Diet Coke no ice, Club soda with lime, coffee with cream, the never ending beverage service, that’s what I’m doing when I hear the muffled sound of a cell phone ringing. I shove a plastic scoop into a drawer of empty ice and trudge to the front of the aircraft wearing combat boots. In the first class galley is where I make the announcement, that it’s time to put away and stow all electronic devices – anything with a screen, anything with an on and off switch – we’ll be landing soon. As I’m walking down the aisle checking each row for compliance, I notice my bra, hot pink satin, is on the outer side of my uniform dress. It’s while I’m sprinting to the back of the plane that I hear it again, the Ice Castles theme song. I stop dead in my tracks and spin around. That’s when it hits me. That’s my special ring!
“Flight Attendant Connors,” mumbles a manly voice in my ear. My body quivers when I feel his warm breath on the back of my neck. The palm of his hand runs up the length of my leg, pushing my skirt up along with it, and….and… I inhale. I don’t exhale. Oh my.
Gasping for breath, I bolt straight up in bed. I’m awake. Well sort of. Then again, not really. My head hits the pillow and my eyes close. Water, I need water. There’s no way I’m getting out of bed to go get it. My head is throbbing. The thought of moving, let alone standing, practically kills me. Just when did it get so hot in here? I kick the covers off, toss and turn, flip and flop, but then I get cold, real cold, so I reach for the covers, pull them halfway up my leg and…and…what was that? I feel around and find something something warm and hard and…oh boy.
No longer am I dreaming I’m on an airplane. Nor am I in a dumpy airport hotel. I’m in an apartment. A very nice apartment. Fuck!
I think what I really meant to say is FUCK FUCK FUCK! Because my bed, you see, is white and fluffy. This bed is big and blue and, well, very nice. The room, it’s nothing like mine; small, light and cheery, cluttered with clothes and paperback books. This room is huge and dark and meticulously clean. Need I mention there’s a man, a naked man that I do not know lying in this strange bed beside me. Based on his broad muscular shoulders and dark black hair, it looks like he might be hot. Not that it matters. Really.
Pulling what has to be 100,000 thread count Egyptian cotton sheets up to my chin, I remind myself that life is about the choices we make. And more importantly it’s about taking responsibility for those choices. Even the bad ones. Like this one. Because what we do, what we say, what we even think, impacts us in ways we can not imagine in the future. This is what I tell my friends whenever they come to me for advice on love, life, men, whatever. It’s the same thing I’ve chosen to live my own life by, which is why I can say with the utmost certainty that I’ve made all the right choices in my short twenty-eight years.
God this is bad, real bad, worse than bad. I mean…did we? I really don’t know. I don’t even want to know. What I do know is I have to get out of here quick! Only when I try to move, I can’t because my legs are tangled in the sheets. There’s no way I want to disturb the guy before I have a chance to get my thoughts together. Not ready to face reality, I slowly lean back into the pillows, careful to keep the bed still, holding my breath, trying not to hyperventilate, not to panic, not to freak out. What the hell happened last night? Think, Nicole, think!
I remember the bar, a hole in the wall kind of place on the Upper East Side that caters to airline personnel by offering buy-one-get-one-free drinks to anyone with a crew ID as a way to entice those without crew ID into the bar. There to celebrate a coworker’s birthday, I flashed my badge at the off duty flight attendant slash bartender and jokingly ordered a gigantic apple martini with an investment banker on the side. After one (or two) very strong drinks, I found myself on the dance floor doing the electric slide. And yes, I do have a sick obsession with disco. Even when I’m not drunk. As I slid to the left, I remember making the announcement. Oh god, the announcement, why in the world did I make that announcement! That while I may have been the dry humping queen of Queens, I’ve only had sex with six different men in my entire life. They were all different men, totally different men, I swear! At least that’s what I’ve sworn in the past. That’s when, at least I think it’s when, First Officer Meyers did what he always does when he’s had one too many. He placed both hands on my breasts and squeezed.
Okay it’s important to point out, at least it’s important to me to point out, that the only men I typically allow to squeeze my breasts are either in love with me or have the potential to fall in love with me. I do not believe in free squeezes. I swear the only action my boobs have seen in the last few weeks – months? – came from a passenger seated in 3B who awoke with a start just as I was leaning over to fix his neighbor’s video player. Well that is if I don’t count my gynecologist, my two year-old nephew, and some drunken perv on the subway last week. Unfortunately, I’m embarrassed to report, the only drunk perv last night seemed to be me. For the record, so I don’t come off like some ho, some drunk and slutty disco dancing ho, the only reason I allowed First Officer Meyers to squeeze my boobs for what some might consider an awfully long time was not because he had a lot of fantastic things to say about my B cups, though it did warm my heart, but because he was drunk and gay and dating my best friend Juan.
“Girl, you need to loosen up and have some fun,” I vaguely remember Juan saying, snap snap snapping his sassy fingers in front of my flushed face. We all slid to the right. “For Christ Sakes,” he said, lifting a knee and clapping. “Try taking a walk on the wild side!” That’s the last thing I remember before it all went black.
Looks like I finally took that walk. Too bad I can’t remember it.
While I’d love nothing more than to be a walk-on-the-wild-side-kind-of-girl, I’m not. Oh sure there have been times, plenty of times, I’ve wished I were that girl, the mysterious I-don’t-give-a-shit kind of girl who’s not afraid to do what she wants when she wants. But for reasons even I don’t understand, I care too much about what people think of me. Of what I think of me! And so I’m a good girl, a nice girl, a girl who doesn’t get drunk and sleep around. (Though it does sound exciting, doesn’t it?) Okay, okay, so I may have had that one week stand last year with the Dutch medical sales rep from Curacao, the one I’d met on a flight from London whom I spent a week with in Amsterdam. But that was different. It was romantic. It took place in a foreign country. It just doesn’t count okay!
Too bad this one might.