Dahlia, the vision
Dahlia was that girl in the airport terminal who you see out of the corner of your eye and think, She seems really intriguing. I hope I sit next to her. It usually doesn’t happen, so you pop an Ambien and fade yourself out for the duration. However, in this particular instance I wound up sitting in next to the girl from the terminal, thinking to myself, maybe my luck has changed.
I struck up a conversation about nightlife in Tokyo, where we were departing from. This led into a rundown of who we were, and what we did. She worked in advertising, liked it ok, preferred Seattle, where she lived, to Southern California, where she was raised. It was all mundane small talk and I found my infatuation fading, until, two hours into the flight, both engines stopped and the plane fell from the sky like a anvil in an old cartoon.
In the twenty seconds of free fall, as the oxygen masks dropped from the ceiling, as the soda cart spilled empty cans of ginger ale all over the cabin, and every one screamed their lungs out, I didn’t see my life flash in front of my eyes, like they say you’re supposed to. Instead, I saw a different version of my life, with Dahlia at my side. A condo overlooking Puget Sound, sailing trips around the San Juan Islands, art shows, wine bars and then, beautiful yuppy children, carted around in our Volvo.
I saw myself lying in bed with her, looking deep into her big, brown, spanish eyes and finally knowing what love was. Telling her my deepest regrets and listening to her innermost fears. For twenty seconds, I felt I had an earnest chance at happiness with this beautiful girl I sat next to on the plane.
After the engines regained power and the pilot leveled us off, the entire cabin remained silent for the rest of the trip, white as ghosts, hearts still beating overtime. Awkwardly, I noticed I had been holding Dhalia’s hand for the whole time. As I excused myself, I considered confessing my vision to Dahlia, but she looked far too freaked out to even begin to try to tell the story to.
When we deplaned on Midway Island after the emergency landing, she whispered into my ear, “We could have had a beautiful life together, Knox.”
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