I really wish I could tell her the truth. I want her to know more about the real me, but I’m afraid she won’t accept me. I know that acceptance of someone’s true self is what becomes necessary for a healthy relationship, but can she ever truly love me for me?
Sophia twists a thin lock of her blonde hair around her index and then rubs the soft strands between her fingers. She speaks quietly to me, “So you’re on business then?”
I nod. “Yeah. I travel a lot, but sometimes I work from home.”
I notice she’s looking at my mouth. I read once that when someone looks at your lips then the chances of them wanting to kiss you is pretty high. Either that, or you have a spot of chocolate on your lips or broccoli in your teeth. I prefer to think she wanted to taste my lips, and I wasn’t entirely opposed to it.
“Home? You mean you don’t have an office?” She looks at me quizzically as if trying to determine the kind of man I am by reading my face. Normally, I suppose that’s a good way to figure people out, but not me. I’m excellent at deceit.
The problem is this: I don’t want to deceive her as I do everyone else. Normally, I’d smile, tell her everything she wants to hear, and show her the face of trust. When we get deeper into each other’s lives, I’d show her a face of understanding for her pain. I’d cap that off with a smile and a few words of wisdom carefully picked to ensure the conversation stays about her but makes her think about me. Before the trip ended, I’d have nailed her in the bathroom.
Sophia is different, though. She makes me want to be a better person. Okay, maybe not a better person, but just as she’s different for me, she makes me want to be a different kind of lover to her. All right, okay, maybe lover is too strong a word when we’ve only been sitting together on this flight for a few hours, but when there’s magic you just know, right?
I never used to believe in love at first sight, but I feel like something that I don’t entirely understand happened here on this plane. I’m as shallow as everyone else when it comes down to how beautiful or ugly person is, and of course I couldn’t help but notice how gorgeous Sophia is, but there’s more to it. A lot more. For one, I never cared about someone’s laugh before. It’s cute, subtle. She bites her lip, which has left little intents in the pillowy flesh. More importantly, she’s honest with me. Everything she says seems genuine.
To show interest, I ask her, “So, you own a… flower shop is it?”
She nods excitedly. “That’s right. Down on First and Brookhurst.”
Oddly, I knew the exact one. I was there two weeks ago buying flowers for Mother’s Day. I always order them online for my mother, but for some strange reason I decided to stop by there and pick up a bouquet.
“I’ve been there. You have a nice shop,” I tell her as I lean onto the armrest between us. I don’t really need to lean, but I want the tips of my fingers to graze her bare leg, which she’s been pressing against the divider between us for some time now. I need to know if she will allow such a subtle expression of affection, and as it turns out, she will.
She glances down, giggles softly at the touch, and then looks up at me with her big, brown eyes. “You like my shop? You’re sweet.”
I can’t really fake a blush, so the one I gave to her was genuine. I had to look away, and as I did, a tall man wearing a brown overcoat walks past me. My guess is he needs to use the restroom because there’s nothing else back there. I close my eyes, take a deep breath, and turn back to her to meet that beautiful gaze.
While I wasn’t looking, she had leaned closer to me. She had crossed her legs, and had slipped her leg under my hand so that I’m fully palming her lower thigh. I hadn’t noticed. She was a smooth operator.
I smile and try to disarm her with a personal, intimate compliment. “You have very soft skin.”
She nods as I very gently pet her thigh with my fingers. She looks at my lips again, and this time I’m sure there’s nothing in my teeth. I know that look she’s giving me. I really want to lean in and meet her for that kiss she so desperately wants, but I have to go to the bathroom. If I go, though, will she think I’m trying to avoid her obvious advances? I don’t know, but I really have to go.
