the short story project


Tommy Friend


  I go to the International Airport in Lima, Peru South America to catch my flight home. I was supposed to be in Cedar Rapids, Iowa at 11 AM. Four days later…..

  It’s February 2006 I just spent a couple of weeks in South America and now I’m on my way back home. I’m at Lima Peru’s international Airport and my flight plan is. Lima to Miami. Miami to Dallas. Dallas to Cedar Rapids Iowa. We are running late from Lima so I get the Miami International Airport I get off the plane. And I go check in with homeland security I’m following everybody off the plane to the checkpoint. In the last two times, I came back to want to Dallas from Lima. So this is my first time at the Miami International Airport. And to get past the border checkpoint there’s this long line there’s got like 75 or 85 people ahead of me. I’m thinking the line is going to take forever and as I’m standing in line I glance over to the left and at the top of the wall. Is the presidential seal and in big bold white letters, it says US passports only. So I quick Jump out of that line and I start cutting in front everybody and I pull out my passport. And I get to the guy standing there and I flash my passport like it’s a badge. He says welcome home. I said Man is good to be home. I said I almost stood in that line for a couple of hours. I was never so glad to be a US citizen in my life.

  So I go U.S. Customs get my bags in their scanning my bags and x-ray and the US customs guy holding me up in line. He says I see foods your bags. Did you bring food back at you? I said no I said there’s no food in my bags. I and my wife put everything in my bags. He’s looking at the x-ray screen I can’t even tell what I’m looking at in that screen. I said I don’t know how you could see food on that screen. He says it looks like you got food in your bags. I said if you want to look in my bags and go through them you can go right ahead. I said I had the more expensive TSA locks on my luggage but from Cedar Rapids to Dallas on my way to South America. Apparently, somebody broke all the locks on my back and they stole my flash drive with pictures on them. Those master TSA locks are $20 and the flash drives are worth $40 or $50 and that was before I even left my own country. So yeah now none of my bags out locks on. He says go ahead so I’m making my way to the airport. I have to stop looking at a map on the wall is I don’t know where I’m going to catch my next flight to Dallas. Why get there and I’m with as I’m trying to hustle I don’t want to miss my flight. It is I get to the boarding zone I look at the big giant window at the airport and I see the nose of the plane backing away from the loading zone. And I’m thinking will Frack me I just miss my flight to Dallas. So I have to go with American Airlines check-in and I have to tell my just miss my flight I need to be rescheduled. After standing in line 3 1/2 hours I make it up to the lady in customer service.

 She’s all nice and she tells me how sorry they are. And she says I’m gonna put you on the next flight to Chicago and then from Chicago to Cedar Rapids. I said this is ridiculous I was running late in Lima because your plane didn’t show up on time. US Customs made me miss this flight. I thought I was you get home on time I’m over the road truck driver and I have a truck waiting for me and I need to get it and go back to work. If I wasn’t working I want to have money to pay for all these flights. Oh, Mr. friend we are so sorry. So I go and wait a couple of more hours for my flight to Chicago.

  So I’m boarding the Boeing 777 to Chicago. I get to my seat it’s a window seat. My wife got me window seats on all my flights. this beautiful blonde looks at me. She says excuse me, Sir can we switch seats so I can sit next to her. I said sure I don’t mind. The captain gets on the intercom he tells us welcome aboard thanks for flying with American Airlines and the stewardess is waving her hands to the left and to the right point out all the exits in case we are going to crash we will just jump on an exit I guess. I only noticed her because she was a beautiful blonde. So we take off and now the great story begins so I’m in the bathroom with the hot & sexy blonde stewardess joining the mile high club. Billy Idol’s singing in the rebel yell she cried more, more, more and I’m sitting right next to Vanna White. I wish, I really, really wish I could be telling you that story but I was never a member of the mile high club. I’m going to get really, really fuck in the sky’s but not like that. The future is hard to see and who knows maybe one day I’ll have my own private jet and I have the only DJ nightclub in the sky. I’m married and my wife is back in South America. She doesn’t have a visa yet because if she did. She would be sitting in right next to me on this plane.

  We are flying through the air 5 or 10 minutes and the plane starts to shake around a little bit. The captain gets on the intercom he says we have a little bit of turbulence going on right now there’s a really bad storm cut all the Gulf of Mexico is making its way across Florida we are going to go around the storm over the ocean and we are only going to be 5 or 10 minutes late we are running early and thank you once again for flying with American Airlines. Little did I know he was lying to me when I get to Cedar Rapids Iowa I am going to be four and a half days late. I’m going to have a hard time telling my friend who is going to meet me in Cedar Rapids that on the flight Miami to Chicago, We are flying through the air and the plane starts to shake around a little bit. The captain gets on the intercom he says we have a little bit of turbulence going on right now there’s a really bad storm coming out of the Gulf of Mexico is making its way across Florida we are going to go around the storm over the ocean and we are only going to be 5 or 10 minutes late we are running early and thank you once again for flying with American Airlines. Everybody on the plane notices even more turbulence the plane starts to shake around a little more and then some more. Two rows ahead of me I hear this guy talking to the guy next to him he’s looking around and everybody he says I fly all the time and I’ve never experienced turbulence like this before. And I am pretending that I didn’t hear that and we can see the stewardess they seem to be running up and down the aisles it seems like there’s something wrong that maybe they’re not telling us and I got a bad feeling about this flight a real bad feeling. I’m thinking this high in the sky if I need to pray I would be so close to heaven now maybe this time he will hear me. The captain gets on the intercom again he says we’re experiencing a lot harder turbulence than normal but everything is okay will be out of it pretty soon. And I’m sitting next to the aisle in one of the stewardesses comes up right next to me she’s asking the two guys in the aisle right across from my seat. Excuse me gentlemen would you guys mine going to sit in first class so the parent’s in first class to come back here and sit with their kids. Now I’m thinking what the fuck. The people in first class that didn’t want to sit with their kids before now when all the plane is shaken around they want to come back to coach to be with their kids. But they’re telling us everything’s going to be okay.

