September 23rd, 1989

September 23rd, 1989

Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia

Around four o’clock this morning, after a huge helping of chocolate mousse, I felt beyond bored, so I scribbled a note for Laney and made my way down the corridor, to her room.

Just as I was slipping the note under her door, she opened it, which made me jump. I let out a little scream.

“Come in quickly, before we get in trouble,” she said in a half whisper.

“You can’t sleep either?”

“No,” she said, shaking her head. “I’m sorry I didn’t meet you and Mavis last night, I forgot to set the alarm and didn’t wake up ‘til eleven.”

“Me too,” I said. “Oh, shit.”

“What” she asked.

“I hope poor Mavis didn’t wait for us to show up.”

“Oh, I didn’t even think about that. Let’s go stick a note under her door to apologize.”

“You’re in your pj’s.”

“Nobody will see me at this hour,” she laughed.

An hour later, while Laney and I were gorging on toast and carrot cake (I know, totally bizarre combination) there was a light knock at the door.

Laney peered through the peephole. “It’s Mavis,” she said, opening the door.

“I’m so glad you left that note, hi Karen,” Mavis said, coming into the room. “I’ve been tossing and turning for hours. I was in such a deep sleep yesterday that I didn’t hear the alarm go off.”

“That flight really took it out of us,” I said.

“In seven years of flying I’ve never experienced such an awful flight,” Laney said.

“Aw, I was only fifteen when you started flying, Laney.”

“And I was only fourteen,” Mavis said.

“Hush your mouth, children,” Laney chuckled.

Mavis perched herself on the edge of the bed. “I didn’t wake up ‘til after eleven last night.”

Laney and I started laughing.

“What?” asked Mavis.

“We clearly have the same circadian rhythm,” I said.

“I don’t know that that is,” Mavis yawned, reaching for a slice of carrot cake, “but we’re definitely on the same wave length.”

I laughed. “Nothing like carrot cake for breakfast.”

Mavis brushed the crumbs off her lap. “Listen, you two, I have to tell you something, but you mustn’t say a word to anyone else on the crew.”

Laney gestured for Mavis to, “Go ahead.”

“When I woke up last night there was a note under my door.”

“Who was it from?” Laney asked.

“Simon, you know, Simon, the First Officer.”

I moved uncomfortably in the wing chair.

“What did he want?” Laney asked.

“It was weird, actually. He said he’d be in the hotel bar until about midnight and that he’d like me to meet and have a drink with him.”

“That’s a bit creepy,” Laney said, polishing off the last of the carrot cake.

“That’s what I thought, but it gets even stranger.”

“What do you mean?” I asked.

“Inside the envelope were several vouchers for free drinks at the hotel bar.”

Laney put her hand over her mouth. “Are you kidding?”

“No,” Mavis said, shaking her head. “Isn’t that tacky?”

“That’s beyond tacky,” I said, hoping my face wouldn’t give anything away.

“Soooo tacky,” Laney agreed.

“You must both promise not to tell anyone on our crew. I’d be mortified if anyone found out.”

“Don’t worry,” Laney said, “we won’t say a word.”


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