Sitting by herself on the only chair she could find that wasn’t surrounded by screaming, snotty nosed brats, Alice pulled out a book and began to read as she waited to board her flight. Where was she going? London, England. The farthest English speaking destination that she could think of. When all of the other girls were buying princess dresses for prom, Alice was applying for visas and saving up for plane tickets. This was her chance to see the world and she would be damned if she held herself back now.
General boarding for flight 183 to London, England a dull voice blasted through the loudspeakers. Alice slowly made her way onto the plane. Once comfortably seated in her isle seat, reading peacefully, she couldn’t help but pray that the 2 seats to her left would remain empty. Unfortunately for Alice, it seemed that someone had other ideas.
“Excuse me,” a male voice rumbled, “but I think that’s my seat.” Alice turned to see a young man, probably not much older than herself, pointing at the seat beside hers. Moving to allow him into the seat, Alice found herself groaning internally. Why did he have to have that seat? Why not have chosen a different seat so she could be left in peace for this ridiculously long flight? And to make things worse for her, he seemed to want to be social with her. Oh God, she thought.
“Hi, my name is Gideon, what’s yours?”
“Well Alice, it’s nice to meet you! I guess we are going to be seat buddies huh? Do you think that anyone else is going to come sit down? I hope not. Then this whole flight would be really crowded, don’t you think so too?”
“Sure.” Damn, she thought, he’s like a kid on a sugar high, he just won’t shut up!
This kind of conversation continued until the safety speech from the flight crew began, temporarily saving Alice from being bombarded further with questions. As the speech continued, she began to think to herself. Gideon had to be around 19 or 20 –despite the fact that he acted like a hyper-active 10 year old- he probably stood over 6 feet tall. It was kind of funny watching him try to find a comfortable way to wedge his legs into the already small gap between their seats and those in front of them. Pretty soon the safety message was over and the plane was picking up speed as it shot down the runway. Alice gripped her seat for dear life.
“Hey, are you okay? You look like you’re scared out of your mind. Do you not fly well?” Gideon gently asked.
“This is actually my first time and, oh God, it feels like we’re going to crash!”
“Okay, are you chewing any gum? No? Here, this will help to stop your ears from popping. Don’t worry, did you know that statistically you’re more likely to get into a car crash than a plane crash? Okay, maybe not a good topic to discuss right now… So why are you going to London?”
“Um… I guess to get away, and to have an adventure.” Alice started to relax, the more she spoke with Gideon, the less she thought about the plane. Maybe having to have a ‘seat buddy’ wasn’t such a bad thing after all.