In between two heartbeats…..


Long time back, I was flying in a Boeing 707 jet towards New Delhi, enroute to Hong Kong in order to join my new ship, as I was an Engineer Officer in the British Merchant Navy. The time was around two in the morning, and I was standing at the rear of the aircraft, trying, and it must be admitted, failing, to chat up the stewardess. It was a hopeless cause, she was smart, svelte, pretty and, I suppose, sufficiently bored to kill time with yet another passenger caught in her orbit.

I was leaning against the rear access door, smoke in one hand and a drink in the other, facing her across the window inset into the door. I glanced out of the window just as the silhouette of another aircraft whipped across my sightline before dissappearing into the night sky, the only thing left to show it’s passage was a fast dissappearing con-trail outlined by the moon.

The stewardess, reached back and flipped out the intercom phone, called the cockpit, and with what I can only describe as a controlled voice, asked the pilot if there had been any traffic advised in the area. The reply came back, “Nope, Helen, the sky’s reported as clear. Why do you ask?”

“Nothing too important, Captain. I’ll speak to you later!”

We shared another, but much larger drink, and another smoke, in perfect silence before I returned to my seat!

Funny how things sometimes stay in your mind long after the event!!

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