May (pt. 1)
"Achoo! Excuse me."
The soft, squeaky voice of the cute Asian girl in the seat next to me was pleasant. I was on a plane to Melbourne to visit my parents, and flying from New Jersey was hell. Whenever I made the trip (annually), I was always saddled with some overweight man who respirated like an air-conditioning unit or some weird older lady that seemed desperate to make a connection with a "young'n" like myself. Therefore, this petite body with a quiet voice was a treat in my eyes.
"Bless you." I smiled at her. She smiled back a little.
"Thank you." She nodded and turned on a gameboy. I smiled more and turned away, enjoying the atmosphere of the plane. I've always loved the sound of being in an airplane. The gentle shaking. However, I could tell that this girl was very nervous. Her feet were fidgety, and every minute she took a swig from her water bottle, even when it was empty.
"H-huh?" She looked over.
"Is this your first flight?"
"Yes..." She said quietly once more.
"I was like that when I first flew!" I wasn't.
"I'm just not very...enthused about being so high in the air."
"You know, statistically you're more likely to die in a car crash then a-"
The fasten seatbelts light popped on as the intercom buzzed in, followed by the friendly and always over-enthused voice of the pilot.
"This is your pilot speaking, we're hitting a bit of turbulence here, so it's going to be a little bumpy at the moment. I'm gonna ask you all to please follow the 'Fasten Your Seatbelts' light that just came on, and not to worry, it's only for a little bit."
Just then the plane shook and the girl quickly fastened her seatbelt. Perfect timing.
"Woops!" The pilot laughed, "Guess it's going to be more bumpy than I thought, not to worry, we'll be out of it soon. Thank you for flying InterAir!"
The intercom cut out. I looked over at the now shaking girl. Poor thing.
"Y-you were saying.."
"C'mon, it's just a bit of turbulence! Always happens."
The plane shook again and she whimpered. I felt a little awkward, I didn't exactly have anything to soothe her anxiety. She didn't even look like she was old enough to drink. I wasn't even old enough to drink.
"So...what's your name?"
"Your name, let's make small talk so you can focus on something else."
"I'm Liam. How old are you? I'm 19."
"A year away from freedom, eh?"
"I'm already living on my own."
"Oh yeah? How'd you swing that?"
"Graduated early, made it into Princeton University...my parents live in Texas."
"So what brings you to Australia?"
"My cousins live there, and I'm going as a Christmas gift."
"Nice, I'm visiting my parents."
"Are you from there?"
"No, I grew up in California. Moved to Utah for a few years, then Dad's work took him over to Melbourne."
"What does your father do?"
"He's an IT guy."
The plane violently shook as the poor girl shrieked.
"Hey, hey!" I put my hand on her arm. "It's okay. Yeah?"
She threw on headphones and wiped her eyes, "It's been nice talking to you." With that, she threw a blanket over her shoulders and closed her eyes tightly. Oh well, you can't win them all. A few other people were complaining and making "Ooooo" noises as well.
About ten minutes later, the shaking ceased and the light went off. May was asleep and I was exhausted. A boy who looked about a year or so younger than me made a "PSST!" sound at me from across the aisle. I looked over and was nearly blinded at the light reflected by his braces. He was wearing sunglasses too. Jesus.
"What?" I looked over.
"She your girlfriend?"
"She's pretty hot, eh?"
I turned away and he laughed a squeaky laugh.
"You should totally try to hook up with her, bro. You know like, she looks like she's scared and stuff, she'll probably be all clingy and-"
"Have you ever had a real relationship before?"
He laughed and turned away, not answering me. I'm guessing it was a no.
About five or so hours later, May awoke. She wiped her eyes once more and looked over at me.
"Hi!" I tried to play off what had happened earlier.
"Hi." She looked embarrassed. "Sorry about freaking out earlier. I don't really manage my anxiety too well."
"Oh, pshh - it's nothing. Promise."
"You're pretty cool, Liam."
"Thanks, you too."
We ended up chatting a lot of small talk. I found out her favorite color was red, that she preferred Spring to Summer and Fall to Winter, that her favorite fast food joint was Wendys, and her birthday. It was today. That made me feel extra bad that she would be spending the majority of it in flight.
"Well, I don't think they'll allow us to blow out candles in this place."
She laughed, "It's okay, I already had my celebration about a week ago."
She got up to go to the bathroom and then that stupid kid had the nerve to pinch her ass. She squeaked and slapped at his shoulder as he laughed with his buddy.
"Hey, what's your problem?"
"What? Pfft, don't tell me-"
"No seriously buddy, what's your fuckin' problem?"
"Andrew, what's going on?" A frail lady's voice came from in front.
"Uh, nothin mom! It's all-"
"Oh, is this your mom?" I laughed. "Your son just pinched some girl's butt."
"Ahah! This is bullshit!" He smiled. "I'm gonna go to the bathroom." He quickly ran off as I was forced to remain with the lady.
"I apologize for him." She spoke.
"He gets it from his father. I try to tell him to respect women, and well, everyone in general. If he keeps doing that, he's going to get sl-"
A horrifying shriek came from the restrooms. Silence. Then another shriek, that intensified into bloodcurdling and horrific cries of pain and anguish mixed with banging noises on the bathroom door. Everyone on board heard it and a few men ran to the restroom amidst the confused chatter of the passengers. My mouth was open. What just happened? I ran over to the restroom and saw the men prying with all of their strength to open the door.
"Kid you gotta unlock it! Unlock the door!"
"She's eating me! She's eating me!" A voice cried, and the words were almost unintelligible. Blood started to flow under the door and the men launched back, repulsed by the sight.
"Holy shit!" One of them cried out as the other began to kick the door in. Only moments after the screams subsided, the door caved in and the sight was unfathomable: There were chunks of flesh scattered about the restroom. Intestines and what looked like fragments of bone were in the toilet. Right by the sink was the worst display: His head had been ripped off and half of it was utterly destroyed, parts of brain had been exposed and played with as if it were a high-school art display - and directly on the other side, his teeth had been ripped out, braces n' all.
It was a revolting sight, the two men who had attempted to intervene started to throw up. I even got a bit queasy and I backed off. The panic on the plane was in full effect as a lady had caught sight of the gruesome scene and began shouting her lungs out, "He's dead! Oh-my-fucking-god, he's dead!"
Immediately the co-pilot ran out to see what was causing the ruckus. Unfortunately there was no way they could just land. The plane was over the ocean. Nobody knew what to do. Incredulously, the decision was made to refit the bathroom door back on and cordon it off. Throughout all of this commotion, I had forgotten to ask myself: May. Where was she? Where was May?