I met a pilot a short time ago who had also experienced a terrible loss. Sometimes you have to work at remembering the good stuff, and also just take a darn break!
It is insanely difficult to write like a man, especially a lovestruck one. This first draft got a smile out of the pilot. What do you think, men? Have you ever thought something like this?
The Girl at Home
Sheee-it, Jacobs, look at those gate lice. Thick as ever. Don’t they have anyplace to go?”
“Language, you idiot. And zip it, someone might hear you.”
Esau Jacobs settled his face into a pleasant ‘fly with us!’ expression as he strode out of the jetway and into the crowded terminal. Twelve hours in the air, and still nowhere near home. Sigh. People think pilots had it grand, couldn’t ever see past the uniform. He was tired as hell and anxious to get back to the girl at home.
Jesse Adams worked to keep up with him, uniform rumpled and tie askew. The beginnings of a pot belly bulged over his belt, and Jacobs ribbed him about it.
“Maybe a little less sushi and a little more workout, Adams?” Jacobs flexed his meaty hands, as if lifting again.
“Whatever. I know what you’re thinking about. All you want to do is get back!”
“Darn right. Twelve days is too long, and I miss her terribly.” He thought about the girl he had left back home, and wondering what she was doing right now. Nineteen years they had been together, and a blessing, every one.
They strode down the terminal together, purposeful, looking for a reasonable dinner in a sea of greasy fast food and alcohol tonics for anxious fliers.
“Let’s get a burger and go to the pilot lounge.”
“Not if I wanna look like you. I have an hour twenty before I have to go back to Dallas. I’ll look around for something actually edible, and do a few laps up and down the concourse, get the kinks out.’
“Twelve hours out and you still want to work? You’re crazy!” Adams staggered off toward a nearby burger joint.
Crazy as a fox, thought Jacobs. A fox who wants nothing more than his den. Thoughts about the girl back home intruded into his walk. He stretched his broad form forward, each stride eating up territory, as if sheer force of will could transport him back to Dallas. Wonder if she had to work today? Damn! I missed a performance too. She’ll kill me when I get back. I’ll never hear the end of it.
He thought about how long they had known each other, and what a great relationship they had. His friends had kidded him endlessly when they first met. She’s just a slip of a thing! Just wait! Women are nothing but trouble!
He had been set up for months, eagerly wanting to meet her. Other, more experienced friends egged him on- She’s just right for you. Your life will change dramatically. This is the right decision!
He remembered the first time he held her, the feel of his hand against her gorgeous chestnut locks. She smelled like summer.
Her hands were so delicate. Over the years he marveled how well they fit into his. Her brown eyes, so lively and bright every time they talked. Not that everything had been perfect. As the years had gone by, the relationship had a distinct ebb and flow. Sometimes they felt inseparable, that together they could tackle any problem that came up. Other times, he would feel her drifting away, and pray fervently that she would come back to him.
“American flight 267 to Dallas, This is your Final Boarding Call”
Yeesh, had he really spent all that time mooning away? He hustled toward the gate.
“You actually bought a ticket, Captain?” the gate agent was amazed.
“No delays this time, Sherrie. I’m determined!” Jacobs ran his hand through his curly red hair in a fruitless attempt at order.
He gained his seat and smiled politely at his seatmate, an elderly gentleman in flannels and jeans.
“What’s your name, fella?” the older gentlemen inquired.
“Esau. Like in the Bible. Yours?”
“Bob. As in For Apples” the two men chuckled at the feeble humor.
“You betcha. Not sure what I’ll find there after twelve days in the air, but looking forward to it just the same.”
“Oh yes.” Jacobs spent the next three hours telling the man all about the girl at home.
“Heh, well I’ve had more than a few of those myself young man. All the best!” The plane gingerly came to a stop as the gateway extended.
Jacobs bounded out of his seat as soon as the light was off and the plane was still. His large frame and uniform parted the sea of humanity, and he was off the plane in short order.
Where, where, where. His eyes scanned the faces outside the jetway. Where could she be? Surely not late. Twelve days!
Ah! There she was. Relief and elation flooded over him. Nineteen years and she still had that effect. What a marvel.
“Daddy! I’m so glad you’re home!”