How many times will you burn me?
Three, four, five, maybe ten—
Is it me who’s burning you?
Yes, ‘this’ needs to end.
If you walk away first, I’ll follow suit.
I’ve told you this before, and yet you never do...
The first time I flew through severe turbulence, I swore on my life I’d never fly again.
It happened during a red-eye flight from Seattle to London, when three hours in, we were swept up in a sudden summer storm. The plane shook violently as the passengers screamed and prayed for their lives, and my calm assurances of “Hold on! Everyone, please just hold on!” fell on deaf ears.
The pilot was young and inexperienced, his soft voice not comforting in the least. And as the glasses from the first class cabin shattered onto the floor amidst toppling luggage, I promised myself that my days in the sky were long over if we ever landed.
I broke that promise hours later, of course, but I could finally say that I’d experienced the worst of what turbulence could ever be.
Or so I thought.
“Miss?” A passenger in first class interrupts my thoughts, touching my elbow as I walk down the aisle. “Miss?”
“How much longer until we arrive in Paris?”
“Eight hours, sir.” I resist the urge to tell him that he asked me this question fifteen minutes ago. “Would you like something else to drink tonight?”
“A refill on my white wine, please.”
I nod and quickly oblige, retrieving the wine from the galley’s cooler and filling his glass to the top. I need to take care of him as fast as possible so I can finally sit alone and address the unbearable ache in my chest.
“May I have a blanket as well?” the man asks before I can step away.
I force a smile and retrieve one from the overhead bin above his seat, unwrapping it for him and placing it onto his lap. “Would you like anything else?”
“No, but—” He stops mid-sentence and raises his eyebrow. “Oh, wow, your face is really red. Why are you crying?”
“I’m not crying.” I lie. “It’s allergy season.”
“Allergies? On a plane?”
“Would you like anything else from me, sir?” I feel a tear rolling down my cheeks. “If not, I’ll be sure to check on you again soon.”
He doesn’t answer me. Instead he pulls a handkerchief from his breast-pocket and holds it out to me.
“Whatever it is,” he says, looking me up and down. “I hope it’s not a guy. You’re much too beautiful to cry over something like that...Wait. It is a guy, isn’t it?”
I don’t respond. I simply take his handkerchief and walk away.
I head toward the back of the plane—past a cabin full of sleeping passengers, and lock myself in the lavatory. As more tears fall down my face, I pull out my phone and log into my private blog so I can reread the words I wrote months ago. So I can remember the agonizing feeling of failing to listen to myself.
This is the last time I will say this to myself.
The very last time.
My heart can’t take another sequence of angry arguments, another round in this dangerous game of “Will we make it? Should we make it?” or another spin on this never-ending carousel of highs and lows.
Yes, the way this man fucks me is incomparable and leaves me craving more the second he pulls out of me. And yes, the way he pleasures my pussy with his mouth and makes me come for hours on end will forever be unparalleled. But the way we fit (rather, don’t fit) has finally reached its climax.
I will not go back.
I will not go back.
I. Will. Not. Go. Back.
A knock comes to the door before I can read the rest, and I sigh.
“Someone’s in here,” I say. “The occupied light is on.”
The knock comes again, much louder this time, so I groan and open the door.
“The occupied light is clearly—” My words are cut short with a gasp, as I take in the sight of the man I currently despise, the man I’ve been attempting to avoid this entire flight. The pilot. His beautiful blue eyes are glaring into mine, his jaw is clenched, and no matter how badly I don’t want to be attracted to him right now, I can’t help it.
With his hard and chiseled face of perfection, his full and defined lips that are definitely molded for long and alluring kisses, and a cockiness that radiates off his body from miles away, he’s always managed to leave me breathless and aroused with a single glance.
Behind him, a few reading lights in the cabin blink off, and a few TV screens begin to play the second in-flight film.
“We need to talk, Gillian,” he says, his voice tight. “Now.”
“I’ll pass.” I try to slam the door in his face, but he holds it open and pushes me inside—locking the door behind him.
For several seconds, neither of us says a word. We simply stare at each other like we have so many times before, with pain and disappointment hanging in the air between us.
“I have nothing else to say to you, Jake.” My voice cracked. “Nothing else to say.”
“Good.” He hisses. “I’ll do most of the talking.”
“Well, that’s quite ironic. You don’t normally talk at all.”
“Are you fucking someone else?” His words come out so harsh and clipped, I’m not sure that I heard them right.
“Do I need to repeat it?” He glares at me, closing the gap between us. “Are you fucking someone else?”
“We haven’t spoken in weeks.” I grit my teeth. “I haven’t seen you in weeks, and this is the first thing you ask me? How about, ‘Hello, Gillian. It’s been a long time since we last spoke. How are you?’”
“Hello, Gillian.” He mocks me, locking his eyes on mine. “It’s been a long time since we last spoke. How are you?” He doesn’t give me a chance to answer. “Are you fucking someone else?”
“Are you seeing someone else?”
“That’s the same goddamn question.”
“Then give me the same goddamn answer.”
“No.” I cross my arms. “No, I have not been seeing someone else, but I will be soon. And you know what? It’ll be someone who doesn’t make me feel this way every few weeks, someone who doesn’t get a sick thrill out of disappearing on me for weeks at a time or leaving me wondering at all hours of the night because he won’t open up to me. Best of all, it’ll be someone who will respect me and not act like loving me is a burden.”