Tapping my foot and checking my watch with every tick has not yet grown on me. I am always anxious before a flight, impatiently lingering through the shops scattered around my gate to pass the time. Tonight is a different night though. Tonight I clutch my ticket firmly in hand, tearing it slightly and slowly. I sit in the seat closest to the gate, where the attendant glares at me confused by my quickly shifting focus between the gate and my watch.
Father’s words still loom within my head, She is not how she was before and You are the only son of mine with that gift. My mother’s fixation on her wealth—I thought it was merely the shift of a golden heart to lead. Money does that to you: it makes you feel powerful, and that false sense of power...it’s corrupting. I believed my mother fell into the same allure, but Father believes otherwise.
The gate door cracks open just enough for me to jolt upward and charge the front of the line, quickly extending my arm towards the attendant, ticket in hand. Before she even finishes scanning it, I run down the gate onto the plane and into my seat. This time I didn’t even bother taking a first class flight. There was no way I was going to wait the extra two hours for the first class; it’s too important that I return to Bogota as soon as possible.
On the plane it feels like time sped up. The ticks of my watch count the seconds faster, and the passing of city after city is rapid. It reminds me of my first trip on a plane, with my mother. I was only eight, and Father gave us enough money to stay in France for a month. My power hadn’t developed fully yet (oh how naive I would be without it). I was ignorant enough to think the Father was such a loving parent, and that he was off on “business trips” and could only visit once a year. I still smack my head over the thought.
I feel like a stranger to the stratosphere, even though I fly constantly now. I might as well be a pilot. I wonder how a pilot sees the ground, then I realize, I can see for myself.
I close my eyes and concentrate on the cockpit. There are three people in it, from what I can tell: I assume the pilot, copilot, and one of the attendants. I begin to hear their thoughts within mine.
I can’t believe this! Why didn’t anyone refuel the plane!?
I sure hope he doesn’t find out that I forgot to refuel.
Looks like I’ll have to tell the passengers.
I’m unable to overhear conversations, only the monologues in people’s heads, but these fragments are enough for me to scream in frustration. Heads turn to me, their eyes wide and startled. A flight attendant hurries out of the cockpit, and runs towards me.
“Is everything all right, sir?” she presses me with concern.
“Yeah, just a really bad cramp. It’s natural when I’m airborne. Sorry about that.”
“Okay sir, let me know if you need anything.”
“Thank you,” I grunt as she walks away from me towards the front of the plane, grabbing the intercom off the wall and speaking into it.
“Sorry to inform you all, but this flight will be landing in approximately thirty minutes for refueling. If you wish to return en route to Bogota, you will be required to transfer flights, which the airport is willing to accommodate for you all.”
Unbelievable. Why now? Why when I am in such a hurry? It looks like my mother will have to wait a little longer and there is nothing I can do.
I take my laptop out of my bag and position it on my lap. The airlines always tell me to turn off all my electronics but I never listen. It doesn’t hurt anyone, especially with built-in wifi. What hypocrites.
Of course, the next flight to Bogota from here is in two days, prompting me to smack the chair in front of me in rage.
“Hey! Cut that out!” the man in front of me yells.
“Sorry, just, had a spasm,” I giggle a little bit at my excuse, easing my impatience.
I hurried out of the airport and call my taxi. Luckily I was able to book a hotel for the next couple days until the next flight. The Tops Hotel was what it was called. Is it really five stars with that name? It seemed a little odd; I hope I didn’t just become a victim of false advertising.
The taxi comes to a halt at the front door of the building, which seems to extend for twenty floors. The front door is elegant enough that I’m sure that this is the hotel I booked. There are always perks to Father’s wealth, and this is one of them.
I walk through the front door and any tension from the past twenty-four hours has been lifted from my shoulders. Two more days of respite from both my parents. Just two more days. Entering the hotel is like cutting myself off from them and their troubles. It stops making me feel like I’m trapped on their leashes, the whole reason I left Colombia in the first place.
I approach the counter, “Hi, room for Ferreria?” I ask the manager.
“Oh, yes, I have your key right here,” she opens the drawer in front of her and hands me my key.
“Thank you,” I smile a little harder than I mean to, still halfway within my thoughts.