It had been a terrible month for Karen. She counted eight things; each shitty enough on their own but together, Christ. As she found her seat the insidious memory of Vincent and Freddie crawled over her again but she shook it off, determined. This trip would do something, be some sort of respite, it had to, it had to. Lisa moved to Florida two years ago and she missed her every day. She couldn't afford the holiday, but she couldn't afford not to see her friend - it wasn't a holiday, it was a tonic. Jon had paid for an upgrade to premium economy and she was only now noticing the seat.
There was two seats where there might be three and the screen in the head rest was bigger. more leg room too, even more than the others in fact as she had the window seat on an exit row, joy! A pillow? There was a pillow and a blanket! My god, she thought, this isn't flying, this is nicer than my flat. She smiled, for the first time in a long time. She pulled out her phone and texted Jon. “thank you hun, you will never know just how grateful I am right now, KX”.
The passenger beside her lent over and said in a treacle brogue “you know you’re not allowed to use your phone on here” and topped it with a practiced smile. Karen couldn't believe it. No, not this, not now, not after everything. He offered his leatherette hand, “Hi, Dougray”, and waited for effect. Her face twisted, “Dougray Scott?” she almost shouted. “Guilty” he flirted back. Her face went white “Fucking Dougray Scot?”. He raised an eyebrow.
It started as a low moan and rose up the scale to a scream. She didn't really remember pulling the handle, or the yellow chute inflating. She doesn't recall sliding down it and she is still surprised she ran as far as they say she did.