Traditional Thai Brownies

Jessica Myers noticed the smile on Matt Drucker's face. Lots of people smiled on airplanes. That bothered her most of the time because giddy travellers made for forced pleasantries on her part and the constant bother of having to feign interest in travel stories she had heard the last million times was straining to say the least. Yet, she had chosen the service industry and it had its perks. The pros outweighed the cons by a narrow margin.

But, tonight, she was focused on Matt. He was positively beaming. Too happy.

She had to know what little secret he possessed that could bring abouyt such an illustrious glean. Perhaps he was recently engaged? She had a moment of regretful nostalgia. Her career choice was also based on her unwillingness to settle into a traditional life. She glanced over at her from her station at the front of the airliner. He was staring outside the window, from his aisle seat, chin cupped in his hand, into the dark night, with a look of absolute contentment. She thought about her friends back home. Some were happily married, settled into their homes. Others had taken the plunge into marriage and came out embittred and disillusioned. She couldn't care less? Could she?

He was cute enough in an odd way, the quirky sort of character that made their way into oddball romantic comedies. It wasn't about him. It was about his state of being. Jessica found herself momentarily astounded at her sudden interest in this passenger. His gaping grin suggested a mouth breather. But that didn't matter. It was a gaping grin that suggested something she had never encountered before.

Arranging coffee cups on a tray, she glanced at her reflection in the stainless steel in front of her. Hot. Yes. Still hot. Twirling a strand of golden curled hair a little tighter, she wondered what, if anything she would say to him without an audible hint of her sudden interest.

Passenger after passenger up to seat F52 exchanged conversation with her without her noticing. Coffee. Coffee. Tea. Whiskey Sour. My pleasure. Thank you. What an adorable little chap. She felt like a character in a cheesy romance novel and as she made her way up to his seat she, for the first time in a very long while, avoided eye contact, choosing instead to sneak a quick peek out of the corner of her eye.

He was sleeping. Sleeping. She would have thought herself relieved at not having to involve herself in something she knew would be so completely out of tune with her normal routine. She wasn't. She was irritated. She didn't involve herself with thinkinbg about passengers, let alone people in general and F52 had stolen her attention for thirty three minutes of this flight.

"Sir." A rough nudge in the elbow. Completely out of character. Completely out of airline standards. Completely fine with it.


With that, Matt Drucker stirred out of his relaxed slumber and looked up at her as if he was still caught in a blissful dream. For a moment she felt a shudder of panic and looked around her, wondering if anyone had noticed her indiscretion. In fact, she thought she may actually be blushing.

"Would you like tea or coffee? Soft drink? Liquor? Orange Juice? Chicken Pad Thai?", she stumbled. What had she just said?

He looked at her with the same serene look he had carried on to the plane catching her gaze for what seemed to be a very long time.

"Rio Grande", he said.

She was puzzled. Yes, that was where they were heading.

"It all started with a Girl Guide, four hours ago, selling brownies." His voice had a lull to it, a way of carrying a conversation longer than it would normally go.


"Brownies. And then I was on the phone", his voice sang with a staccato high, "Doing something I should have done a long time ago."

His hands rubbed together with giddy excitement as his grin widenned and his eyes bore into hers with a twinkle of uncaged anticipation.


"Changes. Big, big changes.", this time a whisper as if he were telling her a secret, looking nervously around him.

"Girl Guides sell brownies?", asked Jessica increduously.

"I didn't think so either.", he exclaimed with a gleeful laugh, slapping his hands on his knee and rocking forward. "There were four of them. All giggling, happy young girls, so delightfully precious in their dispositions that I bought the whole stack."

"Sir", she declared, a little too anxious for her profession, and noting the attention she was gathering from the passengers around, lowered her voice to a whisper, "I am sure that Girl Guides do not sell brownies. Tell me you didn't eat them all."

"One after another", he beamed.



"And then the big, big changes?"

"It's all about Rio Grande!"

Jessica eyed Matt Drucker in seat F52 and then rearranged some stir sticks on her beverage tray.

"When's your return flight, sir?"

"Tuesday at three o'clock"

"Enjoy your flight, sir"

"It's the most enjoyable I've ever had", he retorted, with a laugh so raucous it caused him to gasp for air

"Very well, sir", she responded with the cool, courteous voice that had become her mainstay. Then, she adjusted her tie and made her way down the aisle.

She would change shiftts with Maxine. She had to hear all about the aftermath. 





The End

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