Swallowing the fear in my throat, I boarded the plane. My very first time on a plane and it was going to be spent running away from my parents. How fitting. Sitting in my seat, I let out my shakiest breath yet. How I crafted all this together over three months without them finding out was beyond me, but it worked.
I snapped my seatbelt on after tucking my bag away before we took off. We would take off any time now and I didn't want to forget about the belt and fly out the window or something equally impossible, but my anxiety-ridden brain fuelled it. It was just how my brain was.
When it came to taking off finally, I didn't have anyone sitting in my row of seats, just me. The plane was packed all around my group of seats. There were a lot of younger adults my age but also a lot of business aged adults. Keeping my phone in my hands, the moments the plane levelled out, I think I finally breathed again and opened my eyes. I held them closed and crushed them together the whole time, scared to die in the takeoff.
I'm sure if the surrounding people knew about my fears they would laugh about it and say it was unlikely to happen, though it happened more than anyone would like to admit. Looking at the time on my phone, I wondered what my mother and her husband, my stepfather would be doing. No doubt they knew by now about my escape from them.
They took away my choices and I couldn't stand one more day of it. I had to get out of there. They had picked my college, my classes, and everything they could pick for me. They had made sure that I couldn't choose to stay in the dorms and had no choice but to stay at home. They were actively trying to steal my future from me for their own gain.
A secret summer job, a passport and a plane ticket later, here I was. Free from all their meddling. My future would finally be mine to choose and that was priceless to me. It might not seem like much to another person, but it was all had, and I wanted to protect it.
I had no intentions of returning home ever; I had packed everything I would need into the single suitcase with me. I had left them a note, only, so they didn't waste the police money and resources claiming I had been kidnapped or something just as ridiculous. I was in for a twenty-four-hour flight and that sounded perfect, There were stops to refuel and restock of course, but once the plane landed for the last time, I was home free.
Pulling out my headphones, I popped in my earbuds and turned some music on. My phone was on aeroplane mode like it was supposed to be, lord forbid I will be the reason the plane falls out of the sky.
Tilting the chair back a bit, I relaxed to the sound of my soft music playing in my ears. Without music, I would be lost. It was my drug. I had dreamed of playing some kind of instrument as a young boy but never got the chance.
The sound of the intercom cut over my music and let us know that they would be serving breakfast soon and then we would be flying clear on to lunchtime before landing to refuel. Checking the time again, I knew for sure that they were aware of my escape; they were always awake by this time. It was why I had chosen to sneak out earlier in the night after dinner.
I had crawled out my window, my suitcase behind me as I did so. The neighbour who lived beside us had seen the whole thing. But they closed their door and ignored what they had seen and for that I was grateful. I am sure it was no shock to the neighbours how my parents treated me; it wasn't like they went out of their way to hide it. Heck, I was pretty sure my mother had even bragged about it once in her mom group. I didn't understand how parents thought that kind of crap was ok to do to their kids.
The lady brought me my breakfast, and I thanked her several times. She smiled politely and walked to the next person. Everything looked so good. I knew how all this was prepared but that was not important because it looked way better than I thought. The first bite of the food was down, I knew the food on this flight was going to be actually great. Breakfast was hard to mess up, but it still happened. I was just glad my eggs didn't feel like rubber and have no taste.
After breakfast, I passed my plate back to the woman when she came by and popped my earbuds back in, resuming the music that had been on pause for me to enjoy my breakfast. I closed my eyes jamming to the sounds in my ears. If I fell asleep, even that would be ok, I really had got little sleep in a few days and I was sure at this time it was quite noticeable.
I watched the screen on the back of the seat in front of me; It was the same for everyone, even without sound I knew the lines off by heart. It was a movie I had watched no less than a handful of times in my childhood.
Lunch came and went, our plane was on the descent down now, to land to refuel, it gave us an hour to go look at the airport all the junk inside no one actually needed to buy. I couldn't waste the money I had on a stupid purchase, not that I was compelled to in the first place. I buckled my seat belt up and waited for the terrible dropdown, One of three, the last one being the worse they said.
They let us off the plane when it landed and told us to be back at the waiting gate in exactly one hour or risk being left behind. I couldn't risk not getting as far away as humanly possible from them so I hung around the waiting area. It was really the only thing I could do well I waited.
The Wi-Fi at the airport sent through all the messages from my mother and step-father, I flicked them away not even paying attention to them. It was too late for them to do anything. I had already decided about the situation and that was the end. I didn't want to be under their thumb any longer.
I knew the chances of me being found were there but I hoped they would just read my letter and let it go, but that was highly unlikely being the people they were. A short time later we boarded the aeroplane again. The aeroplane shook and wobbled as it took off this time, no one really seemed worried about that, other than me of course. Everything about the take-off didn't seem safe. I kept my concerns to myself though. I didn't want to make anyone else nervous and just added it up to my apprehension and anxiety about flying.
They brought coffee and snacks around after a good while in the air. I passed on the coffee, but not on the little cheeses and crackers. The taste of the cheese still lingered on my tongue when the plane shook again. This time a few lights went out, but they came back on almost right away.
"Everyone please there is nothing to worry about, the captain says we have hit a spot of turbulence and in a few moments everything will be right back to normal."
That alone seemed to relax several of the people who looked a little apprehensive about the shaking too. Those people who looked like they flew all the time didn't even look troubled by the shakes. How was that something you could get used to? I was pretty sure this would be one of just a few times I could count on my hands in terms of flying, I was not enjoying it.
The plane shook again, this time I watched the tv screen in front of me blackout and the entire cabin was plunged into darkness. I pulled open my side window screen and bright red and orange fire seemed to flow from the engine having a life of its own.
Someone else had done the same, They alerted the rest of the cabin of the fire and the flight attendant tried to keep everyone calm, though it seemed to work for about two seconds. People cried loudly and scream about the fact they were going to die.
Sitting in my chair, looking at the fire I was dreadfully calm. I buckled my seatbelt despite the tears rolling down my face. Hell of a way to die, my first ever plane trip on my way to freedom. The entire plane shook again as the one engine failed and you could feel the plane almost drag as the other engine tried to keep us in the air.
The masks dropped down as you saw in all the classic aeroplane crash movies and shows and that was when it seemed to get real. I was going to die. I was never going to actually get to enjoy my freedom; they were going to bury me.
The sudden change of speed and downward at that was the last straw, the other engine failed, and we were free diving towards the surface of the earth. Whether it was water or actual earth, we were all as good as dead. The impact would no doubt kill us all.
Closing my eyes, I didn't know how long I had left, but for the first time in my twenty-two years of life, I prayed to any and all gods there were to make it out of this nightmare alive and well.
When the impact came, you felt it. Before everything faded into blackness as if someone had simply turned off the light in the darkest room known to man.