“Excuse me for a minute? I really have to pee,” I tell her, though that’s not what I was going to do it there; the truth is much more disgusting, and I don’t think she’d still want to kiss me after I got back. Although, I have read that if you can fart in front of your significant other, then you must be truly comfortable and in love. That’s true, right? Well, I don’t know if it is, but it sure is gross. I’d rather rip one in the bathroom or go outside to blow the horn rather than have someone I care about suffer that kind of evil, eye-watering stench.
I unbuckle from the seat, and as I stand, she puts her hand on mine. We lock eyes for a moment, and I truly hope she feels what I feel just then. The desire. The romance. The unadulterated joy.
I make my leave, and follow the narrow aisle. Most of the passengers ignore me, but a couple of them look up from whatever Facebook status or tweet they’re crafting to wishfully get the most attention from their friends. When I reach the hallway with the bathroom, I see only two doors. One has a green “vacant” sticker and the other a red sticker indicating someone occupied it.
From my pocket, I fish out a universal key, and quietly unlock the door. He’d been in there for a couple minutes so either he was pissing or dropping a deuce. I don’t know which, but because I have a poor gag reflex, I prepare myself. After taking a deep breathe of the not-so-fresh-but-fresher-than-pooh cabin air, I hustle into the bathroom.
As I shut the door, I reach down and wrap my hand around the man’s mouth. Sitting on the pot, he tries to stand, but I force him back down. He attempts to scream, but with my hand muffling his cries for help, no one can hear him over the moan of the engines.
He’s a fighter, but I manage to reach back enough in that confined space to jab him in the neck several times with my fist. I eventually hear the soft pop and ensuing gurgle from a collapsed throat. It takes him a while, but he soon gives in to the lack of air. He’s probably not dead yet, but I quickly get to work hiding his body in the space under the floor panel.
I wonder what Sophia would think about this if she had walked in on it. I mean, I’m not your normal man. The average person would feel disgusted by the horrors of real death. Sure, many people have some sort of sick fascination with it, but to actually witness a real body—or murder—would phase everyone but those sick few who are okay with murder and death. Granted, this isn’t one of my messiest hits, but I don’t think she would like it, regardless.
After closing up the panel, I stow the plastic bolt driver into my pocket. I would have put it back in the lining of my shoe, but honestly, they aren’t going to check the passengers leaving a plane. Their only concern is the passengers getting on, and honestly, they don’t do a good job screening them, either.
The mirror has a nice polished finish, and I check myself to make sure I look as I did when I left my seat. An errant tie might make her suspicious. Not because I’m worried that she might think I murdered someone. I feel no guilt, and therefore don’t suffer the effect of thinking that everyone knows what I’ve done even though they don’t—and probably don’t give a damn about me, either. I know for a fact they don’t. No, my concern is looking good for her when I get back. I don’t want her thinking that I had to fight with a monster deuce in here if I come out looking like I just wrestled… well… a body into the floor panels.
I leave, and return to my seat. It’s there I find Sophia waiting for me with a cold glass of white wine and that beautiful smile.
“Hi,” she says, “thought you might want a drink.”
I did. I mean, I want more than that. A whole lot more than just wine, but it’s a start.
I sit down and take a sip of the crystal liquid. It’s a piss poor quality, but it has a crisp bite and it’s full of decent flavors. She smiles, and we talk for another half hour. The wine is getting better now; maybe it’s getting to my head too fast. I set down the glass—or do I?—and lean next to her. She leans closer. I can’t feel my body, anymore.
She flicks my nose with her middle finger, and I don’t know if I flinch. I didn’t feel it.
She says, “You’re a hard man to track down. No wonder you’re so expensive.”
With my head canted at an odd angle against the seat, I can barely see the syringe in her hand. I don’t know what she’s going to do, and I can’t imagine it because for some reason everything is fuzzy. Not thinking clearly. Nothing is making sense anymore.
She says something but I only catch part of it. “…take credit for your kill. Two birds with one stone.”
She pokes the needle through my shoe. I don’t feel it. I don’t feel sick, either. I see the darkness, but I don’t feel any pain. I feel… I feel…