"Flight 675 is now boarding." I grab my carry-on and get in line next to a hooded Gerard, who's wearing sunglasses and chewing gum loudly. The ticket-collecting guy scans my boarding pass before handing it back to me. He then repeats this with Gee. "Enjoy your flight."
Oh, I will.
When I get on the plane, I realize I'm not seated next to Gerard, but to Frank. I also realize that I've never flown before. Oh, shit. GAWD DAMMIT. Oh, God. I'm hyperventilating. OH GAWD. Panic attack. Fuck. Fuck. FUCK!
"Hey Elliot", Mikey says, noticing. "Are you okay?"
"Never.... Flown... BEFORE." SHIT. I'M GONNA DIE.
"Hey Gerard- I think Ellie needs you..."
"What's....oh." He sees me. Death grip on my armrests, hyperventilating violently, shaking a bit. The cabin's starting to spin. My body's going numb. My finger feel fuzzy. WHY IS IT COLD?!
He picks me up and cradles me in his arms, then slides into my seat. He holds me and gently rocks back and forth.
"You're alright. There's nothing to be afraid of. Everything's okay."
"PATSY CLINE... PENTAGON... WORLD TRADE CENTER... AMELIA EARHART."
"You'll be fine." He sets me back down in seat. "Do you want me to stay with you?"
"No. I'll be fine, remember?" He frowns, but goes back to his seat. Frank plops down next to me.
"Relax", he says. "I was like on my first flight, too. I'm still in one piece."
"It only takes one time."
"The odds aren't good." ...He has a point. I begin to regain a normal breathing pattern.
"See? Better already. Here- take this." He hands me an evacuation plan. "All you need to know is in here. The seats turn into flotation devices- very cool. And right above our heads", he points to the paneling, "there are oxygen masks that pop out when necessary. Safe and sound."
He buckles his seat belt, then hands me a Sky Mall magazine. "Better fasten up. Almost time for takeoff. That's best part of flying." I do as his says and get ready. The plane starts to move. "Oh, yeah. You'll need this." He hands me a stick of gum. I want to question it, but decide against it, knowing I might not want the answer. I pop it in my mouth and start to chew while he pops open my window. As the plane speeds down the runway, I feel bit weightless, yet so much heavier. The pressure is unbelievable. It's a bit hard to breath at first, but then I get the hang of it. The wings pop out and the craft tilts. It begins to rise and I watch from my seat as I leave the grounds of LAX and enter the sky. I see the city of Los Angles below me.
I am flying.
Title credit to Goodbye Horses- Q Lazzarus