The captain had just finished his announcement about our descent when my stomach shifted as the plane nosed down. In my arms, Ginny stirred, mumbling, a hand coming up to her eyes to ward something off.
Ginny’s mom was suddenly beside me, and I gently handed her off. Ginny stirred some more, but didn’t wake. Ginny’s mom mouthed “Thank you.”
I nodded, making to vacate the seat and reclaim my original seat with sole ownership to both armrests.
“What if he doesn’t feel the same?” Ellie said.
I looked at her, and she stared straight ahead at the tray table latch. I knew that look.
I leaned in, finally catching her eyes. Two fingers waved her closer still, and I produced a business card. With a finger, I underlined “Supernatural Investigator.”
She looked at me, confused. “You can believe or not, but I have seen things and experienced things that have shaken my reality, the same as what you’re feeling right now. When you arrive, he’s going to be there, and the possibilities are running through your head, mostly the bad ones, the ones that spin off and create a reality in your head you want to avoid, and the alternative, is keep quiet. Keep doing what you’re doing, and you avoid the bad reality. But you know what, I’d be lying if I said that all of the freaky and scary stuff I have experienced was all bad. My life was boring and monotonous before I began this job. There’s more to life than simply avoiding the bad. You want happiness. You want to reclaim your life. Fear says it may not happen, avoid the pain.”
“Maybe, but it’s not my choice alone. I can’t do it without him, maybe not even with him. I’m scared and sick of feeling this way. I don’t know if I can take a leap of faith.”
And then everything clicked for me.
“My brother Paul told me that the scariest moment in his life was the day he proposed. The entire day was spent dreading that moment, and the five seconds after he asked the question were the most terrifying of his life. Time had no meaning while Connie, now his wife, gasped for eternity before finally saying yes. ‘Her mouth was like a freaking black hole and nothing came out of it!’” I quoted Paul.
I was staring into my hot chocolate when I felt Nikki’s hand on mine. It was actually warm, an effect of the warm mug. I lifted my eyes and gave her a weak smile.
She raised her mug, “To your brother and his wife, they rest peacefully and joyfully knowing you care for their legacy, especially their daughter.”
I raised my mug and clinked it with hers, then used a thumb to wipe the forming tears from my eyes.
“Hell of a Boxing Day toast, Nikki. Thanks.