Today was the last day of their current employment. It would be their last day of flying for Premier Airlines, their home away from home. This flight would take them to Boston and by night fall, they would return to Denver. Waiting to board, wistfully yet excited, staring off into space, they both wondered what their new line of work would bring into their lives. Kassie, a laid back blond with blue eyes, and Jacki, a spontaneous brunette with eyes the color of pitch, were about to embark in a career with a different set of rules. Their retirement from Premier would propel them into a new profession for which they both had been studying over the last five years.
“This is just not true!” It came from the lady seated across from them in the terminal. “She was murdered! Sure as anything.”
“Whoa,” whispered Jacki, under her breath. Kassie came back to her sens-es after being in a daze, contemplating what she had just heard. “Did you hear that?” Kassie nodded affirmatively.
“Ma’am? Are you alright?” Kassie was compassionate if she was nothing else. She knew the lady must be feeling troubled. “Is there something I can say to help you?” Kassie moved across the aisle and sat beside her. Sitting in an airport lounge was normally very boring. As stewardess’s they had had to wait in plenty of them, as most flights were not on time.
The lady, around fifty, was an attractive woman, with long weathered gray hair and dark eyes. After she lowered the paper she was reading, it was apparent to the girls this lady could’ve used a make-over. Her attire was well worn, in a shade of brown that didn’t suit her coloring. Her nails were not painted and most noticeable was the run she had in her left nylon. Platform shoes did nothing to enhance her legs, either. Except for the words that she had just uttered, she could’ve been anyone’s mother, grandmother, aunt or sister. However, her words were forceful and full of anxiety, leading Kassie to believe there was much more to her than how she appeared at the moment.
“I’m sorry if I upset you girls. I didn’t mean to be overheard. But it’s true, you know. I just don’t believe she died in this… this…a skiing accident. I just don’t! I never will!” Kassie glanced at the photo on the front page of the newspaper. An attractive woman, very young and beautiful, long light colored hair with opaque eyes, stared at her from the pages of the Sentinel Star. “She was so beautiful, it just isn’t right, you know!” She folded the newspaper, deliberately, on her lap, placing it in her handbag. Reaching over her shoulder to retrieve the cane, one that had seen better days hanging over the back of her seat, she stood up.
“You’re distraught. Anyone can see that. You’re sure there isn’t anything I can do to help you?”
“Just be careful who you marry.” With that said she picked up her handbag and using her cane, walked off rather briskly for someone who had to rely on a stick with duct tape.
Kassie felt badly for the lady, but she wasn’t sure exactly why. She glanced at Jacki, who just gave a shrug as though it was an everyday occurrence. Over the loudspeaker, their flight to Boston was announced.
As flight attendants, both women were at the top of their game, both in salary and prestige. Had it not been for their lucrative salaries and static schedule, neither would’ve have been able to attend Nursing school. Incredibly, they not only graduated in the top one percent of their class but both were hired by Mercy Re-gional Hospital. ‘Mercy,’ as it was called, was the surgical center of the Rockies, located on the far eastern side of Denver, overlooking the foothills and beyond to the magnificent Rocky Mountains. As they began their routine in flight, Kassie wondered aloud.
“I didn’t ask where she was going, or if she had a flight to catch, or if she was waiting to meet someone!”
“What are you talking about?” It was Jacki, with incredulity.
“The lady, the lady! I didn’t ask for her name or what she did for a living. It may have taken her mind off the article in the paper.”
“I do not believe that you’re still obsessing over a lady you just met, some-one you’ll never see again or that you even care!” Jacki started to roll the cart of drinks toward the aisle in first class. “If I were you, I’d just forget about it. She was an old biddy that thought the stars told her the girl in the photo was murdered. There! You have it. Now drop it!”
Kassie was by no means convinced she was just another ‘biddy,’ whatever that meant. With Jacki, one never knew. However, she had her own work to do. There would be time to think about it later.
On their approach prior to landing back in Denver, one of the other flight attendant’s suggested either Kassie or Jacki should make the parting comments. Jacki hastily volunteered. Attempting to discourage her from the inevitable, Kassie knew it would be to no avail.
“Ladies and gentlemen. This is Christmas Eve and we’ve just secured a spot on the runway in Denver, so join the party! We hear they have lights on the slopes, so if you’re feeling lucky, go skiing. The stores are open until midnight; don’t get run over when it’s time to go home. If the people you’re staying with are relatives and they’ve already locked their doors for night, don’t call us. We’ll be asleep! Wherever you dine, the cuisine will undoubtedly be more satisfying than our tasty ‘airline meals,’ but they won’t be free! Please remember, your luggage is our luggage if you leave it behind! For those with children who missed their earlier flight, we apologize that you missed Santa. He’ll be back next year or so I’ve been told. Our Captain says ‘Adios,’ and we flight attendants ‘thank you’ for putting up with us on this flight. Our shift ended three hours ago! We’re glad you chose to fly with Premier Airlines and hope you choose Premier the next time you fly. We sin-cerely enjoy your company; it’s great for our job security. Merry Christmas…and watch your step as you disembark. It’s icy out there! Thank you and have a great time in the Mile High city.” She finished long before the passengers stopped laugh-ing. Turning to Kassie, she continued. “Good thing this is our last flight. Termination is an ugly word.” Kassie shook her head in disbelief.