“Flight 5119…landing in Tulsa, Oklahoma…just over five minutes.” The voice had more to say, but Emerson tuned it out. The view out the oval glass taught him more about clouds in the last four hours than twelve years of public education and nine years of higher learning ever could. The 737 blew right through hanging puffs as though nothing existed there. A tremor in his hand caught his eye as he swallowed ginger ale from his cup. He resumed his survey of the approaching landscape.

5119 cut a smooth groove into the August sky. Within minutes, it would touch ground again. The alarm on his watch went off and he frantically manhandled it until it went silent. “In through the nose, out through the mouth,” he thought as he fidgeted inside his jacket pocket. A sudden hiss from above his head startled him and a shot of cool air struck his face. “Cabin pressure will adjust slightly as we approach the tarmac,” a delicate voice informed him. Emerson produced a handkerchief to sop his brow. The rumble of the landing gear awoke the woman sitting beside him.

“First time, I take it?” She offered him a knowing smile. The nap caused her well-sculpted hair to dislodge on one side. Emerson nodded and resumed his sky vigil.

She instinctively nudged a few loose strands of her golden locks back into place. Sipping the last splash of tonic water from her lipstick-stained cup, she inspected the condition of her makeup using a teensy compact from an equally teensy handbag. A spritz of Chanel on the wrists drew his attention for only a moment. Reaching inside her charcoal wool blazer, she produced her Montblanc and a small card, then scribbled something on one side before nesting the pen back in its pocket. “Listen…maybe a drink sometime?”

“Probably not.” He wiped away tears from his cheeks and reached into his pocket for the last time. A bright white flash burned the August sky above the Oklahoma landscape.