by DJ Young
A man with an extreme phobia soon discovers that he must face his worst fear...
|"Flight 296 is now boarding, you may now pass through the jet way." Those words made me want to commit suicide right here, right now. I watched as the secretary checked every single passenger's boarding pass, and allowed them to pass through the metal gate. "I can't do this" I thought to myself. "Sir, you must board the plane now, it will be taking off shortly." I hadn't realized how long I had been pacing around scared to death to board that plane.
I handed the secretary my ticket, but I wasn't able to let go, it was like my hands were stuck. The secretary was able to rip it out of my grasp and before I knew it, I was in the long hallway of the jet way. I started to hesitantly walk down, but as I turned the corner and saw the entrance to the airplane, I started to sprint back up to the airport, but the door was securely locked. "Sir, is everything alright?" said a very calm and comforting voice from a flight attendant. "Yeah... I'm fine..." I must have looked so stupid right now. "We will be departing soon, so you should take your seat on board."
I slowly walked down the hall with the attendant at my side. I was about to step through the small doorway, when I started having a panic attack. "I can't do it! I can't do it!" the flight attendant was now firmly guiding me through the airplane, to my seat, and then strapped me in. "Sir, this is a rather short flight, it will be over before you know it." I looked her right in the eye and said "how long exactly?" She looked rather puzzled, as if not knowing what to say. "About two and a half hours." I felt a huge pit in my stomach, and started to run my fingers through my hair very rapidly. "Just relax, can I get you something to drink?" She said. "A glass of water would be fine." she then walked down the hallway to her station and came back with a glass of ice cold water. "Now, just drink that, and try to relax."
There was something about her voice that really comforted me. "Good afternoon everyone, we have a nice flight planned ahead to Atlanta, flight attendants please prepare the cabin for departure." The voice on the intercom lowered my spirits, it was a deep, almost miserable sounding voice that was not at all comforting. I could feel the airplane moving and I knew we would be taking off any minute. I then felt the speed increase incredibly, and then slowly incline. I glanced to my left, through the window and saw that huge factories were shrinking to the size of houseflies.
"Get me off! Help me! Stop this plane!" I was screaming at the top of my lungs and could clearly see that the people around me were terrified. The flight attendant came speeding over and buckled up in the seat next to me. "Sir, you must calm down, you are frightening the other passengers. Here, have some of this." She then handed me a thermos and told me to drink it. Without thinking, I took a swig. Whatever I was drinking, It tasted delicious. "What is this?" I asked. "It is simply earl grey tea with a hint of honey." Immediately, I started to feel calm and relaxed. "You look awful tired, I think you could use some sleep." She then draped a fleece blanket over me and placed a soft pillow behind my head. "I think I know the perfect way to take your mind off things." She took out a pair of headphones from the seat pocket, plugged them into my armrest, and finally over my ears. I felt so relaxed at this point with the classical music massaging my brain, and the honey tea soothing my nerves.
I suddenly felt a hand touching my shoulder. I slowly opened my eyes, only to find the flight attendant. "We're in Atlanta, time to get off." I took off the blanket, pillow, and headphones, and grabbed my luggage from the overhead compartments. As I was walking off the airplane, into the jet way, I turned around and looked right at the flight attendant and said "Thanks."