. We dove in the clouds. It’s raining, he said.
I looked out the window and watched the gray clouds we were surrounded with, and all of a sudden, we landed. The airplane touched the ground. James was looking out the window too. What a surprise! I said to him. He said he didn’t like sudden landings, and he’d like to see the plane getting close to the ground. To feel the arrival. He was right. I like taking the train better. To actually feel the journey.
Do you have any siblings? James asked me. I told him about my older brother, where he lived and what he did. Do you have only one daughter? I asked him, but my voice cracked up, and for a second I couldn’t speak loud enough. So, you’re an aunty yourself, he said thinking that my brother has a daughter. Oh, no! I wanted to correct him, but the moment was somehow gone, and he had already pictured my brother with his little daughter. I should’ve told him that it wasn’t what I said, that he wasn’t even married yet. It would take him years to eventually have a daughter; if he ever had a daughter. Seconds passed by and made it even more impossible to fix my mistake. Oh, well, guess I should’ve cleared my voice before I asked him anything.