September 28th, 1990
Flight from LHR – EWR
Newark, New Jersey
With my head still reeling from spending time with David, I walked into the briefing room this morning and was surprised to see Millie.
“Where the hell have you been?”
“Morning to you too!” I said, tossing my cabin bag under the seat beside her. “What are you doing here?”
“I got called out on standby,” she said quickly. “I’ve been trying to get hold of you since last night.”
“I wasn’t home.”
“I gathered that,” she said, in a tone that told me I should do everything possible to avoid working alongside her on the flight.
“Where were you?”
Out looking for Primrose Oil, I wanted to say.
“It’s a long story,” I sighed, with zero desire to share any details, like how sad I felt after dropping David off not even twenty minutes before as we once again set out to travel in the opposite direction.
Thanks to my lack of seniority I worked in Economy while Millie, with a total of three passengers, got to swan about First Class!
On the crew bus to the hotel, the Captain suggested we go to TGIF’s, that he jokingly referred to as TFIF, which, after a serious lack of sleep, took me a minute to figure out why everyone was laughing.
Prior to meeting up with the crew, Millie showed up at my door.
“Here,” she said, pushing a brandy miniature into my hands.
“Do you have something we can add?”
“Nah, just swig it.”
“I don’t think I can.”
“Stop being annoying and just knock it back.”
“Ugh,” I said, shaking my head after one mouthful. “That’s vile. Here, you have the rest.”
“You’re pathetic,” she said, grabbing the tiny bottle. “By the way, Richard fancies you.”
“Who the hell is Richard?”
“The first officer, dummy. He fancies you. That’s why he sat behind us on the crew bus and kept barging into our conversation.”
“Don’t be ridiculous. He was just being friendly.”
“Yeah, right”, she said, downing the last of the brandy.
To get to TGIF’s, we had to cross the motorway, which on a Friday night during rush hour was perilous to say the least. Richard was on my right-hand side and when he held out his arm in a “Don’t go yet,” gesture, Millie rolled her eyes and mouthed, “Told you.”
Safely inside (the Economy purser suggested we return to the hotel in taxi’s!) I headed for the loo and when I came out, Millie was nowhere to be seen so I started chatting to some of my crew. Richard joined the conversation and before long it was just the two of us talking about how long we’ve been flying, where we live, the usual. I was enjoying my wine and the atmosphere of the crowded bar, when out of nowhere I felt a kick on the back of my leg that made me lose my balance. Richard quickly reached over and caught me before I had the chance to fall.
“You alright?” he asked, his hand on my elbow, steadying me up.
“Too much to drink?” I heard Millie slur in a tone I can only describe as venomous as she sidled up beside me and said, “You had better stop what you’re doing.”
“Cut it out,” I hissed, through gritted teeth, hoping Richard wouldn’t hear us.
“Calm down,” she sneered. “I’m only joking.”
“Everything ok?” Richard asked.
“Fine,” I smiled, not meaning it, as I watched Millie making her way to the other end of the bar, where, thankfully, she remained.