Jocelyn hadn't realized she had dozed off until she was shaken awake. She was quite disoriented at first, but waking in the backseat of a single engine plane will do that to you. She also realized it had been quite a long trip and she really needed to use the bathroom. The bouncing plane did not help that much.
"Oh good, you're awake! We are about to land. Hang on to your pigtails!"
He must have thought he was being cute, but Jocelyn didn't have time to think of a rebuttal, because the plane suddenly took a steep nose dive. Now she fought to keep her breakfast down, as well as her bladder's incessant warnings.
The pilot rolled the plane to the right.
"WHAT ARE YOU DOING!?" Jocelyn screamed.
"Apparently, the locals didn't get the memo about your arrival. They've sent a welcome wagon."
Somewhere below a plume of smoke and some orange flames poofed on the ground. "They are firing at us?!"
"Warning shots. Last time I was here, this wasn't restricted air space." A voice yammered at them in Arabic from the radio. "Don't understand a word! Do you?"
"No. Just... get me to New Delhi!" Jocelyn had never lost her composure like this. Not even when her Lexus had been sideswiped by a distracted mother of four in her minivan. But she also had never been this stressed before.
The next few minutes had Jocelyn gripping her seat with white knuckles. The pilot took the plane through manuevers she was sure only stunt pilots would ever attempt. They flew low, they whipped up and looped loops, twisted corkscrews, and possibly backtracked several times before they got out of the military airspace and the jets pulled away.
All that could be heard for the next several minutes was the breathing of two passengers noisily slowing down to a normal rate.
They soon landed safely in New Delhi. Jocelyn climbed out on shaking legs. Despite how much she didn't want to touch the knarly hands of the pilot, she was grateful he was there to balance her descent.
"You got your scarf?"
"You scarf." He stared at her, expecting a response. "For your head."
"These aren't Christians here, Little Lady. These people treat women like dirt, expecially those who arent' wearing the proper head coverings." The pilot dug in a bag stowed deep in the cargo hold. He whipped out a filthy blue cloth. "Here."
"Uh, thanks?" Jpcelyn took it between her thumb and forefinger and wrinkled her nose at it.
"Used to fly my sister here, before she passed. Kept it for memory's sake. But you can have it. She'd have liked you. Got gumption! And you can hold down your breakfast." He chuckled.
"Thanks," she repeated, this time with more gratitude in her voice. "Now where do I go to catch my next flight?"
"Better let me walk you. Wouldn't want trouble."
The Pilot led her inside the small airport. She gave the flight information to the desk clerk who looked it up. "Hmm, no. Sorree" smiled the clerk.
"No? What do you mean no?! I have to catch this flight!"
"See?" the clerk pointed to a map of the airport. "No." She pointed to a travel brocure depicting a large, ornate airline terminal. "Yes."
"I think she says your flight is out of the international airport. We are at the smaller airstrip."
"WHAT!? How do I get there?! What time is it? I can't miss that flight!"
"Don't worry, look." The pilot pointed out of a small window. A huge 747 was landing on an airstrip not 100 yards from the tiny office.
"Oh." Jocelyn felt her cheeks redden. This was not the composed sales associate she was used to! This was obviously the remnants of the stressful flight talking. She took a deep breath and asked, "Would you accompany me over there?"
"You gonna yell?"
"No. I'm finished with that." Jocelyn smiled reassuringly.
"Then let's go."