A Storm and a Half

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When Griselda "hit" everyone onboard the Boeing 777 saw a likely disaster unfolding. A short bout of turbulence woke a few of the passengers previously sleeping with a speedy sinking feeling in the pit of their stomachs. It was, however, the hysterical screams of a female passenger running wildly down the left aisle toward the front of the plane that alerted the others to an otherwise unseen danger.

The British Airways flight on June 10th, 2010 was designated Flight 2167 to Tampa, Florida. The take-off from London-Gatwick had been textbook and was followed by a seemingly uneventful flight. At 4pm EST, just minutes before hitting the cluster of air pockets, the captain reported to his destination control tower at Tampa International Airport that the 9-hour flight was routine. Tampa confirmed there were to be no delays on its arrival at 5.25pm.

Guy Marshal was not asleep when the incident happened. He had been travelling with long term girlfriend Jade Costello, who sat beside him. They were on the final leg of their six-week trip to the UK where they had visited family connections, universities, and one or two historic sites in both England and Ireland. This trip had been a true eye opener for Guy. He had concerns about his choice of partner even before the vacation. She was no longer the bright eyed excitable and sometimes goofy blonde that he had met in Middle School. Guy had wondered repeatedly how she had come to be this imposter. In truth she had altered so gradually that he could not even pinpoint the moment that it had begun.

That gangly girl that had worn handmade sweaters, ridden a hand me down bicycle adorned with rocket stickers, who had the kindest heart... where was she now? One reason he had included her on this visit abroad was in search of the person that she once was. He needed to know whether she really existed under that fake tan. Was her heart genuine despite the acrylic nails, bleached teeth, micro bladed eyebrows, and hair extensions?

Guy had initially become concerned when visits to Mystikal Scents, a store that both he and Jade had loved, had become a solo destination for his solitary reflection. Although the library niche with sink-in sofas offered privacy and a truly peaceful vibe, he ruminated there. This wonderful place, brimming with information on ancient connections and metaphysical supplies, had become tainted by her all too regular charade. But the people that worked there, and the different daily readers, all had such open hearts that he felt he was able to be himself, even when sulking.

He had noticed an attitude change in Jade when she deigned to accompany him to the Halloween Festival a couple of years back. The "know-it-all" emerged as soon as they crossed the threshold. Amid the excitement of the games and lectures he felt the magnanimous energy of the cathedral amethysts on display there. Jade told him she could not feel anything except boredom, but that one lecture coming up did interest her. Akashic Records, she wanted to know more, and this pleased him as he saw himself as "a little bit of a hippy!" just like his Mom.

Part way through the presentation by a lovely lady, softly spoken, he heard Jade ask inane questions in a way that was both condescending and rude. "Can you get Elvis on the records then?" she blurted out. "or just Spice Girls?" she giggled at her own humor. A sideways glance from him was not enough to deter her in her boldness. "So, when you go to look at the records then, who meets you? If it is a library, why can't you take the books out?" Many of the other participants began to "tut" loudly. Guy decided to silently call time on their visit. He rose from his seat and motioned to Jade to do the same. She followed him out the door, after he had grabbed a quick but much needed hug from Pearl, Mystikal Scents owner and one of his favorite people in the whole world. As they crossed highway 301 on foot and headed down Williams Road towards home, Jade continued her heckling. It was tedious. He heard the way in which she harshly judged other belief systems without knowing anything about them. He was speechless.

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