The flight attendant served 7-Up to Dad, Orange Crush to Mom, and a Hi-C juice box to little Violet. She winked at Violet and proceeded down the aisle.
Violet strained to see over the seat to follow the nice lady with her eyes. It was better than being trapped in-between her parents.
“Of all the impossible things you could’ve come up with Marshall—”
“It’s for the best. I think that if we just work together we can save this—”
Violet asked to be taken to the potty often. It was the only break in conversation; Mom looked distressed and in need of a break. She was pretty, but with lines creasing her brow she looked tired.
“I’m sorry Vi, we can’t get up just yet. You’ll have to hold it.”
Her plot foiled, Violet glowered at the back of the seat afore her. The urge to kick it tickled her mind. Mom and Dad were busy ignoring the fact that they couldn’t talk to one another anymore. She nearly gave in to her last resort, a temper-tantrum, before the plane listed to the right; the sound of a small explosion rocked the cabin’s occupants.
“Ladies and gentlemen, if I may have your attention. This is an emergency. You must remain calm. Please view your emergency procedures booklet and follow the instructions.”
“He’s kidding, isn’t he Marshall?”
“I don’t know.” Dad’s face was dark and pale at the same time. “Violet honey, are you alright?”
Violet nodded mutely. Mom screamed as the masks dropped from the ceiling. Dad put his mask on and helped Violet with hers. Mom hyperventilated into hers.
“What are we going to do Marshall? We’re going to die! We can’t die like this! This is—”
“Cynthia! Stop it! Where is the woman I married?”
Mom whimpered. She was crying. Violet clung to the armrests, realizing that this was all a very bad thing, but something was happening.
“I don’t know Marshall. The job, the money, the pressure to be better and better—”
Dad’s moustache bristled. “You’re already my personal best.” Noise picked up in the cabin. Violet saw Dad’s eagle tattoo cross her chest to reach her mother. A strained smile. “We must work together now. Will you work with me?”
Cynthia nodded, dabbing at her nose with a sleeve.
At Dad’s request, they unbuckled their belts and pulled Violet down between them. The descent was deafening now at a higher pitch. They faced one another, wrapping themselves around Violet, hands clutching arms, and Mom’s perfume soothing. Their words were lost in the boom as the final engine exploded.
Did they survive? I'd like to think so. I wanted to present the point that in the most dire of circumstances, attitudes can change—often for the better. Maybe we shouldn't wait til then. Cheers - C.C.