It was a long overnight flight so the cabin lights were dimmed after the evening meal and most passengers tried to grab a little sleep until the sun rose again above the horizon. It was a time when the cabin crew themselves could take a breather, just answering the occasional call from a passenger needing a drink of something. Even the infants traveling with their mothers seemed to sense they should fall asleep. These were the quiet hours onboard when, as the inflight service manager, he felt most relaxed. He was just one return flight away from retiring and he decided to walk the length of the aircraft one last time, partly to check on all the passengers but partly to reminisce about all the times he’d trod the same path down the aisle of countless generations of aircraft since he began working for the airline in his early twenties.
He’d started at row one in first class, then through business and premium economy, then finally economy. There were some empty seats at the back of the plane and he had almost reached the galley when he noticed a young woman, around college age. She was sitting next to the window in the last row on the starboard side and had all three seats to herself. Her reading light was on, her head was down and she was wiping tears from her eyes with a tissue and was clearly upset. Partly because passenger welfare was his job but also because he felt a fatherly concern come over him, he sat down in the aisle seat near her and leaned over to ask if she was alright, He spoke as softly as you can in a jet flying at thirty seven thousand feet.
She tried to wipe away some more tears and put on a brave face as she turned towards him. “Thank you, I think I’ll be okay,” she said. He wasn’t convinced and asked if she was sure. She began sobbing again. “No, I’m not okay. I have no idea what I’m doing on this flight. I just wanted to get away and bought the first ticket to somewhere I knew nothing about that didn’t need a visa.” He quickly leaned out into the empty aisle to check if everything was under control before turning back to her. He realized he might have to sit there a while longer.
He had learnt through the years that air travel can do strange things to people’s mindset. As you cruise above the planet with vast swathes of humanity passing beneath far below, for a few hours you exist in this alternate world inside a pressurized metal tube, where unexpected bonds can form between total strangers who would otherwise never talk to each other. That’s why it didn’t surprise him that he was suddenly transformed into part psychotherapist and part confessional priest as she opened her heart to him. The feeling of concern he felt for this young passenger was probably intensified by his own lack of family. Without children of his own, he felt a deep fatherly concern for this young woman, as though she might be a daughter he had never had.
She began to recount how she had come to be sitting on that aircraft, hurtling through successive time zones to the other side of the planet. Of course, it had all begun with a boy. A fine handsome Adonis of a young man, from her description. A boy who had taken her heart and with it, her virginity. A boy she had trusted with her life and who she had dreamed of spending the rest of her life with. But human packaging can be treacherously deceptive, as she was later to discover. And then her father got sick, very sick. She had thought her new found partner would support her through the brief time her father had left. Instead, as her father was transferred from hospital to hospice, she accidentally uncovered her beau’s intricate deceits. Deceits which ranged from spending money she needed for her father’s care on strippers and gambling, to cheating on her with a number of acquaintances, including her best friend.
All of this she could never tell her dying father. He left this world thinking that his precious daughter was in the tender care of a young man worthy of his blessing. And what do you do when your whole emotional world turns to ashes? One of the attractive options is to pack your bag, grab your passport and all the savings you have, take a taxi to the airport and get as far away as a modern jetliner can take you. He had listened with his entire focus on her as she related this tragic tale. Occasionally nodding, occasionally making empathetic noises. But what bothered him most was her chosen destination. She seemed to have absolutely no notion of how dangerous it could be for a young woman. She had a good chance of having an unwelcome meeting with some very bad hombres. The whole country was rife with corruption and violence and it was the last place an innocent like her should be visiting.
There are billions of people on the planet and in a lifetime the average person gets to personally meet very few of them. As cabin crew, he’d got to meet more than a few but he couldn’t say he’d really let many see behind his professional facade. As the cabin lights came back on and the pilot announced they would shortly begin their final approach, he made the decision that at that moment he was a human being and not an airline functionary. He turned to her and put a comforting hand on her arm. “When we land, you’re coming with me, okay? I’ll meet you in the arrivals hall in front of the information desk. Don’t talk to any strangers until I get there, understood?” She looked at him through tired teary eyes and nodded. He stood up, walked down the aisle and became the flight’s purser again.
After the passengers disembarked, his workday ended and he went to meet her in the arrivals hall. She was waiting for him just as he asked her to do and he saw her smile for the first time as he approached.They went outside, he hailed a cab and they traveled to the hotel in the city where he was due to stay until working again on a return flight two days later. She seemed to automatically acquiesce to the idea of him taking over the responsibility for her well being. She appeared more than happy to have found someone who could make decisions about what to do next. There was a sense that she had been totally alone on one of life’s treacherous cliff-faces and an unexpected rescue party had just arrived to extricate her from the predicament she was in.
At the hotel, he told the front desk he needed a room with two double beds and they were happy to help. It was the kind of city where hotels often had such requests from wealthy older men with much younger companions. He knew no one would ask questions. The rest of the cabin crew were rostered differently so they had already taken another flight back to the main airline hub. Not that he cared, but he felt too tired to explain to them why he had taken on the role of chaperone to a young passenger.
When they got to the room, he made sure she was comfortable before leaving to get them some prepared food to eat in the room. He suggested the best thing for her to do was to get a shower and freshen up. When he came back with the food, she was already lying on her back under the covers in one of the beds and seemed to be asleep so he put the food in the table and went in the bathroom himself to take a shower. He came back out wearing just a hotel bathrobe. She was now lying on her side under the covers in a fetal position with just her hair strewn across the pillow. Her breathing sounded rhythmic and deep and he was certain she was fast asleep. After putting the food in the refrigerator and still wearing just the bathrobe, he pulled back the bed-sheets and lay down on his back, breathing a sigh of relief the day was over. He was tired and jet lagged and just wanted to close his eyes. As he began to drift into sleep, he had just enough presence of mind to throw out his arm to one side and switch off the bed light beside him so the room went completely dark.
He was still lying on his back and deeply asleep a few hours later when his dreams were interrupted by the feeling of another body slide in next to him and an arm attached to that body slide across his stomach. It woke him up a little and he turned his head to one side. She was lying against his chest and he could smell the wonderful aroma of her hair. Because it seemed the natural thing to do, he put his arm around her so she would stay close to him. She was naked and he could feel the wonderful silky softness of her young skin. Then she spoke. “Is it true that all air stewards are gay?” He’d woken up enough by now to get out an answer. “Some are. But not all.” She moved her arm across his stomach and brushed against his cock which was lying half erect and leaking pre-cum. She must have felt the wetness of it because she then moved her arm back and took his cock in her hand and began to stroke it so it got bigger and harder. She looked up at him. “Do you mind if I call you ‘Daddy’. He said that was fine. “Good,” she said, “because I need a daddy.”