Let’s say I’m on a plane and the gas tank is leaking. The passengers don’t know yet and neither do I. The pilot knows. But he’s not worried for his life yet. He’s worried that he’ll get fired. The price of gas is rising. God knows he won’t be able to pay off the flight worth of gas he wasted. God knows he won’t be able to face his wife jobless. His son is going to high school soon, you know. He is bound to get admission into a good college owing to his high intelligence. The pilot knows he can’t be the reason why his son won’t be able to attend college. Even God knows that. The rest of the passengers are oblivious and they will remain so until the plane starts to shake. I’d be watching a movie, like I always do when I’m on flights. The guy in the seat in front of me had inclined his seat too much. I’d be annoyed but won’t be able to say anything. I’m only thirteen, and even though I’ve considered every possible reaction if I tell him to pull his seat back up, I won’t say anything. I’m only thirteen, and I’ve already learned I’m not in the matrix and that people are quite unpredictable when it comes to controlling their anger. I’d start thinking about the time a boy gave me the middle finger when he had bumped into me. The correct response was an apology, or at least an apologetic shrug. So, I think I would nudge his seat slightly hoping he’ll get the hint. Then I would worry that he would turn back around a glare at me. He won’t. But I’ll think because I’m a miscellaneous-looking korean-ish girl with a heavy accent that comes off bossy and annoying, he will. He won’t. But here, he might. When the plane starts to shake violently, announcements will blare through the loudspeaker. I’d be pissed that they interrupted my movie. I’d forget about being annoyed at the guy in front. I’ll only remember being scared later, when my mom hugs me and kisses me. She’ll tell me I love you, in Korean, because that’s what she’s supposed to say. I won’t be embarrassed by her because she’s talking loudly in Korean. I’d tell her I love you too, over the woman sitting by the window screaming that she sees smoke coming from the wings. When the plane starts going down my mom will be hugging me tighter. 


When my grandparents hear the news, they’ll forget about me yelling at them to stop trying to control my life. They’ll forgive my mom, even though she divorced dad and told them she didn’t believe in god. Maybe dad will come see us, because we will be victims and he’ll be consumed with guilt. He’d think he put us in this situation-- he’d told us to get lost. He won’t. Maybe when he hears the news, he’d be sitting in his empty couch, sipping from his empty glass, forgetting that he’d already drunk the beer. Forgetting that it’s been empty for some time now. Maybe he’ll be rubbing his rugged beard, feeling a sense of euphoria as my grandparents tell him about us. Dad’s always been like that. A little too happy, caught up in delirium-- or how mom would tell me, out of this world. But this time, he’ll be staring down at us with a solemn expression and watery eyes. We’ll be a perfect family again.

Let's Say i'm on a plane

BY juheon


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