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“You shouldn’t be. You keep buying and investing in every single airline I switch to. I didn’t have much of a choice.”

“There’s always a choice, Jake.”

“I’m sure your first wife would disagree.”

He shifted uneasily, and his smile slightly slipped as the flashes of cameras continue to sound around the room. I tried to look him right in the eye, to finally see him as a human being, but all I could see was a heartless monster who was willing to sacrifice anything for his own dreams, no matter the cost.

“What happened to the commemoration of Flight 1872?” I asked. “The papers said you were finally going to tell the truth.”

“They said I would address it. They didn’t say anything about the truth.”

“So, you’re still paying for them to print your lies?”

“No, I did address it.” He pointed across the hangar. “It’s on the new plane if you get a chance to take a look. Nonetheless, I knew having it mentioned it in the papers would make you come here. I really need to talk to you. ASAP, Jake. ASAP.”

I turned to walk away, but he grabbed my elbow.

“You’ve been going out of your way to avoid us all for years,” he said. “And I bought Signature to try to put an end to that. I even agreed to your over the top salary request. I more than agreed, actually. I doubled it so you could see that I’m serious about starting over. Is that not trying? Do you know how much money that is?”

“What’s a million to a billionaire?”

“Would you like more, then?”

“I don’t want shit from you. I’ll be quitting soon.”

“That’s not true.” He looked into my eyes. “Flying means too much to you, and you signed the contract. Even if you were to manage to get out of it, I’ll just buy or invest in the next airline you move to because I love you, Jake. I’ve missed you since you left us all those years ago.”

“See?” Riley smiled at me. “Everyone, including me, still loves you, Jake.”

“Fuck you, Riley.”

She gasped, acting as if she was actually shocked.

“Jake.” My father sighed. “When I told a little lie about the flight ceremony to get you here, I didn’t mean for you to take it the wrong way.”

“And when I said ‘Take care of my wife while I’m flying new routes’, I didn’t mean fuck her.”

Riley’s cheeks reddened and she faked a smile for another photographer.

“Jake, listen. “My father tried to steer the conversation, but I refused to let it go this time.

“You have yet to even attempt to apologize for that.”

“For the umpteenth time...” He paused, giving a half wave to someone across the room. “It was a one-time thing that we both absolutely regret. Nothing became of it, we’re both with other people now, and it was a total accident.”

“Her pussy just fell on your dick?”

“No, but if you’d let me explain—”

“There is no justification.” I hated that I saw my own blue eyes in his, that if anyone else stood close enough they could see it, too. “If you’re interested in explaining it to someone willing to listen, I would write Webster’s and make a claim on your accomplishment before its’ too late. There’s already a term for ‘motherfucker’ but I think the world is in desperate need of knowing that there’s a such thing as a father-fucker.”

The two of them glared at me.

“Nothing else to say?” I asked.

“You don’t have the whole story, Jake.” Riley hissed between her teeth.

“I have the only chapter I need. The scene where I came home early and caught you sucking his dick in my bathroom. Unless you were giving out blow jobs as party favors to everyone else, I’m not sure how I could’ve gotten the narrative wrong all these years.”

“You were never there, Jake.” Riley nearly lost it. “You were never home.”

“I was home that day.” I stepped back.

“Jake, please don’t leave.” My father looked genuine, but I couldn’t help but feel that he was playing another one if his mental magic tricks. “I think your mother—”

“Don’t you dare bring her up. Ever.” I felt an ache in my chest. “And fuck you. Both of you.” I took another step back. “But I am quite serious about that Webster’s submission form. You should hurry up before someone else takes credit.”

I stormed off toward the exit, ready to drink this night away. Something told me to keep going, to not bother looking back, but I couldn’t help it. I glanced over at its sleek white frame, at the light blue and crème emblem on its tail. And just as I was about to turn away and continue heading for the exit, my eyes caught something. Something disturbing and utterly callous.

On the right side of the tail, high enough for all to see was a faded image of my mother’s face in a light sepia tone. Her life span and a few words were written underneath:

I’ll always remember you, Irene.

Love, Nate.

Rest Peacefully,

Sarah Irene Pearson


“It was such a shame wasn’t it?” An older woman next to me lowered her voice. “Losing his wife in the very first plane he built...I’m sure it still devastates him.”

“I’m sure it doesn’t.” I turned around and scanned the room for my father, catching him mid-laugh. I stared at him with fury running through my veins, waiting for his eyes to meet mine.