Her Name Was Hannah.
I was at LAX catching a flight into Phoenix to shoot for the company Nimble Films. I don't know why they chose to set up shop in Phoenix of all places; cheap rent, I suppose. I would have never associated Phoenix with porn, and yet, here I was flying out of state.
I do not like airports; they make me nervous. Really, the entire act of flying puts me on edge. I typically like to arrive at airports with almost no time to spare, so I don’t have a chance to re-evaluate my decision to put my life in the hands of a stranger at 30,000 feet. In either case, I arrived at the airport with twenty minutes to spare. I only brought carry-on, and had checked in for my flight in the morning, so I made my way straight to security. There, something caught my eye. I spotted somebody, a pretty young girl.
She was a tanned and leggy brunette sporting a sundress and Vans sneakers. I stared at her until she felt it burn. She then turned in my direction and when her eyes fell upon mine I flashed her a soft smile. She smiled back and timidly bit her lower lip. Then she looked away, and I noticed her nonchalantly run her hand through her long brunette hair.
Yeah, she saw me and thought I was cute. The animal was now loose and on the prowl. Let the games begin
The security line moved slowly, which was great because it gave her and I plenty of time to covertly steal glances at one another.
I noticed she was with someone – an older woman. “Bye mom,” my leggy brunette exclaimed as she reached the TSA agents. Interesting. Leggy brunette’s mother accompanied her to the airport. Maybe she’s a bit younger than I originally thought. I mean, she’s tall, well built, and appropriately filled out; she couldn’t possibly be any younger than eighteen, right? A freshman in college, perhaps? She’s probably enrolled in an out of state university and was just in town, visiting family for the weekend. Of course, that makes perfect sense, and would explain why her mother would be was waiting for her in the security line; she missed her daughter tremendously, how sweet.
I passed through security; made my way to my terminal, and found a seat. I closed my eyes and focused on happy thoughts to keep my mind at ease. I envisioned my leggy brunette on her college campus, wearing floral patterned summer dresses and driving all of the boys crazy.
I opened my eyes and suddenly there she was, my leggy brunette, sitting directly across from me in my terminal. Alright, looks like she was coming with me to Phoenix, after all, but before I could actually work up the courage to walk over and say something, our flight began boarding. She was in the first group of boarders, so she quickly disappeared from sight along with any hope of getting her name. Well, for what it’s worth, it was nice lookin' at you.
As I stood waiting to board, I realized that by the time I would enter the plane all of the aisle and window seats would most certainly be occupied, leaving nothing but the dreaded bitch seats for me to choose from. I wondered if a seat next to my leggy brunette would be available. I doubted it, but if by some miracle I could sit next to her I had better do it, I thought. This was not the time to be passive, remain in the safety zone and forever wonder, “what if?” In my mind, I promised myself that I would do it. I already knew a seat next to her wouldn’t be available, so there was no harm in taking a hypothetical vow.
I stepped onto the plane and assessed the situation; I could either sit between the business suits, the portly gentlemen, the new parents, the elderly women, or, what’s this? My god, there she was, my leggy brunette, and, no, that couldn't possibly be an open seat next to her--could it?
It seemed our meeting was pre-determined. This was no accident. This was fate. I sauntered through the aisle and asked the mildly attractive older woman in the aisle seat if she wouldn’t mind standing up to allow me access to the middle seat next to her--her and my leggy brunette, of course.
I did it; phase one complete. Now all I had to do was say something. I couldn’t even begin to recount the many experiences I’ve had on a plane where I never said a word to either one of my neighbors, but now here I was sitting next to this cute girl I had been drooling over, and I suddenly was at a loss for words. I had to find some way to strike up a conversation without sounding like a total creep.
The plane hit the tarmac and as we began to speed up I carefully squeezed the book I had been reading at the time—Bukowski’s, Ham on Rye-- while muttering, “Uhh, this is my least favorite part.” I did this all in a carefully calculated effort to inform her that not only was I an avid reader, but I was also in touch with my emotions, AKA, I was a pussy.
My leggy brunette laughed and said, “Really? I love takeoff,” and with enthusiasm she boasted, “I especially love when planes make banking turns.” All I could imagine was getting a clear look thirty thousand feet below toward the distant ground. My hands clammed up at the thought.
We reached our cruising altitude and that’s when I noticed she was reading passages from a textbook and transcribing them into a personal notebook. I asked,
“Are you a student?”
“Oh, do you study in Los Angeles or Arizona?
“No. Actually, I am a sophomore in high school.”
Our conversation effectively came to a screeching halt. This was dangerous territory. My leggy brunette, as it turned out, was hard candy.
Incredulous, I tried to read my book but it was hard to keep focused. I couldn’t contain myself and I burst out laughing. I looked at my leggy brunette and she knew exactly why I was laughing.
I said, “So, I saw you in security.”
“And then I saw you at the terminal.” She replied.
“I was hoping this seat would be open.” I said.
Flattered, she asked, “Really?” And then, “How old did you think I was?”
“At least eighteen.” I joked.
“Almost.” She smirked.
We continued talking. I kept the conversation light, and the two of us reminisced (well, I did anyway) about high school literature. We talked about Lolita, The Scarlet Letter, and Othello; you know, all the appropriate English class staples.
The plane soon landed, and as we both left to go our separate ways and continue living our separate lives, I finally introduced myself. Her name was Hannah. She was the first Hannah I had ever met, and for that small reason alone, our short interaction would be forever engraved in my memory.