Excerpt 1 – Prologue

I can’t sit still. I try shifting from side to side without disturbing my fellow passengers too much, but I seem to be doing just the opposite.  The lady to my immediate right is giving

I can’t sit still. I try shifting from side to side without disturbing my fellow passengers too much, but I seem to be doing just the opposite.  The lady to my immediate right is giving me some serious side eye and even though she shifted a bit, I can see that Courtney is still reading her book. It’s useless, no matter how I try to rearrange myself in this tight little space, there is just no way to get comfortable, or really, any way to control my angst. Truth be told, my stomach has been doing flip flops for days, and the butterflies swirling around in my stomach didn’t mesh well with the turbulence we hit as we ascended. I choose to ignore said effects of butterflies, and instead take a deliberately slow look around the plane, breathing deep slow breaths to steady my racing pulse.

Thankfully, there’s a small group of youngish looking guys sitting a few rows ahead of us acting rowdy, distracting me from my thoughts.  They must be thinking that this will be the best weekend they will ever have. And it probably will be. It really is like Walt Disney for adults. They look giddy with excitement and cheers each other with their freshly purchased alcoholic beverages. (Am I watching what they are doing too intently?) Oh well, they ARE a great distraction for me, so I keep eavesdropping, as best as I can, even though the passengers between us keep shifting left and right, obstructing my view.  Interesting… the flight attendant rolled her eyes as she gave the last guy his drink. I don’t think he noticed though, he’s still smiling. Maybe they were overly cocky to her and disrespectful? I stare at the guy in the aisle seat and try to make out what he is saying to his friend across the aisle, but unfortunately I really suck at lip reading so I can’t make anything out.  

In any case, seeing their drinks, I consider doing the same; but more to calm my nerves. Cursing myself for letting my mind go back to my nerves, I force it away from those tumultuous thoughts and move it back to what lies ahead. Unfortunately, all that does is cause my stomach to do another somersault, creating a mixed emotion of wretched guilt and blind excitement. I look over at my friend, or my accomplice I guess you can say, and get goose bumps all down my left arm. How I got to this point I have no idea (ok maybe I have a small idea), and frankly, I am so fed up with over thinking and over analyzing my situation that I force my mind to go blank and try to concentrate on the in-flight movie instead. That doesn’t work. Within seconds my mind is wandering to my kids and husband; whom are probably getting home by now. My husband of ten years, is probably fixing dinner while our two girls, aged 5 and 3, are sitting in their big fluffy, purple bean bags, watching cartoons; I feel that pang of guilt again, instantly missing them, but mentally brush it away. This is something that I HAVE to do for myself. I deserve this! I chant to myself for the umpteenth time. Maybe if I think it enough..I will come to believe it. My hands are freezing and I am fidgeting with the seat belt. Who knew that taking a stand for yourself (albeit a secret one) would be so damn nerve racking? How do people do this? Hmm, they probably drink.

“Scotch please – on ice”  I pass my credit card to the stewardess and take the bottle and the thin plastic cup filled to the rim with wonderful whiskey and ice cubes. Courtney takes a break from her book to raise her eyebrows at me, since she knows I don’t typically drink. Sip… Sip… Sigh…There, that helps. I lean back and put my earphones back in, it’s time to try the inflight movie again. “You Ok?” Courtney looked at bit worried, but I managed to mumble a “yea” and smile. I sneak a peek out the window and take a few moments to look at the miles of white clouds extending from the wing of the plane.  I really can’t ignore what is transpiring. I need to put on my big girl pants and own the decision that I’ve made and consequently, I’ll have to deal with what happens next. No matter what. But I can’t think about that now. I need to focus on the next few days. I’m not going to live the way I have been, for the rest of my life. I just can’t. If there is one thing I am sure about, it’s that. It’s time to squash the guilt and to enjoy every moment. So what if I’ve bent a few socially acceptable rules in a crazy attempt to do just that? Accepting a plane ticket from a man I barely knew, heading once again to Sin City for a few days, for what? That part, I am not ready to face yet.  

Convincing myself that I had altruistic reasons behind this crazy stunt will probably require more than one drink. Thankfully we still had a few hours to go. I reach down and grab my wallet, seeing that the drinks cart isn’t too far away from our row. I may not find courage at the bottom of a tiny bottle of whiskey, but I am hoping it makes the guilt subside…for now.

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