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Save Me

The very idea of flying terrifies her. Now, I’m not good at physics, but to her, the concept of a huge metal monster soaring gracefully through the air is utterly baffling. It shouldn’t happen. Can’t happen. She’s aware, of course, that statistically speaking, flying is the safest form of transport. She knows she’s more likely to win the lottery than die in a plane disaster, more likely to be struck by lightning than win the lottery. But statistics don’t help when you’re convinced the first plane you board will crash.

So, when she won the holiday, her first instinct was to give it away. Bossy Brenda offered to take it off her hands, but she resisted, took stock. After all, a luxury all-expenses-paid holiday to Greece, staying in a five-star hotel, was a dream – two weeks relaxing by the pool, gin and lemon in hand, while her colleagues toiled in dreary London. And she’d won it in the company raffle. Won it! Sun, sea, and good food… Not to mention the chance to see a wild turtle up close. It was certainly an incentive to face her fears.

So here she is, strapped into a seat at thirty thousand feet, watching flames billow from the right side engine. I must say, she doesn’t look as terrified as I thought she would. Kind of smug, actually. I guess imminent disaster justifies her lifelong phobia. Or something like that.

The man beside her grasps her hand. It’s sweet, although she winces when he digs in fingernails. He doesn’t mean to, he’s lovely. I witnessed his patient kindness when she freaked out during take-off. He’s not so calm and reassuring now, bless him. His eyes are red from crying and he’s toking on the oxygen mask like its nitrous oxide. My heart aches to watch.

She’s removed her mask. There’s a fantastic view from her window seat and I guess she wants to make the most of it without the facial obstruction. She looks amazed, fascinated. Such a shame the engine had to explode on the way to her vacation. Fate can be cruel.

Damn, now the other engine’s on fire. That’s it, then. Fate sealed. As the nose droops and the plane starts to plunge, she closes her eyes…

 

I’ve seen enough. Taking my hands from her head, I face her. “You were right to consult me, your plane will never reach its destination. But listen - this is important. Don’t destroy your ticket. Go to the airport, check-in, get your boarding pass, then ask around until you find the man seated next to you. Persuade him not to take the flight. And be forceful. Don’t take no for an answer.”

She squints at me sceptically. “Are you sure about this?”

I nod. “Trust me, I’m an excellent psychic.”

I don’t say any more, don’t tell her my connection to the man she must save or how grateful I am Fate has sent her my way.

 

 

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