A Soothing Beverage

Standard

“Tea or coffee, sir?”

“Sir?”

“SIR!”

He finally turns to her, looking up with weary, sad eyes and she immediately feels guilty for yelling.

“Tea or coffee, sir?” she asks more softly. He’s one of the good ones, and heaven knows, you don’t come across the good ones very often in this line of work. No sir, you don’t. Air hostesses don’t have it as glamorous as the movies say, so when they come across a nice passenger they treat him right.

She smiles even more brightly, “Tea or coffee, sir?”

No, he doesn’t look sad, he looks anguished. She must fix it, rub her perkiness off on him somehow, turn that frown upside down like the motivational books say. You don’t come across many nice ones, not many quite as nice as this one has been, so she has taken it upon herself to ensure he is well taken care of and above all, happy.

“Tea or coffee, sir?” she asks again.

Why won’t he answer? Why won’t he smile? Why are his eyes… not sad… despairing? Oh she knows. She apologizes for having to leave, runs down to the cabinets, gets him a blanket and a couple of pillows. Pillows are comforting. She hands them to him. On second thoughts, his hands look busy so she tucks him in and places the pillows just there, right at that spot behind the neck that hurts when you’ve been seated in one spot for a while. She’s an air hostess, she knows the spot.

“Tea or coffee, sir?”

OK, it’s getting frustrating, what is she doing wrong? There must be something else she can do, what more can she do? Are you even listening? HE IS ONE OF THE GOOD ONES! She must do something. What can she do? Anything. She must make him happy. Ah, she knows, she’ll bring him more pillows. Pillows are comforting. Oh, and turn on the cabin music. Everyone likes cabin music.

“Tea or coffee, sir?”

Or does he want something stronger? No, he doesn’t. Does he? Ten years on the job, she’s seen alcohol make even the nicest ones monsters. No, he doesn’t want something stronger.

“Tea or coffee, sir?”

Why isn’t he happy? Why doesn’t he answer? Doesn’t he see she’s trying to make him happy? Why the hell isn’t he happy?

And then she realizes it. That isn’t sadness in his eyes, that is anger. And hate. The ungrateful bastard is working against her. He is, isn’t he? Isn’t he? The fucker is one of them. That’s what they do. They act nice, make you think they are one of the good ones, break down your guard…

No, motherfucker, not her. Not this time.

“Tea or coffee, you fucking asshole?!!”

***

He can see she’s beginning to get worked up and he knows what follows next. He knows if he doesn’t answer she will keep asking, her voice getting higher, her smile brighter and her eyes crazier as her perkiness turns to fury and she looks around for things to hit him with. In the month he’s been here he has lost two teeth and a rib feels broken.

To be frank, if he sits down to think about the situation with an unbiased eye, he might find it a little funny. A little funny that it was the odd gleam in her eye and her strangely bright smile that first caught his attention during that flight last month. That they were the reason he gallantly stood up to the man who had been a jerk to her as she served them and thus caught her eye. That he couldn’t believe his luck when she handed him a napkin with her number on it as they landed, and called her as soon as he got settled in his hotel, so she wouldn’t forget him. That he had almost declined when she asked him into her house for a “night cap” after their date, but had agreed so she wouldn’t feel bad. That he had promised himself he wouldn’t have any more than one drink, and he had had the one drink; but unable to explain why he suddenly felt so sleepy, had decided to nap for an hour on her couch before heading back.

But he had woken up shackled hand and foot to a post in her basement floor a month ago, though, so he isn’t likely to find it quite as funny. No, he is angry. And confused. Why him?

He watches her now as she works herself into a fury. He manages to contain the rage and anguish building up inside him. If will survive this hell he finds himself in, maybe one day escape alive, he must play along.

He sits as far up as his sore rib will allow, smiles brightly and answers “Tea, please”.

***

She sighs in relief and pours. He is happy. Lunch is in an hour.

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5 responses »

  1. Kai Lizi you are something else. At first was relating the story to the recent wedding then realised you were on another tangent.

    You go girl…

  2. Loool.

    Ara ndi nudi nudi.

    If the air hostess is that far down the corridors of insanity, the guy can use it to extricate himself from his basement prison. Just, slowly, woo her. After all that’s what got him here in the first place…might as well go the whole hog.

    Maybe even cop a few deranged nacks. MHMMM.

    Good one, Lizi!

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