Chapter 11

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I think that it was sort of obvious that I didn’t particularly like flying. As we stood in the queue to climb the stairs and board the plane, I think it became apparently obvious to my grandma.

My grandmother would look over every now and then, and we would speak briefly, but I think she could tell I still wasn’t all there.

I felt guilty about the fact that I couldn’t make conversation. But that was the problem. I couldn’t make conversation. I had no idea what I could say to her.

I didn’t want to ask her any questions. I didn’t want to put her in an uncomfortable place. I didn’t want her to feel less at ease. I didn’t want to ask something that my parents wanted to tell me themselves.

I was so frightened about making one of us look stupid, or putting us in an awkward position, or stirring an argument, that I simply said nothing. I thought at first that it would be best.

But I was then starting to doubt myself. She probably thought I was a completely antisocial teenager with an attitude problem. I didn’t have a necessarily bad attitude problem, but I was somewhat of a recluse.

I could tell that she wanted to say things, although I wasn’t exactly sure what. She would keep staring at me for brief moments, and then would turn around again, almost as though she had decided not to.

I knew that we couldn’t get into anything particularly deep on the plane, for we were surrounded by people and it wasn’t very intimate.

Rather soon, we were making our way up the stairs and handing the flight attendants our tickets. They were overly happy, as usual, and I really couldn’t be bothered with it all. They probably all thought that we were returning home, or going for a holiday. And the fact was that most people were.

But not me, of course. All the people on the plane were about to have a great time, or return home to loved ones. But once I stepped off the plane I would enter a living hell.

After ripping part of my ticket away, the flight attendant instructed me to “take a right and continue to the stairs until you see a door that will say ‘first class.’”

I looked up at my grandmother who had already boarded the plane and was waiting just ahead for me. “First class?” I mouthed in confusion.

In response, she nodded as though it was no big deal. Nothing new. Unsurprising.

I’d never actually flown any better than economy before and it startled me that we were sitting in first class. It only gave me more questions of who I actually was the daughter of.

I guessed that they were pretty well off as I doubted that the law firm had paid for me to go first class.

We walked up the stairs and through the door, as instructed, where we were greeted by another flight attendant who directed us to our seats. In actual fact, they looked more like beds than anything. And I had my own little space, cornered off by two little walls.

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