While waking up this morning, I woke with a sudden fear knowing I shouldn’t ride that airplane. I always had a fear for riding in airplanes and I knew today was going to be different. The day is Tuesday April 24 of 2006. It is 5:10 am and I had just hit the snooze button for the second time, it went on every ten minutes until I got up. There is no light outside yet but I could still see around the room because my eyes are adjusted to the dark. I grab a towel as I walk over to the restroom and turn the light on. While adjusting the temperature to the water in the shower, I get in. After I took a shower, with my towel around my waist, I walk over to the sink and start shaving. I am a middle age man in my late 20’s, with a narrow face and high cheek bones. I stand about 6 feet with broad shoulders. I always have a short hair cut and never let my facial hair get to long it wasn’t appropriate for the job. My job is to design the cover page of Vogue every month. I’ve been working for that company for about five years now and today I had an important meeting in New York. I look at the after shave and pause. I splash it on. You would think after so many years of shaving you would get use to it. I take one last glance in the mirror and head to my closet. There it is, my best suit. My rive gauche black pinstripe wool 3-button suit from Yves Saint Laurent is my most expensive suit and I wear it to most of my meetings. While heading out the door I look at my clock and it is 5:56. Since I live on the fifteen floor I walking over to the elevator and happen to come across one of the apartment maids. She’s pushing a cart of dishes in my direction and right as I pass her one of the glasses fall. The instant the glass hits the floor we look at each other and what seemed like hours she looked into my eyes with a sense of dismay, as if she could see right through my soul, but I don’t stop and continue walking to the elevator. I press the down arrow and the elevator opens. Walking in I press the first floor. I live at the Avalon apartments at mission bay north, my address 255 King Street San Francisco, my room called the Chateau d' Yquem the most expensive room there pricing at 4,350 a month. The elevator stops on the 7th floor and picks up another man. We didn’t speak to each other but a little nod as he walked in. The elevator reaches the first floor and we both walk out. I would have taken the 07 Lexus LS but my meeting is in New York so the company’s limo is already waiting for me outside. I tell the limo driver to take me to the airport and so he gets on the Bayshore fwy and drives for about 20 minutes he then exits left to the San Francisco airport. It is now almost 6:30 and I am on good time because my flight is at 7:00. I walk inside the airport and look up at the screen for my flight, ticket number DL 148 Aircraft 152 American Airline. There it is San Francisco to New York, DL 148 Aircraft 152 American Airline departure 7:00 am. I walk over to my area and wait in line to give my ticket so I can get on the plane. I soon gave my ticket to a young woman who has short black hair to her shoulders and is probably around 19. I can tell she is tired of working here by the way she is chewing her gum kind of like the way you see when a camel is gathering saliva before he spits. She checks my ticket and my I.D. I board the plane.
The hunch came back and a cold, bloodcurdling feeling runs down my spine as I take my seat. To my right sits a young woman probably in her early 20s with long blond hair loosely tied back in a pony tail. She has on a white blouse. Her face short with blue eyes, the kind of girl you always take a second look at. To the right of her an older woman who I would say is in her late 30’s. She carried a little more than normal weight with her and dressed kind of sloppy just in case she got a little dirty from eating. I sit in the seat next to the walk way and across to my left sits an Arabian, if he’s not he sure is Middle Eastern. I’m not at all racist but he doesn’t help much from my discomfort of riding in this airplane because of the 911 situation. “Please make sure your seat belts are on as we take lift off.” The flight attendant said over the speaker. She stood in the front, her hair short and brown and looked a lot prettier then the women next to me. I don’t know why I was so nervous today. The blond next to me ask if it was my first time flying and gave me her name. I just told her I’m having one of those days. She replied by giving a suggestion of sleeping it off since we had five hours and thirty eight minutes. “You may now take your seat belts off.” The flight attendant said. I was thinking maybe I would feel safer if I just keep it on but I end up taking it off. After ten minutes of discreetness I decide I would be better off going to sleep. As soon as I put my head down the alarm goes on. I hasten around looking for my seat belt and anxiously put it on. “We are having difficulties, would everyone please put their seat belts back on. We are going through a little storm.” The flight attendant said with a shaky voice. Fear rushes through my body and I could feel my pulse throbbing inside my head. Everyone in the plane is dead silent all you could hear is the rumbling of the plane and the red flashing sign that reads seat belts. Then the worst of luck happens, how I knew it was going to happen today. A loud crash is all we heard from outside which sounded like it came from the cockpit. A lightning bolt and hit the front of the plane and at that moment everyone knew there was no escaping this death ride. Everyone started panicking as all the oxygen masks came down from the top of everyone’s seat. I hear people screaming and children crying. The seat belts are useless now as the plane is heading straight down to the earth’s surface. The fire in front of the plane rises closer to us every second that goes by and if we don’t hit the ground soon sure enough the fire is going to burn us all alive. People now were trying to reach the back of the plane trying to escape the scorching flames, to live just a little bit longer, but most fail and fall into the scorching flames. I look around and see other people still in their seats with their hands clamped together as if they were praying asking God to take them with him as soon as they die. Not knowing what to do I close my eyes and hear, “Now landing New York City. Hope you had a nice flight.”
by: Andrew Valencia