  A lot of people are looking around nervously and Somebody asks the stewardess like what’s going on? what’s going on? what’s happening why is so much turbulence? she says everything’s okay what is going through a bad storm. You know on the American Eagle flight it’s a lot smaller plane and it shakes around a lot but I been on a half a dozen of these big planes and they don’t shake like this. This one is shaken even worse than that small plane. Now all the lights come on and the plane is shaken around a little more and the stewardess there standing up there get ready to get on the phone and we all know something is going on. The stewardess gets on the phone she says listen up everybody we need everybody’s attention. Never in my whole entire life have I ever been surrounded by so many people paying 110% attention in my life. Everybody is looking at the stewardess talking on the phone. She’s like we need everybody to sit down and stay in your seats we have just been informed that we have lost both of our engines and WE ARE GOING TO LAND IN WATER! But everything is going to be okay all you need to do is stay calm. planes have landed in the water before and everybody has survived before. You need to pay attention to the TV monitor and the screen in front of you in the back of everybody seat. It is very important that you and follow all of our instructions and we will survive this. Everybody’s heart is sinking on that plane everybody is looking around and everybody thinking while we might all go together, this might be our last flight ever. People are getting on their cell phones they want to call their loved ones.

  We were told not to use the phones but nobody’s listening to that. I’m looking at the seat in front of me and there’s a little TV behind the headrest. And it looks like a cheesy Nintendo 64 game of a plane slowly landing in the ocean yellow lifeboats coming out of the side of the plane and the people get in the boat’s and everybody safe and everybody lives happily ever after. She tells us that their life jackets for everyone on the plane and everybody’s going to make it in the yellow rafts after we land. And I look back at the window seat that I was sitting it. In this pretty girl came up to me before the plane took off and she said excuse me sir do you my trading seats with this other girl. So we can hang out and talk and I said sure I don’t mind I will trade seat with you. And all I could think about was this dream I had at this five-star resort in South America. After my wedding, we stayed at the Marriott for a couple of days and then we went to this resort and we spent the whole week at this resort. We had marble floors, Jacuzzis we had a like own little house and it was way nicer than most of the houses in a small little town in Iowa I live in. They had a little zoo, a bowling alley, Palm trees and it had these little trees that were grown these little baby bananas. And I was remembering how much fun I had there with my wife. But the first night there I had a very bad dream in this bungalow that we were at. In the master bedroom and we had two other bedrooms but we had no other guests staying in our rooms. I was having a very bad dream that seems so real.

  I woke up in the middle of the night from a bad dream. My wife woke up right after me she said oh my God what’s wrong, what’s wrong did you have a nightmare? And I said nothing is wrong I’m okay just go back to bed. She says you are shaking and you’re covered in sweat. Sweat filled my shirt and the and the sheets. And I was thinking wow I am covered in sweat. I said okay yeah just had a bad dream but it’s nothing just go back to bed. She says no I’m not going back to bed until you tell me what you dream was about. I said I was flying home and I was sitting next to the window seat. Can the plane started shaking and everybody on the plane you that we’re gonna crash and you can feel the plane falling out of the sky. And everybody was screaming in the plane split in half. I try to save some of the people close to me. people were flying out of the play and everybody was screaming. It seems so real I thought I was really there. I said I tried to save some of the people but I couldn’t and we hit the ground it was all over and then we were all in a better place. Tells talking to this guy I said would you a Jedi Knight had this funny robe on I ask him where is your lightsaber. He told me he was no Jedi. Did everybody die? He told me there is no way you could’ve saved any of them. I told him well always dreams of living by the ocean get married to have a family my own and kids of my own and maybe all my dreams and come true. But a couple of them came true and I a lot of very bad stuff happened to me and I been to some crazy shit. But at some really great stuff happened to me and I had a great life. I’ve only been married for two weeks but at least I got married before I die.

  Then I woke up shaking and covered in sweat. I couldn’t go back to sleep I was wide awake so we went to the kitchen made some coffee and we were talking about it. She’s like wow that’s so crazy I said yeah I know I have to take three flights back home. Sitting on my seat on the plane I look at the window seat and thinking of that movie final destination. And I’m thinking in my dream when I die I was at the window seat. But the girl came up to me and I switched seats at the last minute before the plane took off. Now I’m not in my seat I’m in the pretty girl seat right now. I’m thinking I cheated death like a dozen times, a been a bunch car accidents. I fell off moving motorcycle got up and walked away. I even fell out of a moving car and I was rolling down the street got up and walked away from that. Been shot at in Chicago. I got electrocuted at the U.S. Job Corps in Golconda Illinois. I got stranded out the ocean two beautiful lifeguards had come save me. I got bit by a poisonous spider missed a couple of weeks of work and paid a couple of grand in medical bills. How is it a poisonous spider if you don’t die then it’s just a spider bite right? Yeah, it would’ve been great if I could shoot web out of my hands swing through the city and I got a hot girlfriend like Kristen Dunst or better yet Emma Stone. Yeah in my dreams I die but in real life, I always survive and I don’t know why?

To be continued…

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