Sometimes it is really too late.
Sitting at the last row of the airplane on the window, I was looking at the passengers streaming in, hoping that I could be left alone in my peace with the seats next to me empty. I was still red and puffy from the dramatic goodbye of this afternoon. You see, after a bright early youth, where travelling was the greatest way for self positioning, things went back to the silliness of family life. There is more crying attached to goodbyes than the sense of flying freed from everything. Any non-irrupted life left in me finds no other way to manifest itself. Sadly, the person that I finally became failed to use the experience of youth. A couple came and sat on the same row across the corridor. I closed my eyes in hope; a few more minutes and my loneliness would be secured. A shift of air shook me and before I could focus back to image world, a sturdy voice punched me brutally. ‘Hello’. My eyes gasped on the letters K-R-O-N that appeared next to me covering the shirt of the man. I said hello back with a faint voice, shocked by the intimidating move of this person who came and sat next to me in the middle seat when there was obviously no one else waiting to sit in our row. He must be of Viking descent for being so arrogant and brutal, I thought. If Kron is his name it suits him perfectly. Anger and despair filled my lunges and I turned to the window as last attempt for protecting my trip. To my relief, silence was established again; we were ready for take off. I closed my eyes and concentrated on absorbing the force of the accelerating aircraft. ‘Would you like a mint? It seems to help the body stay in balance.’ I must have shaken slightly because when I turned to him he was looking at me with a dubious little smile. I took the mint with a plain ‘thank you’ and the inexpressive face of someone in depression or in polite annoyance. I was already exposed; he already knew – I gave it away so easily – that I was an unhappy person, unable to enjoy what was offered to me. The image of my mother passed in front of my eyes. I was becoming exactly the same ‘lights off’ woman and even aware of it; a deeper hell than oblivion. The mint felt good indeed but the thick wall surrounding my body would not let any trace of satisfaction walk away. My head stayed numbed and my face features solidly sober.
Kron – part 2 will be published on Monday 19 December.
* This short story won the prize of the literary magazine Diavazo and the International Airport of Athens at the competition with theme “journeys by air”. The story was published in the issue of November 2011.