Page 83

We ascended into the air, and faint hints of adrenaline I used to live for rushed through my veins.

Ryan remained in contact with control, shocking me with his sudden professionalism, and as we cleared our cruising altitude of thirty-three thousand feet, I turned off the seatbelt sign.

“Ladies and gentlemen...” Gillian’s voice came over the speakers, rendering me still. “The captain has turned off the fasten seatbelt sign. You are now free to move about the cabin. However, we always recommend to keep your seat belt fastened while you're seated.”

I’ll be damn if she doesn’t talk to me on this flight...

“So,” Ryan said, clearing his throat. “You’re not going to tell me that joke? It actually would help.”

“Sure.” I rolled my eyes and turned to face him. “Knock. Knock.”

He smiled. “Who’s there?”

“Mr. Shut the Fuck Up.” I motioned for him to hand me a clipboard. “Let me test you on some stuff while we’re here so I can feel safe whenever I need to leave and go the restroom.”

Whenever I need to leave and go find Gillian...


It took me four hours to convince myself that Ryan was actually a good pilot; he just needed to learn how to take things seriously. When he assured me that he would be okay for five minutes, I left the cockpit and spotted Gillian standing in the closest galley.

“Hello,” I said, walking over to her. “Can we talk?”

She said nothing.

“Gillian.” I stepped next to her. “Gillian, I know you hear me talking to you.”

She didn’t look up. She continued preparing dessert cups, and as I leaned close, I noticed tears falling down her face.

“Gillian, please talk to me. Let me make this right.”

“I’ll have someone bring you your Coke in a minute, Captain.” She picked up her tray and moved past me.

I watched as she served every passenger in first class, as she avoided my gaze and took her time pouring extra wine. I waited for her to return so I could force her to listen to me, but she never did. Instead, she moved to the galley near the middle of the aircraft and finished serving her desserts from there.

Angry, I returned to the cockpit—killing time by thinking of other ways I could get her attention. I lasted all of thirty minutes before deciding I would let everyone on this plane hear what I had to say to her if need be.

I walked through the first class cabin, then the business and the economy, looking for her. I reached the back of the plane, finding myself next to the lavatories with no luck.

Annoyed, I knocked on the door of the lavatory on the left and a male voice answered. I knocked on the right one and immediately heard her distinctive voice.

“Someone’s in here,” she said. “The occupied light is on.”

I knocked again, even harder. I heard her groan and toss something to the floor.

“The occupied light is clearly—” The door swung open and she gasped, looking me up and down. Her eyes were filled with tears and her face was flushed red, yet she still looked absolutely stunning.

Behind her, in the lavatory, crumpled Kleenex littered the small sink and her phone sat still on the ledge.

I considered remaining calm, going with the bullshit, “Please hear me out” approach, but I decided not to waste my time.

“We need to talk, Gillian,” I said. “Now.”

“I’ll pass.” She tried to slam the door in my face, but I held it open and pushed her inside—locking the door behind me.

For several seconds, neither of us said a word. We simply stared at each other in silence, waiting for the other person to start. I was supposed to apologize right now, to say something poignant and sweet that I knew would get to her, but I had a feeling that shit wouldn’t work tonight. And I had a more important question on my mind, anyway.

“I have nothing else to say to you, Jake,” she said softly. “Nothing else to say.”

“Good, I’ll do most of the talking.”

“Well, that’s quite ironic. You don’t normally talk at all.”

“Are you fucking someone else?”


“Do I need to repeat it?” I closed the gap between us. “Are you fucking someone else?”

“We haven’t spoken in weeks.” She hissed. “I haven’t seen you in weeks, and this is the first thing you ask me? How about, ‘Hello, Gillian. It’s been a long time since we last spoke. How are you?’”

“Hello, Gillian.” I locked my eyes on hers. “It’s been a long time since we last spoke. How are you? Are you fucking someone else?”


“Are you seeing someone else?”

“That’s the same goddamn question.”

“Then give me the same goddamn answer.”

“No.” She crossed her arms. “No, I have not been seeing someone else, but I will be soon. And you know what? It’ll be someone who doesn’t make me feel this way every few weeks, someone who doesn’t get a sick thrill out of disappearing on me for weeks at a time or leaving me wondering at all hours of the night because he won’t open up to me. Best of all, it’ll be someone who will respect me and not act like loving me is a burden.”

“I’ve never said loving you was a burden.”

“You’ve never said you loved me at all.”


“Gillian...” I looked right into her eyes. “Listen to me.”