The flight attendants went through their spiel from memory with well-practiced smiles, but a weariness that tugged at their eyes that even the best eyeliner and eyeshadow couldn’t hide. They were weary, and wanted an easy flight. For the first forty-five minutes, they got their wish.
I enjoyed my Raymond Chandler book while the woman beside me pounded away at her laptop with gusto for brief minutes, then she would switch programs to something with colorful charts and graphs. Inevitably, while she studied those, she would begin to twist her wedding band, toying with pulling it off entirely.
Is that why the kid was here? He wants me to talk to this woman? I’m lousy with relationships, though. My last three dates all ended by answering the question ‘What do you do for a living?’ Those dating books never warn that honesty won’t get you a second date.
I went back to Marlowe describing a platinum blonde—it was always a blonde—
“Why is that?” Nikki asked.
“What was Chandler’s fascination with blondes?”
“Uh, I don’t know. Never gave it much thought,” I shrugged. “I just assumed it was what he liked.”
“And what do you like?” She leaned slightly into the question.
“Human,” I nodded.
She rolled her eyes. “With an attitude like that, you will never find a woman.”
“When I was interrupting the story, you got ticked, and now you’re doing it.”
“I’m wondering if I can provoke the same reaction in you,” she grinned wickedly.
“Hey, I’m fine to not tell the story at all. I’m sure we got a nice, cheesy movie in the queue we can watch.”
“I prefer the story. You may continue.”
There was something in the way she said that. I didn’t know what, but it meant something. “Right. So, after about 45 minutes, things go decidedly south.”