Friday, February 17, 2006

The Flight

The lights receded through the open window, getting smaller and smaller until they could no longer be seen out the window.

The plane shook slightly, and Donna settled back in her seat. She sat in silence, closing her eyes , listening guiltily to the conversations that swirled around her.

Ahead, a stranger on his way to New York for the first time regaled his fellow passengers with his entire career history. He had worked in the restaurant business, Hooters, actually, before moving into the booming ReFi market. Tomorrow, in New York, he would interview for his dream job, he breathlessly jabbered, as his seatmates hung on every word.

Behind her, a man talked about tires. Whether he bought tires, sold tires or manufactured tires was not entirely clear. Regardless, he talked incessantly about tread and wear and steel=belted radials.

The weather was rough, an the plane bounced around, reminding Donna of the little boat her daughter would play with in the bath.

Caitlin would splash, and make waves. And tip the boat over.

"What about the people in the boat," Donna asked her daughter one day. "Are they OK?"

"Oh mama," Caitlin answered, "Jesus is watching over them."

Donna tried not to cry, and fought back the tears. It seemed that everything reminded her about Caitlin nowadays.

Caitlin, so sweet when she was younger, so beautiful and innocent. It almost killed Donna to remember the last time she saw her daughter. She was smiling as she went into the delivery room.

Donna chose to wait in the waiting room. Going into the room would bring back too many memories of cancer and her own mother.

Caitlin was smiling and excited. For the first time in months, she looked like a happy fifteen year old when they wheeled her out.

Three hours later, a doctor sat Donna down and gave her the awful news. Caitlin was dead, and the baby might not make it through the night.

The next morning, there were two bodies to bury.

This trip was supposed to help Donna get away from her grief, give her some distance. Donna didn't think anything could help her.

The turbulence was awful, and getting worse. Donna thought about trying to sleep, like the old lady across the aisle, but the idea of waking up to a crashing plane was too frightening to imagine. She would stay up, try not to vomit and if the plane was to crash, she would take solace from the fact that she would meet her daughter in heaven.

Was she going to heaven, though, Donna wondered, and even if she did go to heaven, would Caitlin be there. Donna was sure the baby went to heaven, so pure and innocent, but her daughter might be a different story. She did get pregnant outside of marriage, and died without confession.

Donna had thought about her daughter';s eternal resting place every day since Caitlin died, and she couldn't decide. Was Caitlin in heaven or Hell? She thought about talking to the priest at church, but the pastor who had been in the church for all those years was in jail for fifteen to twenty, part of that whole priests screwing little boys thing.,

He, Donna was quite sure, was going to Hell.

The new priest was a young man, probably in his late twenties, and she wasn't about to go looking for religious guidance from someone who was born in the 80s, twenty years her junior.

So Donna just wondered. Sometimes with a drink in her hand, and sometimes with the whole bottle in her hand. Sometimes it was just so hard.

Just so hard.


Blogger Krunk said...

I'm assuming she's a catholic.Catholics are weird.

12:48 PM  
Anonymous stillwonderin' said...

i'd love to hear more about the tire guy. He's such a mystery to me

3:05 PM  
Blogger Ezzie said...

You have a knack...

4:38 PM  
Blogger iSrAeLiWannab said...

if her daughter was 3 hours old why wasshe in the bathtub playing with boats?

6:25 PM  

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