The Nice Thing About Strangers

Creative Non-Fiction Short Stories. :) Travel, Oldsters, Love, and Compassion.

The Clues

My neighbors in the plane watch a television show together on the tiny screen in front of her seat. She sits straight on, often smiling over as he cranes his neck, leaning in close to her. They share one set of headphones. She laughs, first, then him, as though he is on a bit of a tape delay. Perhaps he is taking cues from her. She pats his knee at one point and he removes the single headphone from his ear and watches her close her eyes.

As she rests, he folds up her tray table. He looks at how she has her glasses hanging from the coat hook, and he tries the same with his glasses on his hook. However, his frames are too lightweight to stay in place. They go in his breast pocket instead. He looks over at her with a calm smile, watches her throat as she breathes. He does this for a few minutes in contentment.

He opens the in-flight magazine, flips to the crossword puzzle, begins spelling out words on the boxes with his fingers. I am so excited to loan him a pen that I wave it in his direction, but when he nods at my gesture, I gingerly lean around her folded arms and restful sighs as I hand it over. I am also aiming not to disturb her sleep. He blinks in silent gratitude. A few moments later, she stirs, reaches over to him. He starts to hold out his left pen-holding hand first, then murmurs a trade. He offers his right hand, they intertwine their fingers, and she holds this bunch on her knee. So he sits like a pretzel, left arm over accompanied right, assuring her of his presence and working out the clues as well.

–Flight from Istanbul to Izmir, Turkey.



4 comments on “The Clues

  1. thewonderer86
    October 22, 2016

    I love this. So well observed, I can see the couple before me. And also so well imagined. It just gives me a lovely warm feeling. Thanks.

  2. joannerambling
    October 23, 2016

    What a lovely picture this brings to mind

  3. Kim Karras
    October 24, 2016

    Just beautiful…

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This entry was posted on October 21, 2016 by in Travel, Turkey, Writing.

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